|Is it possible for a shark not to have teeth?|
|Question Date: 2018-10-18|
It is possible for a shark to have no
teeth, either by not having teeth to begin
with or through losing them. There are a few types
of sharks which fall in the former category, such
whale sharks and basking sharks. Both of
these are filter feeders that strain their food
from large volumes of water, similar to
While a shark which normally does have teeth
could conceivable lose all of them, this would
take an uncommon event. The toothlessness wouldn't
last too long either (I think, and assuming the
shark can survive for some time without teeth),
constantly lose and replace their teeth
throughout their lives.
There are a number of shark species that do not
have teeth. For example, the basking shark
second largest shark in the world and
a diet of plankton. It swims through the water
with its giant mouth open and filters the
from the water with "gill rakers". Isn't it
amazing that a shark as large as a school bus
survives on creatures that aren't much bigger than
a tip of a pencil!? And all without the need
Theoretically, yes, but all of the sharks that I
am aware of - even things like whale sharks and
manta rays - do have teeth.
All sharks (that I know of) have teeth,
unless they have some kind of disease or
health problem which is causing them to lose teeth
or not grow any (and any
shark without teeth would probably starve quickly
since it would not be able to
hunt), but some sharks may have specialized
teeth which do not really look like
teeth. It depends on what they eat!
like the sand tiger shark which eat
fish have long, skinny, pointy teeth designed for
catching their slippery prey.
Sharks like the Epaulette shark which feed on
invertebrates on the sea floor
have plate-like teeth which are designed for
crushing the shells of they prey.
Sharks like the great white shark, which eat seals
and other mammals, have
serrated teeth for ripping out chunks of flesh
from their prey. And finally sharks
which feed on krill and plankton like the basking
sharks have tiny teeth which
they don’t even use - instead they filter
water through their gills to catch prey.
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