Sharks’ spiral-shaped intestines resemble a Nikola Tesla invention

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Spiral intestine

A CT scan of the spiral intestine of a Pacific spiny dogfish shark (Squalus suckleyi)

Samantha Leigh/California State

Sharks have spiral-shaped intestines that work in a similar way to an unusual valve designed by Nikola Tesla. Studying their anatomy could help improve industrial fluid-pump technology.

Most animals have tubular intestines that use muscle contractions to push food along like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. But sharks slowly channel their meals through spirals without needing muscles to push the food. Their intestines are also shaped in a way that only allows food to flow one way – like a performance-enhanced Tesla valve, says Samantha Leigh at California State University Dominguez Hills.

“Sharks have all these different little tweaks to the Tesla valve…

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