SHARK ANATOMY
Tiger shark

SHARK TEETH

Sharks may have up to 3,000 teeth at one time. These teeth are modified placoid scales that have the same structure as a tooth, having an outer layer of enamel, dentine and a central pulp cavity.

Most sharks do not chew their food, but gulp it down whole it in large pieces. Their teeth are not able to chew food, but only to tear it into mouth-sized pieces. Some bottom dwellers crush the shell of their prey, but still do not thoroughly chew the food like we do.

SHAPES
Sharks teeth come in many different shapes and sizes, as they are used to catch and kill different prey.
REPLACEABLE TEETH
The teeth are arranged in rows; when one tooth is damaged or lost, it is replaced by another. Most sharks have about 5 rows of teeth at any time. The front set is the largest and does most of the work. Behind the front row of teeth is a second smaller row of teeth, then a third row, and a fourth and a fifth. The last row of teeth, the smallest, is positioned almost flat against the shark's mouth. As a front tooth is broken or worn down, it falls out and is replaced by a tooth in the next row. The sets of teeth rotate forward and a new tooth forms in the rear.

The front-row teeth of the nurse shark are replaced every 10-14 days in the summer when the shark is actively feeding, and every one to two months in the winter when the shark is less active.

FOSSILIZED TEETH
Sharks teeth are the most likely part of its body to fossilize since they're composed of bone. Many fossilized sharks teeth have been found, including that of megalodon. Megalodon (Carcharodon megalodon) was an ancient, meat-eating shark, living between 25-1.6 million years ago; it is extinct. It was over 40 feet (12 m) long, but this is only an estimate from fossil teeth that have been found. Its teeth resemble those of the great white shark but are almost 3 times larger.





Enchanted Learning®
Over 35,000 Web Pages
Sample Pages for Prospective Subscribers, or click below

Overview of Site
What's New
Enchanted Learning Home
Monthly Activity Calendar
Books to Print
Site Index

K-3
Crafts
K-3 Themes
Little Explorers
Picture dictionary
PreK/K Activities
Rebus Rhymes
Stories
Writing
Cloze Activities
Essay Topics
Newspaper
Writing Activities
Parts of Speech

Fiction
The Test of Time
iPhone app
TapQuiz Maps - free iPhone Geography Game

Biology
Animal Printouts
Biology Label Printouts
Biomes
Birds
Butterflies
Dinosaurs
Food Chain
Human Anatomy
Mammals
Plants
Rainforests
Sharks
Whales
Physical Sciences: K-12
Astronomy
The Earth
Geology
Hurricanes
Landforms
Oceans
Tsunami
Volcano
Languages
Dutch
French
German
Italian
Japanese (Romaji)
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Geography/History
Explorers
Flags
Geography
Inventors
US History

Other Topics
Art and Artists
Calendars
College Finder
Crafts
Graphic Organizers
Label Me! Printouts
Math
Music
Word Wheels

Click to read our Privacy Policy

E-mail Busy Little Brains
CD-ROM


Enchanted Learning Search

Search the Enchanted Learning website for:



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Advertisement.





Copyright ©1998 EnchantedLearning.com ------ How to cite a web page