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Sharp teeth always available: nurse sharks


Rows of teeth, great white shark / Adam Fagan / LicenseCC-by-nc-sa - Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike

The teeth of nurse sharks are always sharp and effective because new rows of teeth develop constantly to replace older, worn down teeth.

"Seen at close quarters, a nurse shark reveals a formidable array of backward-curving teeth. Sharks are relatively primitive fish, their skeletons, and hence their jaws, being made of cartilage rather than bone…This nurse shark has three rows of teeth in use at a time. As they grow, they slowly move forwards and eventually drop out -- they are probably in use for one or two weeks. But there are always rows of teeth developing behind to replace them. These teeth are larger than the ones currently in use, to keep pace with the shark's growth. It has been estimated that, over a period of ten years, some sharks produce, use and shed about 24,000 teeth." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:87)
About the inspiring organism

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Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Business model that anticipates raw material stocking needs and achieves smooth flow in product manufacturing.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Business

Foy S; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
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