How to fell a tree with a sock full of custard.

What Missing Link?

You may have seen my tweet/facebook status quoting Henry Gee (Wikipedia), editor of the journal Nature:

“Crushing clams with cartilaginous jaws is like trying to fell a tree with a sock full of custard.”

That was a bit of an exaggeration on Mr. Gee’s part, but the point still stands – how do certain rays (shark relatives with skeletons made of cartilage instead of bone) manage to crack the shells of shellfish in order to eat them? This cartilage is the same soft material that your ear and the end of your nose are made from.

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