Whale Shark Teeth

Whale Shark Tooth

Whale Shark Tooth

In our next episode of The Riddle Solvers, we find an ancient journal with a riddle about shark teeth, and we go on quite a journey to find various kinds of teeth. I have been busy collecting props for the movie (from sea captain costumes to shark-themed bedding to actual shark teeth).  I just received two whale shark teeth in the mail . . . and I knew they would be small. But wow. I am absolutely blown away by how tiny they are, and how the biggest fish in the ocean has such tiny teeth.  For those of you not familiar with whale sharks, they can reach lengths of over 50 feet (over 15 meters) and mostly feed on small plankton. They are HUGE, but they don’t need big teeth, and they don’t have big teeth. They have very, very tiny teeth. We are definitely going to need a good macro lens to film this part of the movie. In fact, I specifically ordered two whale shark teeth, because I know if we accidentally drop one in the sand while filming, we are going to have a very hard time finding it.

I propose that instead of saying “It’s like finding a needle in a haystack,”  people say, “It’s like finding a fossilized whale shark tooth in the sand.”–  Laura Sams

4 thoughts on “Whale Shark Teeth

  1. Technically this isn’t really a “tooth”. It’s one of hundreds of “dermal denticles” that line the gill plates making it possible for the biggest fish in the world to filter all but organisms larger than 2-3 mm in diameter. There is a photo of the denticles at

    1. It is true that the whale sharks have modified gill rakers that act as filtering pads. However, whale sharks actually do have many tiny teeth lining the lips at the front of the mouth. These teeth are not used for feeding, but may still be used for mating behavior.

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