Researchers uncover the secrets behind a marine creature’s defensive armor, one that is exceptionally tough, yet optically clear

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The shells of a sea creature, the mollusk Placuna placenta, are not only exceptionally tough, but also clear enough to read through. Now, researchers at MIT have analyzed these shells to determine exactly why they are so resistant to penetration and damage – even though they are 99 percent calcite, a weak, brittle mineral.