Just as shark's denticles vary in shape and size by species, so do their teeth! Shark teeth are specialized for the specific diet of said shark. Notched teeth that have serrated edges (e.g., tiger shark) are best for cutting through tough objects, like turtle shells. The shortfin mako, on the other hand, doesn’t eat turtles but slippery fish, which is why they have thin, long, pointy teeth that allow for jawsome grip. Great whites have narrow teeth that hold their prey, but serrations that allow for cutting (which occurs while shark shakes its head).
Remember the cuties down under (no, not the guys and gals - the sharks)? Port Jackson sharks have flattened teeth used for crushing their prey (that usually have a hard shell), whale sharks have teeth that allow for filter-feeding (yummy), and cookie cutter sharks have sharp teeth that allow for optimum chunk-snatching from unsuspecting prey.
See? Each shark has its own different set of teeth designed for its unique lifestyle. Sharks can have up to 3,000 teeth in their mouth at one time—and lose them all the time, too! Some lose individual teeth while others, like the cookie cutter, lose a whole entire row. Sharks can lose up to 30,000 teeth in their lifetime… well, hey, no need to go to the dentist since you’ll lose them anyway! What a money saver!
“So wait, if shark teeth fall out so often, does that mean shark teeth are not in their jaws, like ours?” Yup, shark teeth aren’t embedded in the jaw at all! Pretty neat, huh?
Sharks may lose teeth for a number of reasons - due to hard bones or just because it’s time for that tooth to go, for example.
Sharks have multiple rows of teeth, with new teeth popping up behind the older rows; I like to explain it like a conveyer belt.
Just to clear something up up:
Sharks don’t 'chew' their food, but swallow large chunks whole! Their teeth just tear away at whatever it is they’re eating.
This also goes for those bottom dwellers that crush their meaty morsels.
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