â€œLike a child eating too many jawbreaker candies, some orcas damage their teeth by eating crunchy, abrasive food. But they aren't eating candy, they are eating sharks.
The orcas (Orcinus orca), or killer whales, in the deep, offshore waters of the northeast Pacific chow down on the sluggish deep-sea Pacific sleeper shark. But dining on shark delicacies comes at a price.
The denticles, tough teeth-like structures embedded in the shark's skin, grind down the whale's teeth. Some older whales have been found with their teeth ground down to the gums, according to John Ford of the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and his team or researchers. Their research was published recently in the journal Aquatic Biologyâ€¦â€