Watching Jaws just scared the living daylights out of me when I was young. I know a lot of people my age who are still petrified of sharks because of that film. ~ Ashley Scott
Indeed. After the first film of the Jaws franchise hit the screens, the word shark conjures up images of a Great White ominously lurking in the depths of the ocean - its partially open mouth displaying the twin rows of huge, sharp and pointed teeth filtering the waters, its massive snout tearing the tides, hungering for the faintest hint of blood and human scent.
Now, since it is the shark's teeth which has always served as the primary fear magnet (its swimming speed, keen sense of smell and ruthless killing tactics making it to the conscious mind way behind those pearly whites), I bring to you some very interesting details and facts regarding the teeth of one lesser known species, the blue shark. Before we begin, let me tell you what's so fascinating and different about blue shark teeth. Well, the answer lies in its diet. Read ahead to find out in detail!
Teeth of a Blue Shark
Picking up from where I left in the preceding segment, the blue shark's dental structure is based upon its dietary preferences. The blue shark mostly feeds on fish, squids, octopuses, shrimps, lobsters, cuttlefish, crabs and a few varieties of bony fish. Squids are a hot favorite with blue sharks! They are also known to feed on dead bodies of mammals that they comes across in their aquatic course and are occasionally known to hunt sea birds but these instances are rare and mostly occur when the blue shark is driven to feed on these due to absence of other sea food options.
Since its primary diet consist of squids and various fish and other slimy sea creatures that have slippery bodies, the teeth of a blue shark have serrated edges, enabling them to have a better grip on such food material which would, otherwise, slip out of reach. A very interesting fact about blue shark is the shape and size of the teeth in its upper and lower jaws. The teeth in the upper jaws differ in shape and magnitude than the teeth in the lower jaw of a blue shark.
The upper teeth are triangular in shape and curved inwards, giving them a very hook-like appearance. The edges are serrated and the bases of adjacent teeth often overlap. The lower teeth are less wide and triangular. They do not curve inwards and are straighter in appearance. Their edges are also serrated, though the serrations are finer than those on the upper teeth.
The serrated edges enable the blue shark to hold on to the slimy exteriors of slippery squids and fish by hooking each tooth into their skins at regular intervals, acting as anchors that keep the food from getting lost. Even edged teeth may capture such food but may not be able to hold on to it as the smooth edges would simple slip or pass over the slimy body surfaces, making it easier for the prey to escape or for other sharks and food-competitors to snatch the prey from their mouths. The teeth are arranged in rows that rotate into place as and when required. A fresh set of rows is always ready to take place of a worn out row that falls off.
Random Blue Shark facts
- Blue sharks are mostly found in temperate and tropical oceanic regions and often swim very close to shore in temperate oceans. When in tropical waters, blue sharks usually stay in the depths and very rarely rise to the surface or swim close to the shores.
- While mostly feeding on fish and seafood, blue sharks are known as opportunistic feeders and would not hesitate to take a bite of any other creature or a human being that has been attacked and wounded by other sharks or other larger marine carnivores.
- The biggest predator of blue sharks is humans, though younger individuals often get eaten by other larger marine carnivores. Human activities contribute to blue shark mortality mostly as a result of by-catch. Its flesh is eaten in some parts of the world though it is not that great a favorite among lovers of shark flesh. Most of its active hunting takes place owing to its value as a game fish rather than for food.
- On an average, an adult blue shark measures somewhere around 12 feet from nose to tail.
- Most blue sharks assume a darker shade as they grow older.
- A typical blue shark litter can consist of anywhere between 25 to 100 pups! The eggs hatch inside the body of the female, making it appear that she is giving birth to live pups.
The number of blue sharks is rapidly dwindling as a result of human activity in tropical and temperate continental waters. Also, attempts at keeping blue sharks in captivity have shown disastrous results as the captive sharks mostly die out within two to three months after being caught. Blue shark skin is highly regarded as a raw material for good quality leather, leading to its increased hunting. I am sure you enjoyed reading about blue shark teeth facts and details. Oh, and no need to thank me for those extra facts that I threw in, though!