Helen Scales

Limpet teeth University of Portsmouth

Tough teeth

Move over spider silk, there’s a new tough material in town. Limpet teeth.

These humble molluscs spend their lives scraping at thin green films of seaweed on rocks and yet their teeth don’t shatter. Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have recently discovered how they do it.

It turns out limpet make their teeth from the toughest known biological material, stuff called goethite.

I give the low down on tough limpet teeth and this amazing material in a podcast for Chemistry World.

Photo courtesy of the University of Portsmouth.

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