What makes sharks such finely tuned biting machines? Their choppers, of course. In honour of Shark Month at the Discovery Channel, we’ve compiled a list of fun facts about shark teeth. Sink your teeth into these nuggets:
- The outside of shark teeth is made of fluoride, which is the active ingredient in most toothpaste. This means that shark don’t ever get cavities.
- Sharks may have up to 3,000 teeth at one time, and their teeth are constantly regenerating. Some species grow up to 35,000 teeth in their lifetime. This means that sharks never run out of teeth.
- You can calculate the size of a shark based on the size of one tooth: measure the length of the tooth in inches, then multiply by ten to get the total length of the shark in feet.
- Sharks have a unique jaw design that allows their jaw to protrude beyond their snout.
- Sharks are unable to chew their food, so they gulp it down in larger pieces.
- Great white sharks have serrated teeth that are highly prized, which makes them a target for trophy hunters.
- Cookiecutter sharks are smaller sharks that take bites shaped like ice cream scoops.
- A prehistoric shark relative called the Helicoprion had circular teeth shaped like a chain saw.
- Shark teeth have the same general structure as human teeth, with enamel on the outside, dentine and a central pulp.
- Despite being made of different materials, shark teeth and human teeth are equally hard.