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Architecture and mechanical testing of resistant organo-mineral structures of the mantis shrimp cuticle: comparison with biomimetic 3D imprint


Stomatopods form a group including two kind of highly specialized predator crustaceans. Thanks to modifications in their cuticle during their evolution, both kinds have developed deadly arms for hunting preys though violent strikes, smashing mantis shrimps are predator with a fluoroapatite-reinforced dactyl club able to crash a sea shells in a powerful hit. Spearing mantis shrimps present a raptorial appendage with modified spiky dactyl able to impale fishes in a high velocity movement. Although the smashing limb is well known though structural/compositional and mechanical testing approaches in the field of material science and bioinspired materials, the raptor of spearing mantis shrimp was poorly investigated. However, there quasi no biological information on the organization and the composition of the regular cuticle of stomatopods compared to other crustaceans and the deposition of cuticle organic/mineral components during the moult cycle which remains largely unknow. The main goal of the research project is to fill this gap. The raptor and regular cuticle of spearing mantis shrimps will be investigated with a pluridisciplinary approach to fully describe the organo-mineral organization, the composition, the implementation and post-depositional changes in mineral and fibrillar components, and corroborate these data with mechanical behavior at microscopic and macroscopic scales. Biotools will be confronted to their bio-inspired 3D-imprints in the view of their mechanical abilities. The collected information will be interpreted in the light of the functions, of their adaptation in the animal behavior and of evolution concepts.