Scientists have just discovered a new secret in human-friendly whale sharks — marine life that can grow up to 32 feet (about 10 meters) long and has dermal denticles on the surface of the eyeball. Although the appearance of this tiny structure is very similar to the scales, it is actually a thin-skinned tooth, similar to the rough texture of sandpaper on shark skin (also made up of leather fine teeth).
Study Illustration – 1 (from: PLOS)
It is reported that these skin fine teeth help to reduce friction in the water, allowing sharks to swim faster in the water. Scientists at the center of research on the island of Mashima in Okinawa, Japan, say they have discovered a new mechanism for the study of vertebrates.
Although some are covered, the real skin teeth on the eyeballs are still quite unique. But it’s still different in detail from shark skin, because it focuses more on the “endurance” feature.
Study Illustration – 2
Whale sharks not only have the entire “tooth-to-tooth” but also have what researchers describe as the powerful ability to “shrink the eye ball into the eye socket.” Given that whale sharks don’t have eyelids, such a survival defense mechanism makes sense.
This ability to adapt to the environment may be unique to whale sharks, the study suggests. But in other recent news, whale sharks have been included in one of the most metal-rich organisms in the ocean.