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Yikes! Whale Sharks Have Teeth on Their Eyeballs! – Veterans Today

Whale Sharks Have Tiny Teeth on Their Eyeballs

by Nora McGeevey/Smithsonianmag.com

Whale sharks are known as gentle, bespeckled giants that swim in tropical seas and scoop up plankton with their cavernous mouths. According to new research, they also have a sharp eye—literally: their eyes are covered in tiny teeth.

The “dermal denticles” are modified, tiny teeth that cover the whale shark’s eyeballs, according to marine biologists from Japan’s Okinawa Churashima Research Center, who published their discovery in PLOS One Tuesday.

Whale sharks and other shark species have dermal denticles that cover their bodies and act like scales, according to the Smithsonian Institution’s Ocean Portal. The tiny, V-shaped pieces decrease drag and turbulence as sharks glide through the water, which helps them swim faster. They can also provide protection against other sharks who might bite them, reports Bob Yirka for Phys.org.

Eyeball teeth, however, probably serve as protective armor against the elements, reports George Dvorsky for Gizmodo. Whale sharks’ eyes have no eyelids and poke out on either side of their heads, which makes them vulnerable to exposure.

“Considering that these tissues are exposed and that whale sharks lack eyelids; the eye surface is less protected from mechanical damage than other regions of the body that are covered with mineralized dermal…read more:


Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013

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