15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Lacking claws, armor, or stabbing teeth, humans are easy targets for predation. But thanks to our big, beautiful brains, we figured out early on how to co-opt the killing tools of nature's top hunters for our own defense—and offense. Here are some of the best examples of technology mimicking nature. Or just straight up stealing from it.

Shark Tooth Sword, Kiribati

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: imbrettjackson


Calusa shell clubs

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: bob reid


Tebute, a Gilbertese shark tooth weapon

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: Joshua Drew et al./PlosOne


Swordfish bill dagger

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: mauifishingputters.com


Shark Tooth Sword, Micronesia, Gilbert Island

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: oceaniaart.com


Bering Sea walrus ivory harpoon point

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: Herigate Auctions


Shark tooth club from the Pacific Islands. Peabody-Essex Museum

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: Margaret Killjoy


Blue marlin bill dagger with tiger shark teeth

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: mauifishingputters.com


Western Pacific turtle bone axe

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: Carter's Price Guide to Antiques


Eskimo darts made of ivory and caribou bone

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: New World Antiquities


Stingray barb dagger and cassowary bone dagger from New Zealand

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: M. A. Lurig


Whale Bone War Club, ca. 1800, Nuu-chah-nulth or Makah

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: Travis S.


Bone Blade Knife

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: Practical Abstractions


Azilian bone harpoon

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: Didier Descouens/Wikimwdia Commons


Eskimo fishing spear made from the horns of a musk ox

15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

Photo: John Tyman


Top photo: Library Of Congress
Images curated by Attila Nagy