154. discovering the protection mechanism for the 'living fossil' coelacanth

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Marc A. Meyers

Primary Student
Name: Haocheng Quan
Email: haquan@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-900-4257
Grad Year: 2018

The ?living fossil?, Coelacanth, has lived on earth for more than 300 million years and its morphology rarely changed from its original characteristics. The whole fish body is armored by very rough scales and they are overlapped by each other, which effectively protect the fish from the predator?s attack. The scales have a mineralized outer layer and collagenous laminated inner layer. Morphology characterizations manifest that the arrangement of collagen fibers in the inner layer forms a ?double-twisted? Bouligand-like structure and the inter bundle collagen fibrils go through almost whole thickness of scale. Mechanical tests indicate the high mechanical performance of the scale and the in situ synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering test reveals the toughening mechanisms including collagen fibril sliding, stretching, fiber reorientation and delamination.

Industry Application Area(s)

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