Shark teeth are made of enamel, are strong and appear in huge numbers in the fossil record. Sharks defend themselves immediately after birth, so they are born fully equipped. They have many rows of teeth which are constantly being replaced. Ensuring they always have a full set of razor- sharp pearly whites. Sharks replace their teeth approximately every 2 weeks and some species, like the Great White Shark, can lose 60,000 teeth in their lifetime! We can tell what a shark eats by the shape of its teeth. Flat crushing teeth are perfect for eating shellfish, pointed teeth for gripping fish and sharp serrated teeth for larger prey, such as seals. The teeth may change with age as the diet of a pup may differ to that of an adult.
Fins provide balance and stability in the water. Sharks have a large dorsal fin which provides balance. Usually they’ll also have a smaller dorsal fin further back towards their tail. The shark’s pectoral fins are used to steer and lift themselves in the water and their tails are used to propel themselves forward. The size and shape of a shark’s fins and tail can vary greatly. Faster sharks, such as the Shortfin Mako, tend to have shorter half moon shaped tails. Whereas, slower moving sharks, such as the Broadnose Sevengill Shark, have longer thinner tails. Sadly, high demand for shark fins has contributed to the decline of many shark species.