Of all the teeth in the animal kingdom, we think that shark teeth are some of the most fascinating! In honor of Shark Awareness Week in July, we want to highlight some impressive facts about the apex predators.
Similarities between shark and human teeth
Human teeth and shark teeth are visually and physically different. However, there are some similarities between them that may surprise you:
- Some shark teeth, like human teeth, have a central “pulp cavity” surrounded by dentine and hard enamel.
- Shark teeth leave behind a fossil record just like human teeth. Scientists have come to know about prehistoric sharks based only on the shape and size of fossilized teeth.
Differences between shark and human teeth
Although human teeth and shark teeth share some similarities, most of the features and mechanics are very different. Check out some below:
- Sharks have more than one row of teeth. Sharks can have up to 300 teeth in their mouths at one time.
- Sharks are constantly losing their teeth. Some sharks will lose up to 50,000 teeth in their lifetime.
- Sharks regrow their teeth in 24 hours.
- Shark teeth don’t have roots as human teeth do. Therefore, they are much more likely to fall out or break while they’re eating.
Other fun shark teeth facts
Shark teeth are pretty incredible! Evolution has changed the way sharks’ teeth function. The specific shape of a shark’s tooth will depend on what it eats. Sharks that eat more crustaceans have flattened teeth adapted to crushing prey. On the other hand, sharks that feed on fish have more sharpened teeth for catching fish.
*Updated July 2023