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turtle skull ct scan

Shock-resistant skulls

Scientists and engineers from WHOI and the U.S. Navy have discovered that sea turtles’ skulls and shells not only protect them from predators but also from extraordinarily powerful underwater shockwaves. This three-dimensional reconstruction from CT scans performed at the WHOI Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility shows a posterior view of a loggerhead sea turtle skull — both the skull's plate-like structure and the deep archways, which shield the ear, brain, and spinal cord from pressure waves. The research, originally intended to help the Navy avoid harming turtles, could also point the way to designing improved body armor and helmets for soldiers on land. (Darlene Ketten, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Computerized Scanning and Imaging Facility)


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