A Shark's Scale

Year: 
2017
Ranking: 
Entrant
Artist: 
Erin M. Dillon
Department: 
EEMB
Lab: 
McCauley Lab

Description

Dermal denticles are tooth-like scales that line the skin of sharks and rays. This denticle belongs to a silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis). Its ridges and honeycombed microstructures make the shark more hydrodynamic. This design has inspired swimsuits, boat coatings, and antimicrobial surfaces.

This shark dermal denticle was isolated from a small piece of skin excised from a silky shark specimen in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History ichthyology collection. It was imaged using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute with the assistance of Jorge Ceballos.

CSEP CNSI Schuller Lab UCSB