In nature, honeycomb materials are mechanically very efficient, especially in terms of various performance couplings. For example, some random honeycomb structures found in nature, such as teeth, bones, and beaks, have superior strength and toughness relative to their density. Some projects in materials science mimic this type of structure, such as polymers or metal foams with similar structures and functions.

In contrast, ordered honeycomb structures, including periodic structures that have evolved naturally in nature, often outperform random structures. For example, the mollusk's defensive carapace pearl-like inner layer is composed of a hard brick-like structure. Correspondingly, the mantis shrimp evolved an aggressive large claw to hit the shell of the mollusk at high speed, and its front cheek was composed of a spiral-shaped stack of resistant mineral fibers.

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