SeaWorld’s 10 Most Interesting Shark Teeth Facts For KidsJuly 10, 2018
- Sharks’ Mouths Are Basically Teeth Factories. Shark teeth grow in conveyor belt-like series and rows, with the biggest teeth facing outwards. Over time, the smaller teeth in the back grow and move up, replacing the ones in front.
- 50 Rows of Bullish Biting Action! While most sharks average between 5-15 rows of teeth, the aggressive Bull Shark comes in at 50, making their mouths
amphitheaters of doom for other sea dwellers. No wonder they’re considered the most dangerous sharks in the world!
- Whale Sharks Have 3,000 Chompers. But if you’re taller than two inches, you have nothing to fear—Whale Shark teeth are for filter-feeding plankton, krill and fish eggs.
- No Need For Dentists... Covered in fluoride, shark teeth are naturally cavity-resistant. Unfortunately for their prey, sharks still prefer sea critters over candy.
- ...Or Baby Food. All sharks are born with teeth. They need them to survive their brothers and sisters, who will gobble each other up in the womb. Talk about sibling rivalry!
- A Feature Hockey Players Might Like: Because shark teeth aren’t attached to gums on a root like ours, they lose on average a tooth a week. Also unlike humans, each lost tooth can be replaced within a day.
- Just Jaw-full! Unlike most animals who have upper jaws that are firmly attached to their skulls, sharks bite with both their upper and lower jaws. Bad news for quick swimmers: that upper jaws also detaches, allowing sharks to thrust their entire mouths forward when attacking for a bite with a bigger reach.
- Shark Teeth Are Black Because They Sink. Once out, shark teeth fall to the floor and are covered by sandy sediment that protect them from bacteria and rotting. These minerals are absorbed by each tooth and replace its dentine and enamel, causing the resulting fossil to take on the sediment’s color.
- Bankrupting the Tooth Fairy: A fossilized Megalodon tooth is worth $300 on average. Imagine finding that under your pillow!
- Fossil Long Time: Shark teeth take about 10,000 years to fossilize. While you’re waiting, drop by our 700,000-gallon aquarium to see a vast array of sharks up close and ‘in-the-fang’. We’ll even let you touch one of our small live sharks—they won’t bite, we promise!
Despite their toothsome reputation, most sharks are harmless to humans. We hope that viewing sharks first hand in Shark Encounter®, one of the world’s largest underwater viewing tunnels, will turn any misunderstandings people may have for our fascinating friends into admiration and respect.