Happy summer vacation! If you are visiting this blog during the non-school times….you are super science awesome! Just wanted to let you know that one of the most amazing little invertebrates was featured in a little article in the NY Times. Remember the video I showed about the powerful Mantis shrimp? Well, it turns out that scientists have figured out why their claws are so powerful and strong. The claw has 3 parts that work together to provide strength and rebound. The face of the claw is made of a highly crystallized form of calcium phosphate (this molecule is also found in our bones) which is really tough and compressible. Underneath that there are rods of chitin which prevent fracturing. The sides of the claw are also made of chitin which help with the compression. The mantis shrimp compresses its claw like a spring which it uses to deliver its powerful punch!