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Shark scales. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of scales from the skin of a shark. These sharply pointed, placoid scales are also known as dermal teeth because they give the shark's skin the feel of sandpaper. The tip of each scale is made of dentine overlayed with dental enamel. The lower part of each scale, which anchors it into the skin, is made of bone. Shark's scales considerably reduce the water resistance around the skin of the shark while it is swimming. This design is being investigated by engineers for the design of aircraft and seacraft. Magnification: x110 at 6x6cm size.
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