Can You Identify Sharks Based on Their Teeth?


There are over 500 known species of sharks in our oceans, all of whom have unique and fascinating sets of teeth that are specialized to meet the needs of their unique diets and feeding habits. So yes, sharks can be identified based on the shape of their teeth because each species has distinct dental characteristics. 

Interestingly, one thing all shark species have in common is that their teeth constantly replace themselves throughout their lifetime: when a shark’s tooth falls out, a tooth from a subsequent row moves forward to replace it. This tooth conveyor belt means that damaged or worn teeth will not hinder the feeding abilities of sharks as they age. Some sharks can lose up to a whopping 35,000 teeth throughout their lives! 

Did you know that shark teeth are the only bony part of a shark’s body? Sharks belong to a group of fish known as elasmobranchs, which includes rays and skates. Unlike most fish, which have skeletons made of bone, elasmobranchs have skeletons made of cartilage. Cartilage is a flexible, durable material that is lighter than bone, providing sharks with better buoyancy and maneuverability in the water.

Shark teeth, however, are composed of dentin, a calcified tissue that is harder and denser than cartilage, making them well-suited for their role in feeding. The outer layer of the teeth is coated with an even harder enamel-like substance, which helps in dealing with the wear and tear from their diet.

Nurse shark teeth – CC: Florida Museum of Natural History

The set of teeth pictured above is from the bottom-feeding nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum), whichpreys mostly on small fish, stingrays, mollusks, and crustaceans. The nurse shark’s primary method of catching prey is through intense suction rather than grasping prey with their teeth, so they therefore have many rows of small teeth that they use for gripping prey they have suctioned into their mouths.

Whale shark teeth – CC: D. Ross Robertson

These pearly whites come from the graceful, gentle giant known as the whale shark (Rhincodon typus). Despite its filter-feeding nature, the whale shark possesses up to 3,000 tiny teeth in its mouth at once, the purpose of which remains a mystery to researchers today.

Caribbean reef shark teeth – CC: D. Ross Robertson

The set of jaws pictured above is from the Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezii). This shark feeds primarily on reef fish, cephalopods, crustaceans, and smaller elasmobranchs like the yellow stingray and eagle ray. As opportunistic carnivores, the reef shark’s teeth are pointy and serrated, which allows them to easily grasp fast-moving prey. 

Shark teeth are among the most commonly found fossils due to their frequent shedding and durable composition, which preserves exceptionally well over millions of years. Some shark teeth fossils are over 400 million years old, providing valuable insights into the ancient history of these creatures.

These fascinating aspects of shark teeth highlight the unique adaptations that have enabled sharks to become highly effective predators in aquatic environments. From their rapid tooth replacement to their varied shapes and sizes, shark teeth reflect the extraordinary evolutionary journey and ecological success of these animals. 

It is crucial to discourage the purchase of shark teeth as this directly contributes to the ongoing fishing and exploitation of sharks worldwide. Sharks face numerous threats including habitat degradation, climate change, and overfishing driven by demand for their teeth, fins, and other products. By refraining from buying shark teeth and advocating for shark conservation, we can all help reduce the demand that fuels these unsustainable practices.

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Asistente de comunicación (Internship)

MarAlliance es una organización internacional sin ánimo de lucro registrada en EE.UU., Belice, Panamá y Cabo Verde, cuyo objetivo es explorar, facilitar e inspirar cambios positivos para la fauna marina amenazada, especialmente tiburones y rayas, sus hábitats críticos y las comunidades humanas dependientes. Nuestra misión es amplia y ambiciosa, y trabajamos en tres idiomas y en siete países de tres regiones. Ante el declive de muchas poblaciones de megafauna marina, estas especies necesitan una voz fuerte, eficaz y con base científica que las represente para ayudar a los socios dependientes a dar forma a las estrategias y acciones de gestión y conservación para invertir el declive.

Resumen del puesto:

Buscamos a un becario (6 meses) proactivo, con conocimientos digitales y excelente capacidad de redacción y edición de textos, que apoye la creación de contenidos escritos de alta calidad y recursos multicanal para difundir el trabajo que MarAlliance realiza a través de sus plataformas en línea (sitio web, redes sociales, boletín, entre otras) y fuera de línea, y que interactúe con nuestro público externo para contribuir a nuestros objetivos generales de comunicación y marketing. El Asistente de Comunicación dependerá directamente del Coordinador de Comunicación y Marketing, y trabajará en estrecha colaboración con el resto del equipo para apoyarles en los elementos de comunicación de su trabajo.

Las funciones y responsabilidades incluirán, entre otras, las siguientes:

  1. Proporcionar apoyo creativo, editorial y operativo a los proyectos. 
  2. Apoyo en la organización, etiquetado y etiquetado del archivo fotográfico y gestión del archivo de vídeo.
  3. Gestión de la comunidad: Gestionar activamente los canales de medios sociales, así como identificar nuevas tendencias y oportunidades de colaboración. Generar reels y visuales.
  4. Apoyo en la redacción de artículos de blog (SEO) y contenido de boletines. 
  5. Ayudar a construir y desarrollar materiales, herramientas y acciones para campañas (online y offline).
  6. Ayudar en diferentes tareas relacionadas con la comunicación trabajando mano a mano con contratistas externos (desarrollador web, diseñador gráfico…) para mejorar el compromiso de las audiencias externas.
  7. Apoyo en la elaboración de informes de campañas y comunicaciones (Google Analytics, métricas de redes sociales, informes de marketing por correo electrónico).
  8. Como parte del Equipo de Comunicación de MarAlliance, apoyar al Coordinador de Comunicación y Marketing en cualquier otro proyecto de comunicación, coherente con las habilidades y experiencia del titular del puesto, en circunstancias no rutinarias.

Experiencia, conocimientos y aptitudes requeridos:

  1. Licenciatura en comunicación, periodismo, marketing o cualquier disciplina relacionada.
  2. Experiencia en comunicación digital o marketing.
  3. Pasión e interés por la naturaleza, la vida marina y la conservación.
  4. Capacidad demostrada para redactar y presentar comunicaciones creativas.
  5. Presencia y conocimientos de medios sociales y digitales.
  6. Capacidad para realizar múltiples tareas y detectar buenas historias.
  7. Capacidad para trabajar a distancia y cumplir los plazos establecidos.
  8. Conocimientos de diseño gráfico deseables, pero no necesarios.
  9. Conocimientos de edición de vídeo deseables pero no necesarios. 

Salario y prestaciones:

Estipendio durante 6 meses.


Español, con fluidez en inglés


Nacionales o residentes de Panamá, Belice, México, Honduras, Guatemala.

Este contrato será a distancia dentro de las zonas horarias de América, flexible, a tiempo completo y desde casa con hasta un 10% de viajes ocasionales locales e internacionales.

Cómo presentar la candidatura:

Por favor, envíe su currículum, portfolio si lo tiene, y carta de presentación a con “MAR-CA_Apellido” en el asunto antes del 21 de marzo, 2024. No se admiten llamadas.

Communications Assistant (Internship)

MarAlliance is an international non-profit registered in the US, Belize, Panama and Cabo Verde that aims to explore, enable and inspire positive changes for threatened marine wildlife – notably sharks and rays – their critical habitats and dependent human communities. Our remit is broad and ambitious, and we work in three languages and across seven countries encompassed by three regions. In the face of declines in many populations of marine megafauna, these species need a strong, effective, and science-based voice to represent them to help dependent partners shape management and conservation strategies and action to reverse declines.

Position summary:

We are seeking for a proactive, digitally savvy Paid Intern (6 month) Communications Assistant with excellent writing and copy editing skills, who will support the creation of high-quality written content and multichannel assets to broadcast the work MarAlliance does through its online (website, social media, newsletter, among others) and offline platforms, and engage with our external audiences to contribute to our overall communications and marketing goals. The Communications Assistant will directly report consistently to the Communications and Marketing Coordinator, and work closely with the rest of the team to support them on the communications elements of their work.

Duties and responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  1. Provide creative, editorial, and operational project support. 
  2. Support organizing, labeling and tagging the photo archive and video archive management.
  3. Community Management: Actively manage social media channels, as well as identify new trends and collaboration opportunities. Generate reels and visuals.
  4. Support with writing blog articles (SEO) and newsletter content. 
  5. Help build and develop materials, toolkits, and actions for (online and offline) campaigns.
  6. Assist in different communications-related tasks working hand in hand with external contractors (web developer, graphic designer…) to improve the engagement of external audiences.
  7. Support in campaign and communications reporting (Google Analytics, social media metrics, email marketing reports)
  8. As part of the MarAlliance Communications Team, support the Communications and Marketing Coordinator with any other communications projects, consistent with the skills and expertise of the post holder, in non-routine circumstances.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills Required:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing or any related discipline.
  2. Experience working in digital communications and or marketing.
  3. Passion and interest for nature, marine life and conservation.
  4. Proven ability to write and deliver creative communications.
  5. Social Media and digital presence and knowledge.
  6. Ability to multitask and spot good stories.
  7. Capable of working remotely and meeting established deadlines.
  8. Graphic design skills are desirable but not required.
  9. Video editing skills are desirable but not required.

Salary and benefits:

Stipend for 6 month.


English, Spanish are mandatory.


Panama, Belize, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala nationals or residents. 

This contract will be remote within the Americas time zones, flexible, full-time and home-based with up to 10% occasional local and international travel.

How to apply:

Please send your resume, portfolio if you have one, and cover letter to with “MAR-CA_Last name” in the subject line by 21st of March, 2024. No calls please.