Episode 153: Why are Shark Teeth Shaped like That?

Meet the Expert: Dr. Lisa Whitenack, Associate Professor and Shark Expert

Dr. Lisa WhitenackAssociate Professor of Biology Lisa Whitenack has contributed to two chapters in the third edition of Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives. She is the lead author of the book’s first chapter, which is about shark paleobiology, with co-authors from Yale University and the University of California Merced. She also co-authored the third chapter about shark biomechanics, with co-authors from Arizona State University, Florida Atlantic University, and California State University Fullerton.

Biology of Sharks and Their Relatives was released in June 2022 by Routledge Press and is an award-winning and groundbreaking exploration of the fundamental elements of the taxonomy, systematics, physiology, and ecology of sharks, skates, rays, and chimera. This edition presents current research and traditional models, to provide future researchers with solid historical foundations in shark research and present current trends from which to develop new frontiers in their own work.” More information about the book can be found here.


Dr. Whitenack with a shark jaw full of teeth






Shark teeth

Cladodus shark tooth

Cladodus shark tooth






Challenge: Do some research to learn more about your favorite shark. Then look around your house to find tools that might match what shark teeth look like. 

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The Ultimate Book of Sharks

Highlighted book for this episode! 

The Ultimate Book of Sharks (National Geographic Kids) by Brian Skerry







Book List: 

Super Shark Encyclopedia: And Other Creatures of the Deep by DK

Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures! by Mike Lowery

Sharks for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide to Great Whites, Hammerheads, and Other Sharks in the Sea by David McGuire

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