Selection of over 12 shark teeth with illustrations. Spanning several different species of shark. Covering shark families Carcharoles, Lamnidae, Odontaspidae, Hemigaleidae and Carcharhindae.
Most sharks do not chew their food, but gulp it down whole it in large pieces. The teeth are arranged in rows; when one shark tooth is damaged or lost, it is replaced by another.
Sharks may have up to 3,000 teeth at one time. Most sharks have about five rows of teeth at any time. The front set is the largest and does most of the work.
Below are some tooth illustrations belonging to several different species of shark:
The largest and most impressive of the extinct sharks was C. megalodon. Finds can range from one to three inches long, and are fairly rare intact.
C. megalodon (the really big guy!)
Isurus sp. (Mako Sharks) teeth range from 1/4" to two inches long. One of the more plentiful finds.
hastalis (extinct Mako Shark)
xiphodon or Xiphodon ensis (extinct Mako Shark)
desorii or I. oxyrinchus (Shortfin Mako Shark)
These are the narrow toothed Lamniforms, Difficult to distinguish from I. desorii's anterior teeth except for the small side cusplets.
Odontaspis species (Sand Tiger Shark) - Delicate teeth prone to breakage.
Carcharias species (Sand Tiger Shark) - More robust than than O. cuspidata.
C. Taurus (extant Sand Tiger shark)
This family of ground sharks are the most diverse and numerous modern order. They are by far the most common finds.
Hemipristis serra (Snaggletooth shark) - 1/4" to 2" long.
Negaprion brevirostris (lemon shark) -1/8" to 1" long.
Rhizoprionodon and Phylogaleus species (sharp-nosed sharks) - Tiny, 1/8" long.
Galeocerdo species (tiger sharks) are usually less than 1" and not very common.
G. aduncus (extinct tiger shark)
G. contortus (tiger shark)
Carcharhinus species (bull, dusky, gray and black-tipped sharks) are abundant, but hard to distinguish from each other and lemon sharks, ranging from 1/10" to 1" long.
Carchahinus leucas (Bull shark)
The sharks that can really do a lot of damage to humans are the ones with large triangular shaped upper teeth with serrated edges. These teeth are made for tearing flesh. Long pointy teeth are made for holding prey before swallowing. That's why sharks with long, narrow teeth don't consider divers their dinner!