How Many Teeth Do Sharks Have?

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Sharks are fierce and have dreadful teeth. When you are in on an adventurous trip, you are always careful whether a shark is seen around. What makes shark so ferocious is its teeth. They can tear the skin and organs of any living organism. You might be wondering, “How many teeth do sharks have?” Shark’s teeth are a delight to read about, as they have a variety of properties. In this article, we have tried to compile all the relevant facts about shark teeth to keep the exploration interesting for you. Let us begin.

How Many Rows Of Teeth Do Shark Have?

How Many Teeth Do Sharks Have

The number and rows of teeth in shark may differ from species to species in sharks. The number of rows in each jaw may vary from 5 to 15, depending upon the species. Shark teeth are not strong like human teeth because they do not have roots, at all. So each tooth falls in about one week. Every time a shark bites on a big creature, it loses several teeth.

Once the teeth fall, the developing teeth replace them. Generally, a shark has about fifty working teeth in its mouth, at a time. Also, the teeth at different stages of development, present in the mouth of a shark, are approximately 300. Due to the higher rate of loss of teeth, the sharks have more than 50,000 teeth in their whole lifetime.

Types And Functions Of The Teeth:

Different sharks can be classified on the basis of the teeth they have and the functions such teeth perform in consuming their prey. They are as follows:

Needle-like Teeth

Sharks that have needle-like teeth, generally feed on small and medium fishes, or on smaller sharks. These teeth are designed to grip their narrow and slippery meals. Bull sharks and blue sharks have such teeth. These sharks feed on flounder, squids, stingray etc.

Dense Flattened Teeth

Such teeth are helpful in crushing the prey effectively. Sharks having such teeth can easily prey on crustaceans and bivalves. Angel sharks and nurse sharks have such teeth. Their flat teeth make cutting open the shells of their prey. Generally, such fishes reside at the bottom of the ocean floor due to the abundance of their prey, in this region.

Triangular Upper Teeth & Pointed Lower Teeth

Such a combination of teeth in some sharks helps them to cut large prey into smaller segments, which will make the swallowing of the meal easier. The Great White sharks have such teeth. They prey mostly on other sharks, dolphins, sea lions and small whales.

Non-functional Teeth

The sharks having such non-functional teeth feed only on planktons. They only filter the tiny prey through their teeth. Whale shark and basking shark are such sharks.

Interesting Facts About Shark:

  • Sharks do not have roots in their teeth for attachment to the gums.
  • All sharks lose one tooth a week, at least.
  • Most of the times shark teeth are stuck to their prey or come out while eating. So they lose their teeth.
  • In most of the animals, only lower jaw can move. But in sharks, both jaws are movable.
  • The skin of gums in sharks acts like a conveyer belt which arranges an easy replacement of the lost teeth by the developing one.
  • Generally, any teeth will be replaced within one day in sharks.
  • Sharks have 5 to 15 rows of teeth in each jaw, in general. But some sharks like the bull shark can have up to 50 rows, in each jaw.
  • You can easily gather shark teeth in some oceans. But it is illegal in many countries to keep shark teeth without a licence.
  • The teeth of the sharks fossilize after the death of the shark and decomposition of its body.
  • A shark tooth takes around 10,000 years to fossilize. Till now, the most commonly fossilized shark teeth found were from the Cenozoic era, which occurred 65,000 years ago.
  • Venice in Florida is called the “shark capital of the world.”
  • Surprisingly, sharks have a complete set of teeth when they are born.
  • The shape of the teeth in shark is determined by the types of their prey. For instance, tiger sharks possess piercing teeth that can tear the flesh of animals, while zebra sharks have flat and dense teeth to feed on creatures like molluscs.
  • Whale sharks have up to 3000 little teeth, but their use is very negligent. They mostly feed by filtering their prey through their gills.
  • The megalodon sharks have teeth ranging from 31/2 to seven inches in length. They can even be more than a pound in weight.
  • It was recently discovered that shark tooth also contains fluorides.
  • Cavities do not occur in shark’s teeth.
  • Dentin is a soft mineral that is present in the teeth of the sharks, as well as humans.
  • Compared to human teeth the coating of shark teeth is less water-soluble. Their teeth are also acid resistant.
  • In terms of hardness, shark teeth and human teeth are similar.
  • In ancient times, shark teeth were used as tools and weapons by human beings.
  • Sharks have a very strong sense of smell, which makes them such successful predators. It is discovered that two third of their brains work to sense smell.
  • Most of the sharks have a mirror-like layer over their eyes, which help them to have a better view in the clear water and murky water.
  • The “lateral line” is a line of canals in a shark’s body that allows it to feel vibrations with the help of water.
  • Sharks can also sense electrical coming field from their prey’s body through an unusual organ known as “ampullae of Lorenzini.”
  • Common types of shark are Zebra, Wobbegong, White Tip Reef, Whale, Tiger, Thresher, Spiny Dogfish, Sandtiger, Nurse, Mako, Hammerhead, Great White, Goblin, Cookiecutter, Bull, Blue, Blacktip, Blacktip Reef, Baskin and Angel Sharks.

We hope that this article provided you satisfactory information on “How many teeth do sharks have?” If you want to share any other interesting facts about sharks, feel free to drop them in the comment box given below.

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