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Title: Ecologically Driven Ultrastructural and Hydrodynamic Designs in Stomatopod Cuticles

Ecological pressures and varied feeding behaviors in a multitude of organ-isms have necessitated the drive for adaptation. One such change is seen in the feeding appendages of stomatopods, a group of highly predatory marine crustaceans. Stomatopods include “spearers,” who ambush and snare soft bodied prey, and “smashers,” who bludgeon hard-shelled prey with a heavily mineralized club. The regional substructural complexity of the stomatopod dactyl club from the smashing predator Odontodactylus scyllarus represents a model system in the study of impact tolerant biominerals. The club consists of a highly mineralized impact region, a characteristic Bouligand architec-ture (common to arthropods), and a unique section of the club, the striated region, composed of highly aligned sheets of mineralized fibers. Detailed ultrastructural investigations of the striated region within O. scyllarus and a related species of spearing stomatopod, Lysiosquillina maculate show consistent organization of mineral and organic, but distinct differences in macro-scale architecture. Evidence is provided for the function and substructural exaptation of the striated region, which facilitated redeployment of a rapto-rial feeding appendage as a biological hammer. Furthermore, given the need to accelerate underwater and “grab” or “smash” their prey, the spearer and smasher appendages are specifically designed with a significantly reduced drag force.
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  1. Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States)
  2. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Univ. Nacional de La Plata, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  3. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  4. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0935-9648
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 0935-9648
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; biominerals; composites; impact; toughness; ultrastructure
OSTI Identifier: