Teeth are essential for eating and talking in humans but how different are animals teeth? Whilst they don’t need them for talking, their environments have shaped how their teeth grown and what they need them for. Let’s take a look at some of the natural world’s most incredible teeth:
You might this one is a joke but have you ever heard of the sabre-toothed deer? It seems strange that such a cute animal could develop such fearsome fangs. Several species of musk deer are native to Eurasia and possess massive fangs which develop from overgrown canine teeth. The males use these fangs for battling over mating disputes. They can do some serious damage when they sink those into flesh. They are genetically different from other deer that are not so scary looking.
You wouldn’t be laughed at if you said that no birds have teeth, as this is what most people think. However, there is one duck that indeed has teeth – the Goosander. You wouldn’t want to get too close to this bird while feeding the ducks at the pond! It is the largest of the ‘Sawbills’ and lives in the rivers and estuaries throughout Eurasia, Canada and the USA. It has more than 150 razor sharp teeth which are hugely effective in slicing through fish. The creepy duck has also been known to attack other birds and even small mammals.
This next creature is now extinct and it’s probably just as well because it had some seriously scary gnashers. The Helicopron, otherwise known as the Chainsaw Shark had enormous teeth unlike any other creature on Earth. With the use of a circular muscle, the shark’s mouth would shoot out and shred prey into small pieces, much like a real chainsaw. The two inch teeth were tightly packed in a descending spiral so that prey could be shredded extremely quickly. To look after your own (not so scary) gnashers, try a Dublin Dentist. For more information, visit http://www.docklandsdental.ie/.
A Baboon has a really frightening set of teeth and at more than eighty pounds, it is the largest monkey on Earth. Their canines can often reach two inches in length, longer than adult lions and are most often used in mating season fights. The teeth are likely to have evolved for the purposes of sexual selection as opposed to feeding but can still put the frighteners on anyone who gets on their wrong side.
Hippos might look slow and cumbersome but they are actually quite deadly animals. A Hippo can reach more than sixteen feet long and weigh 9000 pounds and has the largest canines of any land animal on the planet. It has two sword-like teeth that can reach a staggering sixteen inches in length! A Hippo can spear two humans with one bite and is actually a descendant of the whale.
One fierce fish is the aptly named Titan Triggerfish. At over two feet long, they are found in tropical shallow waters and with teeth designed to crush coral, you don’t want to get in it’s way. The teeth are very sharp and powerful with an unusual straightness, while being extremely thin. The teeth are strong, resilient and look bizarrely human.