How much do human teeth differ from the teeth of animals? Humans, as a species, has only one type of teeth but these vary significantly among animals. Mammals, including humans, are vertebrates and have skin and hair. They are warm-blooded and feed their children from their mother’s milk. Birds are also warm-blooded but with feathers instead of fur and laying eggs instead of live births. Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates, but they have scales or plates and lay eggs like a bird. Fish have fins and gills instead of lungs and lay eggs. Now we have a glimpse of various types of animals, let’s see how different their teeth can be.
Carnivores eat meat with the need to hunt and kill to survive, because of this, their teeth will all be very sharp. The front teeth have a duty to bite and hold prey and long canine teeth are for tearing flesh. Sharp molars are also used to slice as opposed to chew because they swallow whole chunks.
Herbivores eat only plants and they are physically unable to digest meat. It requires a lot of plant material to create energy and that is why herbivores tend to graze continuously. Herbivores have more teeth than humans as they need lots of flat grinding teeth. They do not need sharp teeth, just munchers to effectively wear down the branches, leaves and grass.
Humans fall into the category of omnivore, meaning we eat plants and meat. Usually, we cannot eat grass or leaves, but we are able to digest fruits and vegetables. Therefore, we hold a combination of teeth for biting and grinding, sharp in the front and flatter molars at the rear corners. Look after your teeth with a Cardiff Orthodontist at a site like https://cathedraldentalclinic.com/orthodontics-cardiff/
There are other omnivores in the animal kingdom, but this does not mean that their gnashers look anything like ours! What are the other differences?
Humans have 32 teeth but horses can have up to 44 and dolphins may have 250! A snail can have more than 25,000! Imagine how long it takes to brush all those.
We get two sets of teeth in our lives, but dolphins only get one. Shark teeth can regenerate constantly whenever they lose one. Humans really just need their teeth for eating but some animals also have to rely on them for protection and survival, hunting and self-defence.
Dogs have more teeth than we do and lucky for them, they almost never get cavities because of the high pH of their saliva that prevents the build-up of plaque.
Some mammals have no teeth at all. Blue whales are the largest mammals on the planet, but because they only eat small plankton, they do no chewing. Other large mammals like elephants, have teeth that can weigh up10lbs. Elephants will lose their molar teeth about once every decade, but a new set then grows in.
Prehistoric T-Rex had more than 60 large, bone-crushing teeth, each of up to 9 inches in length and a jaw that measured 4 feet long. Now that’s a scary thought!