Innovators are full of questions.Nature has answers.


  • Strategy

Protective coating prevents dehydration: sea-wracks

Sea-wracks prevent dehydration when exposed to air by coating themselves with a protective mucus.

"Where the coast is not muddy but rocky, trees cannot survive. They would soon be smashed by pounding waves. The only tactic here is to be flexible and ride the thrusts of the waves rather than resist them. And that is what the sea-wracks do. They are algae. Those that live between the tides have to take precautions against being dried out during their twice daily exposure to the air and they do so by covering themselves with a coat of mucus. It is this that makes them so slippery under foot. Some species develop gas-filled bladders in their fronds so that, as the tide sweeps in and out, they rise and fall and remain close to the surface within reach of the all-important light." (Attenborough 1995:302)
About the inspiring organism
Common names: sea-wrack, brown algae

Habitat(s): Marine Intertidal
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Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

IUCN Red List Status: Unknown

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Green chemical that reduces evaporation in storage ponds, reduced rate of evaporation in liquids used for cooling applications, coatings to prevent evaporation in nano-applications.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Water supply, cooling, nanotechnology

Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
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