Teeth are resilient: sea otter
Teeth of sea otters resist damage due to 'stress shielding' by neighbors, prism interweaving (decussation), and self-healing.
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"Teeth are made from an extremely sophisticated composite material which reacts in an extraordinary way under pressure," says Prof. Chai. "Teeth exhibit graded mechanical properties and a cathedral-like geometry, and over time they develop a network of micro-cracks which help diffuse stress. This, and the tooth's built-in ability to heal the micro-cracks over time, prevents it from fracturing into large pieces when we eat hard food, like nuts." (Dr. Herzl Chai, Tel Aviv University's School of Mechanical Engineering)
Enhydra lutris (Linnaeus, 1758)
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered
Habitat(s): Marine Neritic, Marine Oceanic
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist
Application Ideas: Synthetic enamel replacements for bones, teeth, soft tissues. Laminate structures for lighter and safer airplanes.
Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Medical, manufacturing,
Brian R. Lawn
National Institute of Standards and Technology