• Limpets use a tongue bristling with tiny teeth to scrape food off rocks and into their mouths, often swallowing particles of rock in the process. The teeth are made of a mineral-protein composite, which the researchers tested in tiny fragments in the laboratory.
  • The findings, published in the Royal Society’s journal Interface, suggest that the secret to the material’s strength is the thinness of its tightly packed mineral fibres – a discovery that could help improve the man-made composites used to build aircraft, cars and boats, as well as dental fillings.
  • In terms of man-made materials, the limpet tooth is stronger than Kevlar fibres and almost as good as the best high-performance carbon fibre materials.

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