Flying creatures are not the only natural teachers that are schooling modern aviation engineers. Sharks have a groovy skin that allows them to glide through the water with the greatest of ease. Engineers copy these grooves in the hull design of aircraft in order to reduce wind drag and increase speed and efficiency.
Engineers are on a constant quest to reduce airplane noise. A number of creatures are giving lessons on how to keep the flying machines from disturbing the peace. The pistol shrimp emits a loud crack sound to stun prey and confuse predators while tuning the frequency out of his own brain. Bees position their honeycombs in a certain way to dampen sound. Owls are experts of stealth and silent flight. Engineers are also taking a close look at creatures such as cicadas, butterflies, and fish to provide some insight on how to develop potential noise reduction technology. Some of the ideas include retractable brush fringe and serrated engine casings.