The fiery creature posing menace to ships sailing on seas and underwater divers is a subject of research for scientists. Movies have been made where fight between shark and human beings have entertained spectators to the helm. The mere view of its huge jaw opened wide, exposing its sharp teeth is extremely ferocious. And thus, studying the anatomy of shark teeth is no doubt an interesting subject.
Facts about the Sand Tiger Shark Teeth
Sand tiger shark, also known as gray nurse shark in Australia, inhabits coastal areas of different parts of the world and is known by the scientific name Carcharias taurus. Due to the characteristic pattern on its tooth, it is identified as spotted ragged tooth shark. Sand tiger sharks are hunted for preserving its tooth in aquariums and also for the purpose of analyzing the components of its teeth. But the question here is 'how many teeth does a sand tiger shark have'. There are 44-48 teeth in the upper jaw while the lower jaw contains 41-46 teeth. The corners of their mouth is crowded with numerous small teeth and this renders a cruel look to them. Their teeth is uneven and it protrudes in all directions from their mouth. Even if their jaw is closed, their teeth projects outside from the mouth. The spots on their teeth is quite distinct and their roots are curved. The pointed ends of the teeth is their sole defense organ and the ends are long and slightly curved. The basic anatomy of the teeth is almost same for different types of species. The main crown is surrounded by two small cusplets in some species while others have more than two narrow cusps, that are laterally placed. The cusplets are not much strong and they tend to break with age or due to injury. The anterior set of teeth is separated by intermediate teeth, having clearly visible marks on them.
Sand tiger sharks also have dermal denticles that are spaced at a considerable distance from each other. The denticles are ovoid lanceolate in shape and they have three ridges. The posterior portion of the ridges are flat while anterior part has sharp ends. The axial ridge is prominently marked and it supports the remaining two ridges. The size of the denticles and teeth depend on the length of the species. Denticle size ranges from 0.016 inches by 0.018 inches in species measuring 3 feet. Basically, sand tiger sharks are docile species and its their arrangement of teeth that makes them look so dreadful. The average size of tiger sharks ranges from 4 to 9 feet while sharks as big as 10.5 feet has also been found. Such species have long teeth that are pointed and highly curved.
They are often kept in aquariums owing their timid nature and adaptive behavior with other species. Sand tiger species attack human beings and other creatures only when provoked. It's their defense mechanism and they use their sharp teeth for this purpose. Speaking about their appearance, this bulky creature has a conical and flat snout. It's mouth is considerably big that extends beyond its ears. It has a complex fin arrangement wherein the dorsal fins arise near pelvic fins and the pectoral fins are placed far away from the dorsal fins. Their skin color ranges from light green to brown and their lower body is grayish white in color. If you look for some more facts about the sand tiger, then you will find that they carnivorous in nature. Their food comprises different types of fish species, like herrings, bony fish, flatfish, bluefish, etc. They also feed on crabs, squids and small sharks. When kept inside aquariums they are trained with cooperative feeding in which every shark gets equal share.
Their teeth being an interesting feature derives so much attention from human being. If you are eager to see the arrangement of their teeth in reality, then you must visit a shark museum where samples have been preserved.