Barricading the Body

i-c9bba66ea3462ae89bd67638e5f99bb3-armorbuzz.jpgIf not always wieldy, armor offers great protection against teeth, talons and pincers–not to mention blades, bullets and shrapnel. On Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong reports that a deep sea snail has evolved one of the toughest shells on the planet, a three-layer system that has scientists rethinking the possibilities of human armor. These creatures must survive “highly acidic water, scorching temperatures and crushing pressures”—as well as prying crabs—and have made the most of their unique environment in doing so. Brian Switek shows us a mammalian version of armor on Laelaps, in his discussion of the peculiar glyptodont. Brian likens these extinct relatives of the armadillo to “extensively armored ground sloths with hard bowl-shaped shells and club-like tails.” And on Tetrapod Zoology, Darren Naish brings reptiles into the mix, with everyone’s favorite walking fortress, the turtle. These particular turtles are unusual, however, in that they have reduced the boniness of their carapace, resulting in a soft, rubbery shell. When everyone’s not out to get you, it’s easy to let down your guard.

Links below the fold.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s