Sawing Efficiency in Elasmobranch Teeth
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Previous research has shown little effect of tooth shape on puncturing ability (Whitenack & Motta, 2010), and though the concept of shark teeth as a saw blade has been explored, it has not been manifested beyond mathematical models and hypotheses (Frazzetta, 1988). Frazzetta’s analysis covered many aspects of shark teeth in the context of sawing but lacks physical data of their effect when applied. Thus, this project set out to answer several questions about efficiency of shark teeth at sawing prey items: effect of tooth morphology on sawing efficiency, which varied strongly by species; sawing efficiency by trial, to test whether or not teeth are designed for a single use; and, in concept, to see if I can extrapolate feeding ecology from these factors.