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God is a master designer. God made everything (from nothing!), and he not only knew what to make but how to make it. And God’s amazing handiwork is inspiring! Scientists and engineers often study structures in nature for ideas. One example is the design of protective gloves, vests, and helmets. Many animals have armor that protects them from the environment and from predators.

Armored Animals

In Spanish, “armadillo” means “little armored one.” The bony plates that cover its body are loosely connected so that the armor is flexible (the three-banded armadillo can even roll itself into a ball!). This armor protects the armadillo from thorny shrubs.

A pangolin will also roll into a ball when threatened. Its name comes from a Malay word that means “roller” or “one who rolls up.” Instead of the armadillo’s bony shell, however, pangolins are covered in scales made from keratin—the substance our hair and fingernails are made of.

Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins have shells that are permanently attached to their spine and rib cage. Their armor isn’t flexible, but some turtles can pull their heads into their shells. You can learn more about turtle shells here:

Shrimp, lobsters, snails, and oysters have something called an exoskeleton, or an outside skeleton. These exoskeletons aren’t made of bone, but they support and protect these creatures’ bodies.

Reptiles, including snakes and lizards, have scales made from keratin. Their scales protect them from the weather and allow them to live in dry places by slowing water loss from their body.

Fish also have scales. In some types of fish, the scales grow as the fish grows. If you looked at one of these scales up close, you would see growth rings just like a tree has.

The Armor of God

When you think of armor, you might think of things that protect your body from being hurt. The armor of God is different. The armor of God can protect you from things like temptation and lies. In Ephesians 6:10-17, we read that the armor of God is the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. When we study God’s Word and trust in Jesus as our Savior, God protects us against temptation and lies.

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