Biomimicry Shark Denticles

Preview Extreme close-up of great white shark skin denticles.
(© Trevor Sewell/Electron Microscope Unit, University of Cape Town)

Great White Sharks are stealthy hunters and the secret is in their skin. Shark skin is covered by tiny flat V-shaped scales, called dermal denticles, that are more like teeth than fish scales. These denticles decrease drag and turbulence, allowing the shark to swim faster and more quietly. Olympian swimsuit designers have taken a page from the shark’s playbook and created a fabric that mimics the exact proportion of the shark’s denticles, hugely improving a swimmer’s speed. More about the great white shark can be found in our great white shark featured story.

Tags: Adaptations