Fossilized Shark Teeth: A Hot Buy Following Shark Week

2014 August 18
by Jasper Sterling

shark-teethPeople have rediscovered their love for sharks.  Every year Discovery Channel airs its week long dedication to the infamous and sorely misunderstood shark.  Here is some quick information about the notorious shark, shark teeth fossilization, and how to sell shark teeth in your shop.

About Sharks

Sharks belong to the phylum chondrichthyans.  One of the key features of species classified under this phylum is that their body structure is mostly comprised of cartilage.  Sharks share this phylum with skates and rays; however, sharks are certainly one of the most feared species fitting this classification.

Despite their menacing appearance, sharks are very beautiful and complex creatures.  People regain their respect for sharks by learning more about them and how unique of a group they are.  One way people acknowledge the power and incredible physicality of sharks is by owning one of their very large and sharp teeth.

One of the few parts of a shark’s body that actual calcifies is their numerous teeth.  When a shark dies, the cartilage in its body breaks down very quickly; however, the enameled teeth often become fossilized in the ocean sediment.  Different minerals present in the sediment fill the small pore spaces in the shark teeth in a process called per mineralization that fossilizes the teeth as well as lends unique color to each tooth.

Can I Tell What Type of Shark Tooth I Have?

Diet, species, age, sex and genetics can all influence a shark’s teeth making it extremely difficult to identify what type of tooth you have.  In most species the upper and lower teeth are completely different. Just like with human teeth, shark teeth are also different depending on where they are located in the shark’s jaw.  Teeth can also change depending on the age of the shark.  The size, shape, and morphology of the tooth can change as a shark’s diet shifts throughout its lifetime.  Sex also influences the shape and size of a shark’s tooth.  Females can have smaller teeth than males.  Finally, as with humans, shark’s can have malformed or misshaped teeth from poor diet or genetics.

Where do Shark Tooth Fossils Come From?

Sharks shed many teeth throughout their lifetime.  Several thousand teeth can come from a single shark.  A rare find is a whole jaw bone from a shark that died and was quickly covered with sediment, preserving the whole jaw.  Fossilization takes thousands of years.  Most fossilized teeth are found in dried up sedimentary rocks that were once located at the bottom of the ocean.  Common locales for shark teeth include Florida and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.   Of course these aren’t the only locations but are common spots for fossil hunters to search out.

Selling Shark Teeth

Clever displays are a sure-fire way to get someone interested in a purchase.  With so many items in a rock or souvenir shop it is a good idea to put the smaller ones in an easy-to-see display.  One of our best selling displays is our Poly-resin Shark Head.  It’s eye-catching and includes small information cards for the interested buyer.  It measures 10″W X 6″H and comes with 150 each of our Fossil Shark Teeth.

Because shark teeth can be delicate, keep them on higher shelves.  This puts them more at eye-level with adults and keeps them out-of-reach from kids who might accidentally break, lose, or mis-place them.

People love to support a cause.  Offer to donate a part of your profit to a shark fund. For example, the World Wildlife Fund helps protect and support several species of Sharks.




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