These animals inspire better body armor for humans
From piranha-proof fish to pangolins, meet the creatures that are literally tougher than nails.
If you’ve seen best-picture contender Black Panther leading up to this weekend’s Academy Awards, you probably marveled (gulp) at the title character’s vibranium suit. It’s pretty much the coolest armor ever made.
Except, perhaps, for some animals who make their own. Shells, exoskeletons, scales—it makes us wonder about these real-life super suits. Just how strong are they?
Meet the animals that scientists have turned to for body armor “bioinspiration.”
Despite reports of bullets ricocheting off armadillos, these creatures aren’t bulletproof. Their shells are made of bony plates called osteoderms that grow in the skin. They’re loosely connected for flexibility and are covered by a layer of keratin, the protein that makes up hair, nails, and horns, says Mariella Superina, chair