In my senior thesis work at Cornell, my advisor, Willy Bemis, and I explored tooth morphology and development in sixgill and sevengill sharks. These sharks exhibit single-file tooth replacement, in which lost teeth are replaced without regard to the wear or loss status of adjacent tooth files. Their unique multicusped tooth morphology makes them a fascinating study system.
As an NSF REU intern with Adam Summers at Friday Harbor Labs in 2015, we studied the effect of size on burial success in flatfishes. We wanted to know how their ability to bury in the sand changes as the fish grows, and we used high speed video and photography to quantify burial performance.
In previous work on shark teeth at the Friday Harbor Labs Functional Morphology and Ecology of Fishes course, Adam Summers, Stacy Farina, Jeff Brash, and I designed and built a dynamic testing device to test shark tooth performance under loading conditions experienced by prey. We found that variation in tooth shape affected cutting ability of teeth and that there is likely a tradeoff between sharpness and longevity in shark teeth. Our paper was recently published in Royal Society Open Science: check it out!