Seahorses get their exceptional flexibility from the structure of their bony plates, which form its external armor. The plates slide past each other as the creature moves. Shown at left is an image from a micro CT-scan of the animal, revealing the seahorse’s skeleton, as well as its bony plates. The structure, lightness and strength of many materials in nature are inspiring scientists and engineers to create new “bio-mimetic” materials that could lead to better body armor, lighter aircraft and stronger, more flexible materials.
Evolution has already done a lot of the engineering work for us. I’m constantly amazed by the design inspiration we can draw from nature.
Source: Flickr / jsoe