Shark Week: Shark Teeth Facts You May Not Know

With the Olympics wrapping up on Sunday, it’s easy to get a bit blue about this week’s television programming. What could possibly top women’s gymnastics for drama or Michael Phelps for excitement? How could we possibly get our thrills without Usain Bolt smoking everyone again… and again… and again?

Thankfully, the Discovery Channel has us covered with one of the best (or worst) television experiences ever conceived. That’s right, this week is Shark Week. And not only is it Shark Week, it’s the 25th anniversary of Shark Week.

Michael Phelps might be fast… but a great white shark is faster. Michael Phelps might eat 12,000 calories per day… but great whites eat whole seals and may still be hungry afterwards.

To celebrate this glorious week of television programming, we’ve looked up a few facts about shark teeth that you may not know (and may not want to know if you plan on swimming in the ocean again).

For instance, did you know that…

  • Sharks shed their teeth throughout their lives. When one tooth falls out, one behind it simply moves forward to take its place. Large sharks such as the bull shark can have up to six sets of spare teeth waiting behind their fully-formed, functional set.
  • Unlike most animals, both of a shark’s upper and lower jaws move.  Therefore, when a shark bites, it bites in both directions.
  • The largest sharks, basking sharks and whale sharks, are some of the least dangerous. They feed on plankton and other small creatures by filtering water through dermal denticals which trap the tiny animals.
  • Shark teeth are some of the most common fossils in the world. When a shark dies, salt from the ocean dissolves its entire cartilage skeleton. Only the teeth remain for paleontologists to find later.
  • The fearsome shark from Jaws was actually named “Bruce” after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer. Bruce was not really one mechanical shark but three, one which only moved left-to-right, one which only moved right-to-left, and one that only did underwater scenes. The first time that Bruce was taken out to sea, it sank. The second time, his hydraulic system exploded. The third time he nearly ate Richard Dreyfus.

To learn more, great shark teeth facts, tune into Discovery Channel any time this week.

As for us at Greenspoint Dental, we’ll keep focusing on human teeth for the time being. If you’d like to schedule a teeth cleaning appointment, call our office today at 281.823.9987. Remember that kids who make an appointment in August will be entered into our back-to-school backpack drawing!