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It’s National Cookie Day! Yes, thanks to Twitter, I found out that’s an actual thing. Besides the traditional chocolate chip cookies, the confectionery cookie cutter shark quickly came to mind. Although not nearly as tasty–don’t plan on trying any–they pack quite a bite themselves for such a small creature.

Cookie cutter sharks are only about 19" long full grown.

Cookie cutter sharks are only about 19″ long full grown.

Bites of a Cookie Cutter Shark on a female seal.  Photo courtesy of Jerry Kirkhart, http://bit.ly/1ccaLCj

Bites of a Cookie Cutter Shark on a female seal.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Kirkhart, http://bit.ly/1ccaLCj

When you’re only about 19 inches long, you better come with a way to eat instead of only being eaten. Although these sharks have found that nibbling was a more adaptive strategy. Still the cookie cutter shark proves that it’s not the size of dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog–well dog shark anyway.

Their bottom row of teeth are particularly made for snacking on a piece of meat; they’ll bite anything from small fish to large whales. But what gives their bites that recognizable cookie shape–and a nasty bite to go with it? That would be the picket fence-like lower jaw and suction cup, water tight grip. Oh, and the fact they twist and rotate to take a piece of meat about 2 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep.

Picket fence like bottom row of teeth on the cookie cutter shark. Photo courtesy of JSUBiology, http://bit.ly/1cn0lDv

Picket fence-like bottom row of teeth on the cookie cutter shark.
Photo courtesy of JSUBiology, http://bit.ly/1cn0lDv

One thing’s for sure, even when primarily living and staying in the deep ocean. These sharks sure know how to leave their mark. Good thing these aren’t waiting for you when a cookie craving hits.

Learn more about the cookie cutter shark at Real Monstrosities.