Scientists are now investigating what exactly allows the diabolical ironclad to be such a force of nature.
It is hoped that their findings will enable engineers to transfer these qualities to future projects.
The new research is published in the prestigious journal Nature.
Science: The beetle is able to withstand the force of 39,000 times its own body weight
Natural world: Beetles are the largest group of insects
Study leader Professor David Kisailus of the University of California, Irvine, says the research could lead to never before found “tough, impact and crush-resistant materials”.
The diabolical ironclad beetle (Phloeodes diabolicus) is found mainly in the US and Mexico.
It lives in near obscurity under the bark of trees or beneath rocks.
Desert beetle: A desert ironclad beetle or blue death feigning beetle
The beetle has one of the toughest exoskeletons of any known insect.
The way in which this invincibility trait was first discovered was entirely by chance.
Insect collectors became aware of the toughness of the exoskeleton when trying to mount specimens to boards with standard steel pins.
China finds coronavirus ALIVE on frozen food sparking fears of spread [REPORT]
First signs of Yellowstone ‘titanic eruption’ identified [INSIGHT]
NASA collects rare ‘treacherous’ asteroid sample [ANALYSIS]
Insect kingdom: An Isolated May bug beetle
Science latest: Researchers are hoping to harness the beetles’ strength in raw materials
Despite tremendous efforts, the pins bent and snapped.
They had to resort to drilling through the beetle’s outer shell in order to penetrate the casting.
It is believed that one of the main reasons why the beetle’s body is so tough is because it has lost its ability to fly.
Thus, the insect has evolved crush-resistant forewings (known as elytra), to survive being pecked to death by hungry birds.
Using microscopy, spectroscopy and mechanical testing, the researchers identified a series of interlocked jigsaw-shaped joints within the exoskeleton.
It was found that the beetle is able to withstand forces of up to 149 Newtons – approximately 39,000 times the creature’s body weight.
Engineering: The researchers made joints from metal and composites based on those seen in the beetle
Scientists then went on to test the ways in which this strength could be imitated in materials.
They made a series of joints from metal and composites based on those seen in the beetle.
They say their designs enhanced the strength and toughness of the materials.
Bones, teeth and shells, as well as other natural materials have long served as inspiration for scientists seeking to develop new materials.
Mantis shrimp: Scientists are also trying to use genetic makeup of the shrimps in engineering
Recently, separate studies which looked into the force with which the mantis shrimp could use in its club-like forearms were conducted also at the University of California.
Researchers there hoped to use the genetic makeup of the ancient crustaceans in order to create engineering materials in the automotive, aerospace and sports industries.
Countless other natural-world materials have exceptional mechanical performance, as well as strength, toughness and the ability to self-heal.