One extremely unique feature of sharks that grasps the attention of biologists and engineers alike is their skin. sharkskin consists of dermal denticles. while they may seem similar to scales, they are more like tiny teeth tightly compacted and layered each one with a center of blood vessels and nerves and an outer layer of hard dentine (kennedy, 2017). although their shape varies with shark family and species, the individual dermal denticles are all small, hard, and pointed (dillon, 2015). the two major functions dermal denticles are used for is protection and to reduce drag in the water. due to their pattern and microstructure, many believe shark skin to be as strong as steel (martin, 2003). this strength in structure provides sharks with a chainmail-like protection from predators and threats. the dermal denticles are layered in a way that protects them without sacrificing mobility. with its reduction in turbulence and drag in the water, dermal denticles also allow sharks to swim faster and much quieter. engineers often try to mimic this structure for strength in such things as fiberglass or reinforced concrete (martin, 2003). it is often mimicked for increased hydrodynamics and mobility as well in competitive swimsuits and other fabrics (kennedy, 2017).
post by @_s_bec
photo by @juansharks