How Do You Perform Shark Tooth Identification?

perform-shark-tooth-identification Credit: Jesús Argentó Raset / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

To identify shark teeth, make a note of the tooth's identifying characteristics and compare it with literature or pictures of shark teeth. You need a magnifying glass to help review the tooth. Written and pictorial information helps identify most teeth.

  1. Look at the shark tooth

    Using a magnifying glass, look closely at the shark tooth in question. Make note of its size and shape, as well as any major identifying characteristics.

  2. Notice if the edges of the tooth are serrated

    Serrated edges on shark teeth typically belong to white sharks, tiger sharks, bull sharks and hammerhead sharks. White shark teeth look strongly triangular, while tiger shark teeth look notched and flattened. Bull shark teeth also possess a triangular appearance, but are stubbier. Hammerhead shark teeth look similar to white shark teeth, but have a narrower end towards the point. Unserrated, widely triangular teeth usually belong to the mako shark. Narrower, unserrated teeth typically belong to a lemon shark.

  3. Check if the tooth is long and pointed

    Long, narrow and sharply pointed teeth belong to sandtiger sharks. These teeth have a very recognizable appearance, which includes small cusplets at either end of the base.

  4. See if the tooth has an unusual shape

    The sixgill shark has uniquely shaped teeth that resemble a comb. It also has sharp, fang-like teeth in the upper part of its jaw.