15 Human Weapons Made from Animal Weapons

By Andrew Tarantola on at

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