. . . the 40-centimetre-long predator has multiple layers of scales that first dissipate the energy of a strike, then protect against any penetration to the soft tissues below and finally limit any damage to the shield to the immediate area surrounding the assault.
Experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Boston, U.S., used nano-scale measurements to look at several scales that were harmlessly removed from a living fish. They found the scales – about 500 millionths of a metre thick – have four layers. The tiny shield was then put to the test, in a simulation of a biting attack.