Some Facts You Might Not Know About Shark Teeth

December 22, 2015

If you can’t wait for next year’s shark week to get your fix of facts and close-ups of sharks and other ocean animals, we’ve got you covered. Today, we’re giving you some facts about sharks’ teeth you may not have known. Here are some facts about sharks’ teeth that may surprise you.

  • Unlike human teeth, shark teeth are not attached to gums on a root.
  • Due to the tough ocean life of being a shark, a shark will typically lose at least one tooth per week. They either become stuck in prey or are broken and forced out.
  • shark teethAlthough they lose teeth often, shark teeth can be replaced within a day of losing them.
  • Different types of sharks have a different number of rows of teeth. The average is 15 rows of teeth in each jaw. Most have five rows, but the bull shark has a whopping 50 rows of teeth in each jaw.
  • The shape of a particular type of sharks teeth depends on their diet. For example, the shortfin mako shark, also known as the blue pointer, has razor like teeth designed to tear flesh and the zebra shark has dense flattened teeth ideal for eating mollusks.
  • Sharks are born with complete sets of teeth and swim away from their mother to fend for themselves.
  • Scientists have recently discovered that shark teeth contain fluoride. Also, the coating of shark teeth is acid resistant and less water soluble than human teeth. As a result, sharks never get cavities.
  • The inside of both shark and human teeth contains a soft mineral known as dentin, and although sharks teeth are more acid resistant, shark teeth and human teeth are equally as hard.
  • Well after a shark dies and its body decomposes its teeth will fossilize. This process takes about 10,000 years and the most common shark teeth fossils found are from 65,000 years ago.
  • The largest shark teeth fossils ever found came from the megalodon, an extinct shark from the Cenozoic era. The teeth range in size from 31/2 – 7 inches long.

For more facts and fun kids’ activities on shark teeth, go to www.kidzone.ws/sharks/facts2.htm.

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