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GREAT WHITE SHARK TEETH & JAWS

A fully grown female (larger than an adult male) Great White shark is capable of producing a bite pressure of.....hrmmm, that's a good question. And as far as we know is still yet to be resolved. However, based on the experiments on shark bite pressure carried out by James Snodgrass and Perry Gilbert in 1965 (the paper was published in Sharks, Skates and Rays in 1967), we can say it's probably somewhere in the neighborhood of  40,000 lbs per square inch. Remember this is only my own guestimate of the jaw pressure exerted by a 25 foot Great White. Regardless of the actual figure, we can assume it's a heck of a lot.

Remember this photo?

Surfboards are soft right? Wouldn't take that much to bite a chunk out of a surfboard. Then remember that this perfect chunk was bitten out of this board WITH the surfer still on it. So she went through the surfer and this board. And in case you are wondering the surfer was Lewis Boren off the coast of California.

Lewis Boren surfboard with chunk taken out of it - Jawshark.com

So let's take a look at the hardware needed to make such devastating bites. The photo below is of two sets of Great White jaws. The jaws on the left are male. The jaws on the right are female. The size difference is apparent.

The jaws on the left are male. The jaws on the right are female. Jawshark.com

Like all sharks, the Great White will lose it's teeth many times over during it's lifetime. Because most of the Great White's diet is not entirely boneless the shark needs to be able to replace it's teeth if they are dulled or broken on hard bones. Teeth are manufactured by the animal out of tiny calcified cartilage "blanks" developed and literally drawn out of the interior of the jaw. These "blanks" move up and outward from their origin deep in the jaw to finally replace lost teeth. They start out very small and the teeth actually gain calcium and "grow" as they get ready to replace each lost tooth. This cycle is never ending.

The best analogy to describe this process would be to imagine a paddle wheel on a steam boat. Except the paddles are the shark's teeth. And instead of completing a full circle, all the "paddles" coming up to the front are brand new and stop when they get to the top. They finish going around again by just falling out.  I think the picture below best describes this process. This photo shows the lower jaw of a Great White. Each new tooth is razor sharp and ready to get down to business. It's an amazing process and I bet there are more than few of us humans that are jealous of ol Whitey and his relatives.......

Don't forget to brush your tee......Oh I see....well never mind then.

Close up of Great White Shark rows of teeth - Jawshark.com

Now let's take a look at the individual tooth of the Great White. Each tooth has super fine serrations on each side of the tooth. Being the amazing creature this shark is, the upper and lower jaws always seem to know where their opposite replacements are going to come in. This way, they don't have a problem meshing with each other as they shark bites down. Each tooth "interlocks" with it's corresponding tooth on the other side of the jaw. And the clearances between the teeth are such that whenever the shark chomps down there is very little room for anything but teeth. Whatever is in between is literally sheared away.  In fact you could say the teeth work very much like a pair of scissors. Except for the fact that they are traveling in opposite directions when they meet. And when you factor in the fact that once the shark bites down it begins to shake violently back and forth, one can see how devastating and powerful such a chomp can be.

                           Perfect large Great White Shark Tooth - Jawshark.com                                   Man holding perfect large Great White Shark Tooth - Jawshark.com

The two photos above are of a single pristine example of a Great White tooth. The one on the left is the anterior (front) of the tooth. The one on the right is the posterior (back) of the tooth. Everything about the shark has been designed by nature for speed and efficiency in the water. And this tooth is no exception. Notice the round curve of the front of the tooth. With this design the water moves easily past the teeth with little coefficient of drag. There is hardly any turbulence inside the shark's mouth. This is a perfect example of Great White shark tooth. The killing of Great Whites for their jaws and teeth is outlawed in many countries and should be outlawed completely even in international waters in my opinion. However, many sharks have been taken in the last few decades and it is still legal to buy, sell and possess Great White body part specimens. The fact is, there is a market for such items. I would personally like to own a large set of  replica jaws but even those are very expensive. If you are interested in Great White teeth I would recommend going one step further and seeking to obtain a Megalodon tooth. They are almost the exact same shape and design and the Megalodon tooth is in my opinion much more impressive.

Regardless of which type of tooth you might be looking for they can be expensive. The perfect Great White tooth above was recently sold for $10K. And because very few teeth are entering the marketplace these teeth just keep going up. A perfect Megalodon tooth will go for $500 to $1000. But you can find really nice ones for less than $300. I recently purchased the broken Megalodon tooth below on Ebay for less than $50.  

Large Megalodon tooth on my desk with tape measure - Jawshark.com

The nice thing about this tooth is you can still get a good idea of how large this shark was. The tooth above has a good four inches of serrated cutting edge on it. Five inches from root to tip. That is one big fish.

Anterior Side Megalodon tooth with stand - Jawshark.com

Seller was kind enough to throw in a stand. Works well with this broken tooth.

Megalodon Tooth Side View on stand - Jawshark.com

Check out the curvature of this monster. Gnarly. I love collecting this stuff. The really cool thing about this tooth is how heavy it is. Because it's basically fossilized it's more like a rock than a tooth. Everyone that sees it can't resist picking it up.

If you are looking to obtain a Great White or Megalodon tooth Ebay is probably the best place to find one. The prices are very reasonable.

Click on the link below and type in        Megalodon tooth

Get Meg teeth on eBay - Jawshark.com

Search the Internet for more Great White shark information.

 

Great White Shark Store - Jawshark.com

 

 

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