Today we use our Facts About Teeth to chew and break down food, but millions of years ago teeth were not the individual structures we know today.
The first evidence of teeth was found 400 million years ago in an extinct, heavily armored fish called Romundina stelina. The fish teeth were like sharp upturned dishes that acted like sandpaper, crushing and breaking up food.
Fast forward 400 million years and we have a large variety of animals whose teeth are much nicer than ours. Discover fascinating dental details, from the mouth of the squid to the giant, sharp, hair-like teeth of a megalodon.
Interesting Facts About Teeth
- Although not as accurate as fingerprints, teeth can be used to analyze shape and dental impressions to determine a person’s true age and ethnicity.
- Humans only shed 2 teeth in their lifetime, while sharks produce hundreds of teeth in their lifetime.
- Megalodon was the largest shark alive, with teeth measuring 4 to 5 in. Even larger teeth have been found with teeth over 7 inches in length.
- Dolphins have growth rings similar to those found in trees. This allows age determination by cross-sectional examination of dolphin fissures.
- The sharpest teeth in the animal kingdom belonged to an extinct eel-like vertebrate that roamed the Earth 500 million years ago. Their teeth were reduced to 1/12 the width of a human hair. This means they can eat more meat with less effort.
- There are narwhal whales that live in the Arctic and have a large tooth protruding from their mouth. However, these teeth are actually overgrown teeth.
Elephant tusks are essentially long.
- Hippos have the largest offspring of any land animal. But these dogs are only used to fight or chase predators.
- The duck is a large duck common in Europe, parts of Asia and North America. The beak of this animal has small sharp teeth similar to teeth. It uses these teeth to catch fish.
- The giant spider has a beak that can cut and tear its prey. Inside its mouth is a radula, a tongue-like structure covered with rows of tiny, sharp teeth. This structure helps the crab open its bite-sized mouth.
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