11/14/2014 08:38 am ET Updated Nov 14, 2014

Oops! Looks like someone has stepped on a fish...


If you've ever watched documentaries on sharks or have watched them out in the water, you've probably noticed their smaller companions, remora fish. These fish attach themselves to the larger marine creatures including sharks, turtles, manta rays and the like for an easy mode of transportation, to gain the protection provided by being one with the bigger animal, and for food. Yet their hitching on to a shark causes no harm to the shark itself. That's the aspect of remora fish that scientists are most interested in -- how do they achieve such a solid attachment without damaging their host?


Researchers from Georgia Tech are taking a closer look at the top of remoras' heads, at the structure and tissue properties of the area that adheres to the host, and hope to make a bio-inspired adhesive with the same qualities.

The remora’s suction plate is essentially a specialized dorsal fin which has become a disc covered by connective tissue which seals the fish to its host. "The intricate skeletal structure enables efficient attachment to surfaces including sharks, sea turtles, whales and even boats,"