I have always envied sharks. They have an endless supply of teeth. When one is lost, another one simply replaces it. And sharks have no bones- they are all cartilage. Who wouldn’t mind having a little more cartilage- knees, anyone?
Now, researchers publishing in the Journal of Structural Biology* have discovered that shark teeth are coated in 100% fluoride. So, no cavities! What a beautifully designed eating machine. Perhaps studying the development of shark teeth might lead to something that could help our weaker human teeth.
I know those of you that watched much of ‘Shark Week’ on Discovery are probably still having nightmares, but sharks are a very important part of our ocean ecosystem. They are being hugely and cruelly over-fished just for their fins to make shark fin soup. Hopefully this trend will change- we need the sharks!
Keep flossing, DrB
*Thanks to Megan Garber, at The Atlantic, for citing the study.
**photo taken at Isla Morada- I didn’t catch the shark, but I’m always up for posing with one! This particular shark was gently held until he had recovered from the hour-long fight, and then released. Rick, our fishing guide, literally held him by the nose, claiming it calms the shark (and he/she didn’t fight while held that way). You would not catch my fingers anywhere near those teeth! If you want Rick’s number, call me. He is a fish whisperer, and especially good at finding tarpon.