Sharks are some of the most feared creatures in the ocean, and for a good reason! These apex predators have razor-sharp teeth that can easily take down prey.
- But how many teeth do sharks actually have?
- What kind of shark has the most teeth?
- Do they all have them in their mouths, or do some sharks have them in their gills?
Sharks come in all shapes and sizes and have various features that make them unique. One question that people often ask is how many teeth sharks have.
Let’s take a closer look at this topic to find out!
Like most other fish, sharks have teeth used to grip onto prey. These teeth can be made of different materials, including cartilage, calcium phosphate (a chemical found in bones and teeth), or keratin (the same material making up your nails).
Most shark species have multiple rows of teeth that are constantly being replaced as they fall out. When a tooth falls out, it is immediately replaced with a new one. It is widespread for sharks to lose several hundred teeth in their lifetime.
|Type of Shark||Total Teeth (Average)||Extra Info|
|Great White Shark||3000||30,000 teeth in its lifetime|
|Tiger Sharks||48||24 teeth Upper Jaw, 24 on the Lower|
|Bull Sharks||350||50 Rows, 7 teeth each|
|Leopard Sharks||100||55 teeth Upper Jaw, 45 on the Lower|
|Nurse Shark||72||30 teeth Upper Jaw, 42 on the Lower|
|Angel Shark||38||9-9 tooth Upper jaw and 10-10 Lower|
|Basking Sharks||1500||6 Rows Upper Jaw, 9 on the Lower|
|Blacktip Sharks||99||23-28 teeth Top jaw and 21-27 Bottom|
How Many Teeth Do Great White Sharks Have?
The Great White Shark has the most teeth of any shark species. These sharks have approximately 3000 sharp triangular teeth about 6.6 inches high.
These sharks have multiple rows of teeth situated in several different parts of their mouth. The two central rows are found on either side of the upper jaw, with the third row being located behind them.
Further back in the mouth are another set of teeth located at the top and bottom of both sides of the lower jaw.
Scientists believe these incredible creatures can go through more than 30,000 teeth in a lifetime.
How many Teeth Do Hammerhead Sharks Have?
The Hammerhead shark has 17 tooth rows on each side of its upper jaw and 2-3 teeth in the center of the jaw. They have around 16-17 teeth on either side of the lower jaw, with 1-3 at the midline.
How many Teeth Do Tiger Sharks Have?
Tiger sharks have about 24 teeth on their top jaw and 24 on their bottom jaw. These teeth are usually around 1 inch long.
Each tooth has a hollow center that helps the shark constantly lose its teeth and allows for replacement. Their teeth also have serrated edges to help them cut through flesh.
The shape of their mouth is similar to a hook, so they can quickly bring their prey into their mouths.
How Many Teeth Do Bull Sharks Have?
Bull sharks can have over 350 teeth at any time, with an average of 50 rows containing 7 sharp pointed teeth each.
Like all other species of sharks, bull sharks lose teeth as they age and gain new ones.
A bull shark will test bite at anything that moves within its reach, and its teeth tell the tale.
They will embed their cusp tips into another creature during an attack, allowing researchers to determine what sort of prey they were pursuing and whether they were successful.
How many Teeth Do Leopard Sharks Have?
The Leopard Sharks have between 55 teeth on their upper jaw and 45 teeth on the lower. These sharks have different rows of teeth that are constantly being replaced with new ones.
They dissected a few sharks and counted the markings on their vertebrae to determine this number.
How Many Teeth Do Nurse Sharks Have?
The Nurse Shark has around 30 to 42 teeth in the upper jaw and 28 to 34 teeth in the bottom. Their teeth are located on their jaws, but they also have small hooks behind both of their eyes.
Nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) don’t chew their food; instead, they tear off pieces with their bottom teeth and swallow them whole.
How Many Teeth Do Angel Sharks Have?
Angel Shark’s teeth are so sharp they can cut through any food in seconds. The 9-9 tooth rows on their upper jaw and 10-10 on their lower jaw make these perfect animals predators who need little time to eat and then swish away again!
How Many Teeth Do Basking Sharks Have?
The Basking Sharks have around 1500 teet. The upper jaw has 6 rows of teeth, while the lower jaw has nine.
They do not use these teeth to chew and swallow food but instead use them as a filter for plankton!
When they open their mouth, water with tiny animals come in. Then the animal closes their mouth and pushes the water back out.
How Many Teeth Do Blacktip Sharks Have?
Blacktip Sharks have 23-28 teeth on the top jaw and 21-27 teeth on the bottom. These sharks have several rows of teeth that are constantly being replaced as older ones break or fall out.
How Many Teeth Do Megalodon Sharks Have?
Megalodon Sharks have 276 teeth in total, and their teeth were 6.9 inches long!
Megalodon had more giant teeth than the Great White Shark, but it made their teeth less sharp because they were thicker.
The shape of the Megalodon’s teeth is the main difference between the Great White and Megalodon. Great Whites have broad triangular-shaped teeth that are great for cutting. In contrast, Megalodon had an elongated blade-like tooth, perfect for suction.
Why Do Sharks Have So Many Teeth?
Sharks have evolved to swivel out rows of teeth and lose some in the process called polyphyodonty.
The teeth are replaced by new ones that rotate into place, allowing sharks to keep eating even when parts of their jaws break off or get bitten off during an animal fight.
When there are too many teeth, the older ones shift forward to make room for new rows.
Why are Shark Teeth Flat?
Shark teeth are flat because they need to crush the shells of hard-shelled prey.
The most common example of a shark that needs this type of dental feature is a blue shark, which eats mollusks and crabs regularly throughout its life cycle.
How Many Teeth Do Baby Sharks Have?
Baby sharks start life with about two dozen sharp teeth, but as they grow and mature, they lose those teeth and develop new ones to replace them.
The number of rows of teeth varies from shark species to species and by age.