Have you ever wondered why Mako sharks swim so fast through the water? Well, researchers have found out how they are able to handle the resistance of a medium such as salt water. It all comes down to their denticles.
Mako sharks have flexible denticles that move to lower the resistance of water in places that will offer the most resistance (the gills) where flow separation exists. Flow separation is where water passes over a structure quickly and then slow down to form tiny eddies. The flexibility in the denticles offers less resistance and takes away the flow separation allowing the shark to continue to gain speed through the water.
Researchers have already used this technology in making swimsuits and now they are looking towards the skies to make helicopters more efficient.
Find out how by listening to the episode.
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