Interlocking exoskeleton could provide inspiration for new methods of joining materials

It can survive being run over by a car, pecked by predators and crushed underfoot. Now researchers have revealed the secrets behind the near-indestructibility of the diabolical ironclad beetle.

Found in wooded areas of the US west coast, the beetle is about 2cm in length. Like some other species of flightless beetle, its wing covers, known as elytra, are not only hardened, but fused together. The upshot is a gnarly black armour that protects it from being crushed.

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