Nature'€™s Super-Materials

  • By Melissa Salpietra
  • Posted 10.28.10
  • NOVA

In the pursuit of stronger, cleaner, and altogether better materials, scientists are turning to Mother Nature for inspiration. Biomimicry (literally "imitating life") is a field of science that studies naturally occurring processes and designs and looks for ways to mimic them. In this slide show, see some of the amazing structures and properties that animals and plants have evolved, and learn about new human-made super-materials they are giving rise to.

Launch Interactive

See some of Nature's stickiest, toughest, and cleanest materials, and learn how they are inspiring new products.



(gecko foot, abalone shell, lotus leaf, shark scales)
© Eye of Science/PhotoResearchers, Inc.
(spider silk)
Tina Carvalho/Photolibrary
(cephalopod skin)
Courtesy Greyson Hanlon

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