Shark tooth

Fossil shark teeth (Cretaceous) from southern Israel.
Elementorum myologiae specimen, 1669

A shark tooth is one of the numerous teeth of a shark. Sharks continually shed their teeth; some Carcharhiniformes shed approximately 35,000 teeth in a lifetime, replacing those that fall out.[1] There are four basic types of shark teeth: dense flattened, needle-like, pointed lower with triangular upper, and non-functional. The type of tooth that a shark has depends on its diet and feeding habits.

In some formations, shark's teeth are a common fossil. These fossils can be analyzed for information on shark evolution and biology; they are often the only part of the shark to be fossilized. Fossil teeth comprise much of the fossil record of the Elasmobranchii, extending back to hundreds of millions of years. A shark tooth contains resistant calcium phosphate materials.[2]

The most ancient types of sharks date back to 450 million years ago, during the Late Ordovician period, and are mostly known by their fossilised teeth.[citation needed] However, the most commonly found fossil shark teeth are from the Cenozoic era (the last 66 million years).

  1. ^ "Shark teeth".
  2. ^ "Fossil folklore".