Wild Fact #620 – COOOKIES! – Cookiecutter Shark

Cookiecutter Shark - Photo from Wikimedia

Welcome to another round of Wild Facts.  I hope all of enjoyed your weekend and are now ready to get back to work.  Today’s Wild Fact was suggested by one of our readers, Hailey, who e-mailed me about the Cookiecutter Shark.  I am incredibly glad that she brought this animal to my attention since I think we will a lot of fun learning about this unique animal.  Thank you Hailey for the great recommendation.  For the record, every time I say this sharks name, I think of Cookie Monster.  Perhaps, I should refer to today’s animal by their other common name, the Cigar Shark. Nah!  We will stick with COOOOKIES!

The Cookiecutter Shark is actually a species of the small dogfish shark and they only measures in at about 50 cm (20″) in length.  Obviously this size pales in comparison to the Great White Shark but that certainly doesn’t make our Cookiecutter any less of a shark.  In fact, one look at their smile and you would probably be overtaken with fear.  They have an incredible set of teeth.  Seriously, the dentist would absolutely love them.  The Cookiecutter Shark has 30 to 37 teeth on top and about 25 to 31 large teeth on their bottom jaw.  Just imagine how much money they could make from the Tooth Fairy.  Let’s see, with inflation these days a tooth is probably worth about $5, right?  Since they could have up to 68 teeth in their mouth, they would be looking at about $340 from the Tooth Fairy.  There is no way the Tooth Fairy could stay in business for long with numbers like that.

The Pretty Smile - Photo by Karsten Hartel (Wikimedia)

So with all of these big scary teeth, you would think that the Cookiecutter Shark is a major predator of the sea, right?  Well, due to their small size and relatively weak swimming ability, the Cookiecutter Shark is actually the only parasitic fish in the shark family.  You are probably wondering how a shark could be a parasite, aren’t you? Believe it or not, these sharks swim around and simply take bites out of other fish.  The bite doesn’t kill them but it is big enough to satisfy the Cookie Monster….errr…. Cookiecutter’s appetite.   How cool is this shark!?

Cookiecutter Shark Fast Fact – Have you ever wondered how this shark got its name?  As you might expect, it has something to do with their bite.  The mark their bite leaves on their victim is in the shape of a cookie.  Aaaah, the famous “Mark of the Cookiecutter”.  The brown colouring of this shark is what gave rise to their secondary name, the Cigar Shark.

Thanks again to Hailey as this was definitely a fun fact.  I hope all of you enjoyed today’s animal.  See all of you tomorrow.

5 Responses

  1. ryan 4 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 4 years ago
  2. Hailey 4 years ago
  3. Sasha Jenkins 4 years ago
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