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People: ‘Jaws’ome


Katey McCall

What started out as Katey McCall’s mere obsession with sharks has turned into a “Jaws-ome” collection of teeth and jaws, and the knowledge to identify them. “In second grade, I did a whole project over sharks and it kind of evolved from there,” the political science major says. “I was given teeth and jaws for special occasions and it turned into a large collection.” Katey has 244 teeth and 12 sets of jaws in her collection. “There is a difference between the teeth themselves, the bodies, how far the teeth go up the sharks’ gum and what they consume,” the Orange native says. “‘Makos’ teeth are long with high cartilage. Bull sharks’ teeth are thicker with a high curve, and great whites’ teeth don’t really have a curve.” Katey says that sharks have an average of 15 rows, and three sets of teeth in their lifetime, which they are constantly shedding and being replaced, which is why shark teeth are easy to collect. Katey says she is an advocate of shark conservation because the endangered animal is going extinct, she doesn’t support the mass buying of shark teeth souvenirs as that promotes shark hunting — that’s why she sticks to finding them on the beach.

Story and photo by Vy Nguyen

Category: UPbeat