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Was It Designed?

Land Animals

The Dog’s Sense of Smell

What is it about a dog’s sense of smell that has inspired scientists to try and copy its capabilities?

The Slug’s Adhesive Slime

Glue that mimics slug slime could become part of every surgeon’s tool kit, eliminating the need for stitches and staples.

Aquatic Life

The Structure of the Limpet’s Teeth

What makes limpet teeth even stronger than spider silk?

The Glue of the Barnacle

The barnacles’ glue is said to be far superior to any synthetic products. But how barnacles adhere to wet surfaces remained a mystery until recently.

The Pilot Whale’s Self-Cleaning Skin

Why are shipping companies interested in its unique abilities?

The Seahorse’s Tail

See why the seahorse’s unique tail is inspiring the next generation of robotics.

Birds

Bird Colors That Never Fade

How is the unfading color of bird feathers paving the way for better paints and fabrics?

The Owl’s Wing

The intricate structure of the owl’s wing could hold the key to quieter wind turbines.

Insects

The Bumblebee’s Flight Control​—Was It Designed?

How does such a small creature outfly even the most experienced pilots?

How Do Ants Avoid Traffic Jams?

Ants avoid gridlock. What is their strategy?

The Carpenter Ant’s Antenna Cleaner

This tiny insect needs to keep itself clean in order to survive. How does it care for this basic task?

The V-Shaped Pose of the Cabbage White Butterfly

What is it about the cabbage white butterfly that has helped engineers to design better solar panels?