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 defenseā€”and offense. Here are some of the best examples of technology mimicking nature. Or just straight up stealing from it.

Shark Tooth Sword, Kiribati

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Photo: imbrettjackson


Calusa shell clubs

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Photo: bob reid


Tebute, a Gilbertese shark tooth weapon

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Photo: Joshua Drew et al./PlosOne


Swordfish bill dagger

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Photo: mauifishingputters.com


Shark Tooth Sword, Micronesia, Gilbert Island

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Photo: oceaniaart.com


Bering Sea walrus ivory harpoon point

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Photo: Herigate Auctions


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

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Photo: Margaret Killjoy


Blue marlin bill dagger with tiger shark teeth

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Photo: mauifishingputters.com


Western Pacific turtle bone axe

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Photo: Carter's Price Guide to Antiques


Eskimo darts made of ivory and caribou bone

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Photo: New World Antiquities


Stingray barb dagger and cassowary bone dagger from New Zealand

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Photo: M. A. Lurig


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

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Photo: Travis S.


Bone Blade Knife

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Photo: Practical Abstractions


Azilian bone harpoon

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Photo: Didier Descouens/Wikimwdia Commons


Eskimo fishing spear made from the horns of a musk ox

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Photo: John Tyman


Top photo: Library Of Congress
Images curated by Attila Nagy

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