How Many Teeth Does a Great Hammerhead Shark Have

how many teeth does a hammerhead shark have

Hammerhead Sharks also known as Sphyrnidae, are the most distinctive and easily recognizable marine animal. They are extremely shy shark species and they do not attack people unless they are disturbed or feel threatened. These species live in tropical and temperate water worldwide and migrate to cooler waters during summers. The most distinguishing feature of these species is their flattened hammer-shaped heads known as cephalofoil. One of the distinctive features of Hammerhead Sharks is their eyes; they have special eyes that provide 360-degree vision but they cannot see the front view.

The most well-known shark among nine species of Hammerhead Sharks is the Great Hammerhead Shark-Sphyrna mokarra; It is the largest Hammerhead Shark species with an average length of 4.6 meters. It is easy to distinguish them from other Hammerhead species since they have a straight hammer-shaped head with a little indentation in the middle. They use their hammer-shaped head and powerful teeth to hunt their prey. 

In this comprehensive guide we will discuss the following outline:

  1. What Type of Teeth Are Found in Great Hammerhead Sharks?
  2. How Many Teeth Do Great Hammerhead Sharks Have?
  3. What is the Great Hammerhead Shark’s  Average Tooth Size?
  4. How Strong is the Bite Force of a Great Hammerhead Shark?
  5. How Great Hammerhead Sharks Hunt Their Prey?
  6. Where to Find the Teeth of the Great Hammerhead Shark?

What Type of Teeth Are Found in Great Hammerhead Sharks?

Sharks need strong and sharp teeth to crush and attack their prey. The species of shark differ in number and type of teeth based on their diet. The Great Hammerhead Sharks feed on octopus, fish, and other marine animals. They can’t open their mouths wide. These species have a unique set of sharp, highly serrated, triangular teeth in the front of the mouth, while larger and flattened in the back. These teeth are adapted for handling both soft-shell and hard-shell prey, which is the primary diet of these sharks.

How Many Teeth Do Great Hammerhead Sharks Have?

The number of teeth for each shark varies; normally sharks have 50 to 300 teeth and 15 rows of teeth in their jaws. The Great Hammerhead Sharks are powerful predators with an impressive set of teeth. They have mouths on the underside of the heads with 17 rows of teeth on either jaw. The number of teeth varies on either point. The Great Hammerhead Shark has 37 teeth in both jaws and apart from that they also have 3 teeth in the middle line of the upper jaw. There are also 1 to 3 teeth in the center of the lower jaw; this means that the Great Hammerhead Shark can have up to 300 teeth in its mouth at once.

The sharks lose teeth while hunting their prey and quickly replace them within 24 hours. On average, the sharks shed one tooth in a week and they have 50,000 teeth in their entire life. Just like other shark species, the Great Hammerhead Shark shed more than 20,000 teeth over their lifespan. When it loses one tooth, it is quickly replaced by the tooth from the backup rows.

What is the Great Hammerhead Shark’s Average Tooth Size?

Normally, the teeth of sharks can grow 1.3 to 5 cm and the most commonly found shark is around 4 inches. The longest tooth of a shark is measured about 7 inches. It belongs to the megalodon shark and is almost three times longer than the modern sharks. The teeth size of the Great Hammerhead shark is less than the other shark species. The average tooth size of the Great Hammerhead Shark is 1.9 cm which is best to catch the slippery prey.

How Strong is the Bite Force of a Great Hammerhead Shark?

Just like the number of rows and type of teeth, the bite force is important that each shark has. The bite force for each shark is unique depending on their habitat and teeth. The Great Hammerhead Sharks have a strong bite force no one can imagine. Although they have small teeth, this bite force is enough to tear apart the prey within seconds.

They are powerful predators with a bite force of 539 psi. This powerful bite force makes it one of the five sharks with the strongest bite force. The other sharks with powerful bite force are the Tiger Shark, Great White Shark, Bull Shark, and Shortfin Mako Shark.

How Great Hammerhead Sharks Hunt Their Prey?

The Great Hammerhead Sharks are the hunters of night; they use their hammerhead and needle-like teeth to detect and better grip their prey and tear them apart. The head of these species contains special electrical receptor sensors. Using these sensors they can sense and detect nearby prey. They can also use these sensors to find stingrays or other living creatures hiding in the sand or seabeds.

Where to Find the Teeth of the Great Hammerhead Shark?

The Great Hammerhead Shark’s teeth are less common compared to the other shark species and sometimes they might be overlooked due to their extremely small size. The fossil teeth of the Great Hammerhead Shark can be found in the Miocene and Pliocene deposits. 

The color of the teeth of the Great Hammerhead Shark is white and you can also find the teeth of these shark species near the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Sometimes, when a shark loses its teeth, it may sink to the ocean floor and turn dark as a result of fossilization. Most people find the dark teeth of the sharks near the river beds, the dark color indicates that they have been fossilized.

Final Thoughts

The Great Hammerhead Sharks are fascinating ocean creatures and are the largest shark species of Hammerhead Shark. These species have a distinctive tooth set that enables them to find their food in the ocean or to defend themselves. They have short needle-like serrated teeth with an average size of 1.9 cm. Although the Great Hammerhead Sharks have small teeth, they have one of the most powerful bites with a bite force of 539 psi, which is enough to attack their prey. 
The Hammerhead Sharks have sharp razor teeth with a powerful bite but they are not involved in shark attacks on humans. Most species of Hammerhead sharks are small and don’t pose any threat to humans. The enormous size of the Great Hammerhead Shark makes it dangerous for humans and few attacks have been recorded.

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