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Dermal Denticles? Teeth?

 


Hand drawn cross section of a dermal denticle.
Image Copyright K. Cathleen Lengyel



Most shark's skin has a rough feel to it, due to it's dermal denticles. What are dermal denticles? Well, just as you may guess the term "denticles" refers to teeth-like growths.

Shark's skin consists of many dermal (tooth-like growths) denticles which form various patterns in the different shark species. Dermal denticles are a sort of protective armor.

They also assist the shark with resistance for swimming, as the dermal denticles serve to trap a layer of water around the shark's body. The denticles help to channel the water which produces less friction and makes them a more efficient swimmer.

As you can see from the cross section above, dermal denticles share many characteristics with teeth.

They have a hard outer surface, pulp cavity and dentine... just like a human tooth!


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