Shark Teeth

Great White SmilingIt is said that sharks have the most powerful teeth in the world. The front jaw of a great white shark has app

roximately 9,200 newtons (2000 PSI) of power and the back jaws have a power of 18,200 newtons (4000 PSI). The shape and size of a shark’s teeth vary according to their diet and specie. More dangerous and carnivorous sharks, like the great white shark, tiger shark, have pointed teeth for grabbing and tearing. Sharks that are more bottom feeds, like the zebra shark, have more flatten teeth for crushing.

The size of teeth varies greatly species to species. The largest teeth among sharks, is of the megalodon shark, living between 25-1.6 million years ago. Teeth of this shark can reach a height of 7 inches.

Shark Teeth

Unlike humans, sharks often have more than one row of teeth. The bull shark has an amazing 7 rows of teeth, but most sharks only have 5 rows. The outer most rows are the functional row and the inner rows are replacements. As teeth fall out the inner rows move up to replace the lost tooth.

Sharks shed teeth throughout their life but the teeth are replaced quickly. Some may even be replaced within 24 hours. It is estimated that sharks use approximately 34,000 teeth in their lifetime. The nurse shark will typically replace it teeth every two weeks while it is actively feeding in the hot summer months and about every other month in the cold months when it is less active.
When a shark dies, the cartilage dissolves and the only thing that is left are the teeth. These teeth fall to the bottom of the ocean and are deposited in sedimentary rocks. The teeth can remain there for 10,000 years without rotting.

In America and the Oceania, shark teeth were utilized as tools, mainly on clubs and daggers. They were also used to carve wood and were utilized as knifes in ancient times. Tribes used shark teeth to sharpen their swords and tip their arrows. The “Red Indians” and the “Native Hawaiians” have also used shark teeth for different purposes.

Shark teeth have helped ancient civilizations for many purposes, from cuttiFossilised_Shark_Teeth_2ng food to sharpening swords. Nowadays, these teeth are more of a collector’s item, and they are sold for huge sums of money and also to make jewelry. However we should realize that killing sharks for their valuable teeth might not be a good idea, as this may endanger their specie and end their rule over the sea.