Rock stars

Lowly ocean crustaceans have recently been an unlikely subject of musings on this blog, spurred by the recent ‘Earth is Greening’ Long Now lecture by the head of the Marine Census, and by environmental activists using shrimp farm pollution as a key argument against developing aquaculture. Yesterday a couple of good news science reports potentially added a couple of extra dimensions to the topic, by showing that crustaceans and molluscs may be hugely useful to us in ways other than as food. The teeth on limpets — sea-life that you find at a tidal beach, welded onto the rocks — have been discovered to be the strongest biological material known to man. And it keeps its strength as it scales up in size. It’s also reported that shrimp/prawn shells could replace expensive Ruthenium in solar cells.