“Imagine a 200-pound man being crushed by the weight of nearly two space shuttles and coming out unscathed. That’s about how indestructible the diabolical ironclad beetle is.
“The 1-inch-long insect’s exoskeleton is capable of withstanding forces up to 39,000 times its body weight. Entomologists who try to mount these beetles for display usually wind up with their steel pins bent or snapped in half.
“In a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, scientists revealed the secrets of this beetle’s stab-proof and smash-proof body. An analysis of the beetles’ elytra — the hardened casings on top of each forewing — shows that the shields interlock like a 3D jigsaw puzzle and can deform under enormous weight without losing their shape.”
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