(NEW YORK POST) – The skin of the mako shark is being studied by the US Army to help build faster aircraft, according to research presented on Monday.
Makos, the world's fastest sharks, have rows of millions of tiny raised scales along their sides and fins that researchers at the University of Alabama (UA) believe could be the reason for that lightning speed.
Dr Amy Lang, a UA aeronautical engineer, is leading the research that she presented at a meeting of the American Physical Society Meeting on Monday, The Independent reported.
Advertisement - story continues below
The mako's scales, called denticles, are translucent, flexible and shaped like tiny shark teeth. The denticles are streamlined so that from nose to tail the shark's skin feels smooth, but in the reverse it's rough, like sandpaper.
If the water flow changes when a mako shark is swimming, its denticles rise automatically.
"It's entirely passive and happens in about 0.2 milliseconds," Lang told NewScientist.