One commonality among all animals on earth is the need to eat (or absorb nutrients in some other way). To accomplish this vital action, most animals were gifted with a set of teeth, or something similar. With all that we have learned about our own teeth, we realize what amazing and complicated tools human teeth are. It also makes some of us wonder about the teeth of our fury, scaly, and flying friends. Your Sheridan dentist, Dr. Coon, entertains you with these interesting animal teeth facts.
Animal Teeth (and Their Equivalents)
- The shape of an animal’s teeth depends on what it eats. Carnivores, which eat meat, have sharp pointy teeth to tear the meat into digestible pieces. Herbivores, which eat only vegetation, have flat teeth to grind plants down before digestion. Animals that eat meat and plants have both styles of teeth, usually pointy in the front and flat in the back like human teeth.
- While humans have two sets of teeth in their lifetime (primary and permanent), crocodiles can grow up to 2-3,000 teeth in their lives. At any given moment, their mouths contain up to 60 teeth at a time.
- Not to be outdone by the crocodile, sharks lose and replace their teeth every week. A shark may go through about 20,000 teeth in a lifetime.
- Like humans, giraffe’s only have 32 teeth.
- Unlike humans, snake teeth are hollow. Their long front fangs eject poison into their victims, which they usually swallow whole.
- Elephant tusks are the longest and heaviest teeth in the mammal world, and can weigh up to 400 pounds. An elephant grows four sets of teeth in its lifetime.
- Although common wisdom states that birds don’t have teeth, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule. The Greylag Goose, for instance, which is common in Europe and western Asia, has a beak whose outside edges are lined with sharp, tooth-like serrations called tomia. The teeth help the bird clip shoots and grasses that make up the majority of its meals.
Humans have arguably the most diverse diet of all inhabitants on earth. Consequently, we must take special care to keep our teeth healthy and strong. To learn about excellent tooth care, schedule a consultation at Grinnell Street Dental by contacting our Sheridan dentist office at (307) 672-7567. We welcome patients from Sheridan, WY and the surrounding communities.