The arapaima has evolved scales tough enough to defend against razor-sharp teeth, a great feature for military body armour.
- The U.S. Air Force is studying arapaima fish to determine how they can survive in piranha-infested waters.
- The arapaima evolved a unique scale design that helps it resist piranha bites, including up to 1.7 million pounds per square inch of pressure.
- This biomimicry technology could lead to more flexible armor for troops or vehicles, including aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force studied how an Amazonian fish can survive in the same waters as schools of deadly piranha. The arapaima, a slow-moving, torpedo-shaped fish should be easy prey for a pack of the carnivorous fish but it isn’t—thanks to the set of scales it’s evolved over millions of years. The Air Force hopes studying the scales could lead to better protection for humans and airplanes.