Articles, Blog


September 11, 2019

Why do sharks have different kinds of teeth,
and why do they have so many? I’m Jonathan Bird and this is Shark Academy! Different sharks feed on different things,
and so shark teeth have evolved along with sharks. Small bottom-dwelling sharks that
feed mostly on invertebrates have flattened teeth for crushing. Sharks that feed on fish typically have pointy
teeth designed to grab and hold slippery prey so it can’t get away, and the prey is swallowed
whole. The Mako and Sand Tiger shark have these kind of teeth. Sharks that feed on larger animals have more
saw-shaped teeth designed for taking bites out of larger prey. The white shark, Bull
shark and Reef sharks have teeth like this. The most extreme example of a cutting tooth
is the fossilized tooth of the extinct Megalodon shark, kind of like a prehistoric Great White
that was larger than any shark alive today, including the whale shark. The Megalodon had
the biggest teeth of any shark known. This is a set of jaws from a Bull shark and
in the front you can see the active row of teeth that the shark was using, but if you
look in the back, you can see, like a conveyor belt, there’s a steady supply of replacement
teeth ready to go as soon as one of those front teeth would break off or fall out. So
the shark had essentially an unending supply of teeth. In this way, sharks never run out of teeth
and they don’t need to go to a dentist! It’s estimated that some sharks go through 35,000
teeth in a lifetime! If you’re interested in sharks, don’t
go away! There are more than 30 Shark Academy episodes to watch! You can also join my underwater
adventures on Jonathan Bird’s Blue World! And don’t ever miss a new episode, subscribe

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