Reports

Shark Skin: Function in Locomotion

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Science  17 Nov 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4369, pp. 747-749
DOI: 10.1126/science.202.4369.747

Abstract

Hydrostatic pressure under the skin of sharks varies with swimming speed. Stress in the skin varies with the internal pressure, and the skin stress controls skin stiffness. Locomotory muscles attach to the skin which is thus a whole-body exotendon whose mechanical advantage in transmitting muscular contraction is greater than that of the endoskeleton.