Why Do Tiny Animals Like Spiders and Ticks Have Such a Powerful Bite? A Holy Cross Biology Professor Explains

Stephanie Crofts, assistant professor of biology

National Geographic

Why do tiny animals like spiders and ticks have such a powerful bite? Turns out it's heavy metals! According to a recent study, elements such as zinc and copper mix with natural proteins to make durable stingers, claws and jaws in some invertebrates.

In an interview with National Geographic, Stephanie Crofts, assistant professor of biology at Holy Cross specializing in biomechanics, functional morphology and comparative anatomy, talks about the significance and potential groundbreaking impact of these findings.

According to Crofts, the occurrence discovered in the study may be more common than we think and could lead to the engineering of new products, such as smaller mobile phones and more-robust medical devices.

"Making tools with this same atomic arrangement of proteins and heavy metals could lead to products that are light, strong and resistant to everyday handling—yet another example of how nature knows best," says Crofts.

You can read the full article at NationalGeographic.com.