Sharks can replace lost teeth in as little as 24 hours--Some sharks use up to 3,000 teeth in a lifetime! The Megamouth Shark has roughly 100 rows of tiny, numerous teeth in each jaw (only 3 rows are functional).

Since shark skeletons are made of cartilage rather than bone, they decompose rather quickly. Fortunately, their numerous teeth transform into long-lived fossils, providing scientists with information about their evolution.

The IUCN lists 79 species of shark as imperiled, due to over-fishing, hunting for their fins, meat, and oil, and habitat destruction. Many sharks are considered “apex predators,” meaning that they have no predators, and that they are at the end of their habitat’s food chain.

Apex predators play a crucial role in maintaining the health and balance of an ecosystem by keeping other animal populations in check.

All materials on this page by Julia Steiman