Reasons Why Shark Have So Many Teeth
One of the most notable features of sharks is the sheer amount of razor-sharp teeth lining their jaws. In fact, depending on the species, sharks can go through several thousands teeth in their lifetime. While sharks don't hold the title for the animal with the most teeth, they rank high up on the list. But have you ever wondered why in the world sharks have so many teeth in their mouth? After all, other animals and fish can get by just fine with a fraction of the amount of teeth that sharks have, so why do sharks need so many? If you're wondering the answer to this age-old question, keep reading and we'll explain why sharks have so many teeth.
What Does The Inside of a Shark's Mouth Look Like?
Unlike most other animals and fish, the inside of a shark's mouth has several rows of teeth lining the jaw. Depending on the species, they may have anywhere between 5 and 15 rows consisting of hundreds of teeth. Now, it's important to note that when a shark loses a tooth, the one behind it comes it to take its place. This process doesn't happen instantly, but it usually replaces it within 24-48 hours.
As you can expect, sharks are constantly losing and replacing teeth throughout their lifetime. When a shark rams and tears into prey using their highly-serrated teeth, it can either knock them out or make them loose enough so they fall out later. Thankfully, this doesn't affect the shark, as new ones are ready to replace it within just a couple days time.
Do Sharks Really Need So Many Teeth?
One of the primary reasons why sharks have so many teeth is due to how their exoskeleton is built. Many people are surprised to learn that unlike most other fish, the exoskeleton of shark contains no bones; instead, they are made almost entirely of tough cartilage. This allows the shark to swim with greater speed and agility through the water, which is necessary for them to catch fast-moving prey. However, this also means that there's no bone for the teeth to anchor down into. Most animals, and people, have bone in their jaws which hold the teeth securely in place. On the other hand, sharks only have cartilage wrapped around their jaw to keep their teeth intact, which allows them to move and loosen more easily.
The bottom line is that sharks need more teeth than other fish and animals because they aren't mended into bone. The cartilage does keep them inside the shark's mouth, but they are fairly loose and fall out without much effort. In fact, it's not uncommon for shark attack victims to find teeth embedded in their body. Because sharks have so many teeth in their mouth, replacing the lost ones is quick and easy, leaving the shark with no downtime.
As humans, we may not know all the reasons why sharks have so many teeth, but scientists and marine biologists agree that it's necessary for their survival. Without bone to hold their teeth in place, they simply fall out too easily. Hopefully this article sheds some light on this issue and gives you a better understanding on the subject.