Are animal teeth like human teeth? While there are some similarities there are a lot of differences as well. Some of the similarities are that they can rip through anything, or grind anything down. Here are facts about human and animal teeth.
What Type of Teeth Do Humans Have?
We humans have thirty-two teeth in total and four different types. Our eight front teeth (top and bottom) are incisors, followed by our four canines. Next, we have eight premolars and eight molars. Going from canines to molars, the top of teeth get more flat. Premolars are in between molars and incisors.
What Would Shark Teeth be Like?
Sharks are one of the most feared predators out there so we wanted to start with them first. Shark teeth are interesting for a few reasons. We found it surprising that shark teeth do not have roots. This, of course, means that they will fall out easily when they are biting in to and incapacitating their prey.
But this is not a problem for sharks because of one very unique reason: shark teeth are always growing and renewing. Their mouth is like a conveyor belt of teeth. This is why when you look in a shark’s mouth you see multiple rows of teeth. If a tooth falls out, a tooth in the row behind it moves into place.
Humans Have Two Sets
As humans, we only have two sets of teeth. Once our first set falls out in childhood, our adult teeth are all we have. Our teeth will not grow back or renew. Can you imagine what it would be like if you had a constantly replenishing source of teeth?
The fact they fall out easily would be of no consequence because a new one would just come in. This would reduce a lot of dental issues that we see today because a tooth would not be in one place long enough to develop cavities or have bacteria grow under the gums.
What About Tiger Teeth?
Another top predator is none other than one of the big cats. Tigers have much larger canine teeth than we humans do allow for them to grab on to their prey as it is trying to get away. We do not need to worry about this.
In fact, with our current diets having giant canine teeth up to three inches long would probably be more of a hindrance although you may not need a steak knife anymore. One interesting fact about tiger fangs is that they actually have pressure-sensing nerves allowing them to determine where and how hard to bite.
How Are Bear Teeth Unique?
Keeping with the top predators let’s take a look at bears. Bear teeth are unique because of their diets. Aside from the Polar Bear who dines mostly on seals, bears are more vegetarian than they are carnivorous. They have lots of molars in the back like we do and slightly larger canine for when they do hunt meat.
Having bear teeth would actually be functional because of the similarities between bear teeth and Human teeth. The biggest difference between us is in the jaw. Bears have that protruding jaw that is natural for predators to allow them to grab on to prey when necessary.
Do Ants Have Teeth?
Here’s one you probably weren’t thinking about so we decided to! Let’s start off with what are ant teeth like? And the answer is they don’t have teeth at all. Instead, ants have what are called mandibles. These are protruding curved structures starting from the mouth. On these, you will see the teeth if you look closely enough which is how they grip.
Ants use their mandibles like another set of hands and are very adept at manipulating an object with them. Mandibles move horizontally unlike our vertical motion and are probably difficult to think of. Just imagine not needing to use silverware to eat your food because you have a pair of tongs attached to your mouth.
How Many Teeth do Dogs Have?
Ok, getting back to the mammals here, let’s take a look at dog teeth. Dogs have about third more teeth than us Humans do and slightly larger canines as we found in the bear teeth. The unique feature of dog teeth is their fourth premolar or carnassial tooth.
This is the oddly larger tooth in the middle of the upper jaw. You may notice your dog chewing on its toys with the side of its mouth for this reason. This is also why they may go through so many toys because that’s what these teeth are designed to do. If we had dog teeth we could use carnassial teeth to easily tear our meat into smaller pieces.
How do Rodent Teeth Work?
We were originally going to ask about mouse teeth but most rodents have the same teeth structure. Rodents only have two types of teeth: incisors and molars. Generally, mammals have four types: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. What’s special about rodent teeth is that their incisors continually grow. This is why rodents often gnaw on hard items. This both sharpens their incisors and keeps them worn down to avoid overgrowth.
How Many Teeth do Deer Have?
Deer have 32 teeth just like we humans do but they only have two different types. Deer teeth consist of only premolars and molars. This is because they need the flat surfaces to grind down leaves and other plants that they eat.
The premolars at the front help tear bite-size pieces off the plants. If we had deer teeth it would be very difficult to eat meat. A vegetarian would do just fine but anyone who wanted to eat meat would spend a lot more time chewing and would definitely need to cut their steaks into smaller pieces that could be ground down.
All animals have different types of teeth that have evolved over time to specialize in their diet. As humans, we are omnivores so we still have all 4 types of teeth that you can find in different animals.