There are many different kinds of sharks, so discovering their teeth can leave you with lots of questions. You might risk even the scariest nightmares for a JAWS movie night but watching it won’t really give you accurate answers about shark tooth facts and shark tooth identification. Some of the most common questions people ponder when broadening their shark tooth collection are:
- Why are some shark teeth black?
- How many teeth do sharks have?
- How do shark teeth fall out?
- Are shark teeth fossils?
- How and where can you find shark teeth?
- How to tell if a shark tooth is real?
- How do baby shark teeth differ from adult shark teeth?
- Why are shark teeth so special?
- What is the rarest type of shark teeth?
- What is the largest shark tooth?
No need to stress about your beachfront finds any longer! We’ve got all things shark teeth identification covered, so you’ll have the best shark tooth collection known to man or woman.
1. Why are Some Shark Teeth Black?
When identifying shark teeth, the most popular teeth you’ll find are black ones. Black shark teeth get their color from absorbing minerals during fossilization. An awesome shark tooth fact is that sharks have been around for millions of years; way before us humans! You can identify remains of sharks, most often by identifying the shark’s teeth. A shark tooth will disintegrate over time unless it becomes fossilized; this is why it’s so common to have a shark teeth collection that is all black.
If the shark tooth gets buried, it will be preserved for a longer time, since being buried prevents decomposition by oxygen and bacteria. A cool shark teeth fact is that when they are buried in sediments, they absorb surrounding minerals.
After absorbing minerals the teeth turn:
It’s a common shark tooth fact that fossilized shark teeth from a zillion years ago are black, but do any of the sharks roaming the ocean today have black teeth? All present-day sharks actually have white teeth; the color is similar to us humans. You might identify shark teeth that are a little bit creamier and not as shiny as ours though. They don’t make those fancy LED tooth whitening lights for sharks! A shark teeth fact to keep in mind is that sharks with black teeth are those that have been extinct for many years.
2. How Many Teeth Do Sharks Have?
Sharks pack a big bite, and they have rows of teeth to prove it. Since scientists have studied shark teeth facts, we know that sharks have about five rows of teeth and can have as many as 3,000 teeth at once (try to sleep soundly with that image in your mind tonight). Sharks are born with teeth, so they’re ready to attack from the moment they enter the vast ocean. Since their teeth don’t have roots, they fall out easily, but this isn’t a big deal for sharks. The constant loss and replacement of their teeth is what makes shark tooth identification so common. They constantly produce new teeth to replace the lost ones, hence the multiple rows of sharp and scary chompers in their shark tooth collection.
Sharks are such vicious eaters that they can lose up to 100 teeth per day; they’re lucky they never run out! Their endless supply of teeth makes it easy for us to keep growing our shark tooth collections.
The rate at which a shark loses their teeth depends on what they like to snack on, so it can vary from shark to shark. Unlike human teeth, which are the only part of the human body that can’t heal themselves, the shark teeth can heal and replenish on their own to keep the shark thriving. An astounding shark teeth fact is that they can grow and use over 20,000 teeth in their lifetime!
Sharks are known for their big chompers, but did you know the teeth in your shark tooth collection don’t actually chew like humans do? Sharks use their pearly whites to grab, hold, and rip their prey. Once the shark grabs its prey, it swallows its food whole. Swallowing your food whole wouldn’t fly at your family dinner, but sharks have different protocols than humans when it comes to table manners. Throughout history, shark teeth facts show that the creatures have developed mighty strong jaws that store their big collection of shark teeth, give them a powerful bite, make them a powerful predator of the ocean.
3. How Do Shark Teeth Fall Out?
We know that losing teeth is no biggie for sharks, but how exactly do they lose them? It’s a shark tooth fact that the number of teeth they lose and how often they lose them depends on the individual shark. Collections of shark teeth are attached to the gums by soft tissue instead of a firm root like human teeth. Since the tissue is soft, sharks lose their teeth easily and often. Sharks count on the loss of worn and broken teeth and replacement with new, sharper shark teeth collection to stay on top of their hunting game.
Anything can cause a shark’s tooth to fall out, from getting a little too aggressive when hunting their lunch to chipping their tooth on a rock. We humans would probably lose our minds if our teeth started falling out, but most shark teeth facts prove that their teeth are actually pretty healthy. A shark’s tooth produces its own fluoride, whereas a human tooth needs outside sources of fluoride to thrive.
4. Are Shark Teeth Fossils?
If you’ve checked out our fabulous collection of Megalodon tooth fossils or other shark teeth, you’re probably wondering, “Are shark teeth really fossils?” If you’re an expert on shark teeth facts, or have been following along, you already know that certain shark teeth can fossilize. When a shark dies and its cartilage dissolves, teeth fall to the bottom of the ocean, getting covered with sandy sediment. The sediment prevents oxygen and destructive bacteria from reaching the tooth, and eventually, in about 10,000 years, ta-da! You have a fossil and can identify the shark tooth.
If you find a shark tooth that’s embedded in a rock, you can almost guarantee it’s a fossil. Other ways to identify a shark tooth and determine whether your shark tooth is a fossil is by its color. If you have a darker colored shark tooth in your collection, it’s probably fossilized. Fossilized or not, we know you’re just eager to find these shark teeth. So how do you do it?
5. How and Where Can I Find Shark Teeth?
Now that you know some more shark teeth facts, you’re probably ready to start looking for them everywhere you go. We guarantee you won’t find a Megalodon tooth during a swim in the lake, a dip in your pool, or while relaxing in your bathtub. Sharks are almost always found in oceans, very few live in freshwater.
The best places to identify shark teeth are in:
- North Carolina
Next time you’re on vacation, keep your eyes peeled to broaden your shark tooth collection. If your idea of a relaxing vacay is a trip right to your own couch, don’t worry about missing out on the shark tooth fun! Just throw on some Shark Week shows or your favorite JAWS sequel and browse our collection of shark teeth.
When you’re on the hunt for a shark tooth, the easiest way to spot one is by training your eyes to spot small, black, triangular objects. Even though you can identify shark teeth in a variety of different colors, black ones are the most common and are the easiest to spot on the beach or in the water. When looking out for a triangular shape, make sure a broken black shell doesn’t fool you. A shark tooth will have a shiny and smooth crown. If you’re still not convinced that you’ve got a real one, what shark teeth facts do you need to know to you determine the authenticity of a shark tooth?
6. How Can I Identify if a Shark Tooth is Real or Fake?
When you’re roaming the sand filled with broken shells and rocks or strolling through the endless isles of shark tooth necklaces in the hotel gift shop on vacation, it can be hard to tell whether or not your shark tooth collection is real. People often use the art of shark tooth identification to create jewelry and decorations. Sometimes, however, people use a replica shark tooth for ethical or cost reasons.
Fake shark teeth are replicas of the real deal. These replicas are made to match the look, and even the feel, of a real shark or Megalodon tooth. Fake teeth tend to look flawless or porcelain since they haven’t been through a week of gripping other large aquatic animals and swallowing them whole.
Fake shark tooth collections are made from various materials such as:
When you find a real shark tooth, it will be cold to the touch. Authentic Megalodon teeth have grooves that are distinctive and small imperfections that fake ones wouldn’t have.
7. How Do Baby Shark Teeth Differ from Adult Shark Teeth?
Baby shark, do-do-do-do! Just kidding, but really, shark teeth facts prove that baby sharks still have razor-sharp teeth. They’re just a bit different from the teeth of their moms and dads. The babies actually need to be born with a collection of shark teeth so they can survive their siblings, who will gobble each other up in the womb; maybe that’s just their version of tough sibling love? They still shed their teeth in the womb, and they will start to grow more layers of teeth as they get older.
Adult sharks are the ones with rows of vicious teeth. As all you shark tooth experts know by now, they still shed pearly whites from their shark tooth collection once they’re out of the womb and into the great depths of the ocean. A Megalodon tooth can’t really get more damaged over the years like humans’ can since they get replaced so often.
8. What Makes Shark Teeth So Special?
Still not convinced that you should start a shark tooth collection?? Here’s some more shark tooth facts that will have you de-cluttering your desk to display your shark tooth collection in no time.
Shark teeth facts prove that the creature’s chompers have tons of uses. Typically, they are decorative and can adorn jewelry pieces. Thousands of years ago, people used shark tooth identification to choose shark teeth as weapons or spearheads since they’re so strong and sharp. We definitely don’t recommend trying to make a DIY spear next time you add to your shark tooth collection, but their rich history gives them such a unique and special energy. People would also make tools out of shark teeth to cut food, dig, and carve wood.
Sometimes you can identify shark teeth that are sought after. They are popular to sell and trade by collectors and enthusiasts. The most valuable shark tooth fossil to find is that of a Megalodon. If you’re an avid collector, you can display your shark tooth collection to add a beautiful touch to your home. Plus, sometimes you can identify rare shark teeth, which is like hitting a gold mine.
9. What is the Rarest Shark Tooth?
You would think that since sharks lose their teeth, identifying shark teeth is super common, right? Actually, it’s extremely rare to identify shark teeth that are still white. An important shark teeth fact to note is that most of the ones you’ll find on the beach or in the ocean are a darker shade. Sharks have been around for so long that it’s more common to identify shark teeth that are fossilized than white ones.
As previously mentioned, the rarest type of shark tooth to find is a Megalodon tooth. Since they’ve been extinct for so long, they are hard to come by. A Megalodon tooth can sell for hundreds of dollars or more, which seems like a lot. However, remember that you’re getting an artifact from a creature who hasn’t been on Earth in millions of years. Some of the rare Megalodon teeth in our collection are almost as big as your palm!
10. What is the Largest Shark Tooth?
There’s only one shark tooth that could take up the mass of your entire hand: the Megalodon tooth. Dun dun dun! Even though the most gigantic fish to ever live went extinct millions of years ago, we’re lucky enough to learn about them through Megalodon teeth. A Megalodon tooth is enormous compared to other shark teeth, but their shape, size, and texture are fairly similar.
If you get your hands on a Megalodon tooth, it will probably be around four to five inches in size. On some rare occasions, they have been found at up to a whopping seven inches. The biggest identified Megalodon shark tooth was found in Peru and was almost seven and a half inches! They had about 276 teeth at a time in five rows. We don’t know for sure since we can’t dive into the ocean and take a look for reference, but reconstructions of the Megalodon’s jaw suggests that it may have been up to seven feet across. Shark tooth facts have shown that they had such big mouths that whales were like an appetizer for them. They typically preyed on whales and other big marine mammals like sea lions and sea cows. No wonder their Megalodon teeth were so big!
You can identify Megalodon shark tooth fossils in places like Europe, Jamaica, Cuba, Australia, Japan, India, and more. Based on these shark tooth facts, it seems like Megalodons weren’t picky about their homes as long as they were warm enough and had enough food to survive. Check out our collection of Megalodon tooth fossils to feel their spirit live on.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your beach bag and your magnifying glass because the shark teeth collection is calling your name. Happy shark tooth hunting!