Spider silk, long the strongest known biological material, was knocked off the top spot by a material produced by another invertebrate: the common limpet.
Limpets use a tooth-coated tongue to rasp algae from rocks. These teeth need to be strong to avoid damage, and indeed are several times stronger than spider silk and on a par with the toughest man made materials.
Their strength apparently lies in their structure – microscopic mineral splinters embedded in a protein matrix – which scientists are now trying to reproduce in synthetic materials.
Do you have a wildlife question you’d like answered? Email your question to email@example.com or post it to Q&A, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Immediate Media Company, Eagle House, Bristol, BS1 4ST.
Main image: Limpets have proven to make a very strong material. ©iStock