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Guides: Teeth

Last Updated: Tuesday January 24 2006 13:29 GMT

Animal teeth

Animals' teeth are different depending upon what foods they eat.

Meat-eaters (carnivores) have sharp teeth.

Plant-eaters (herbivores) have flat teeth.

Animals that eat both plants and meat, like humans, have sharp teeth in front and flat teeth at the back.


Sharks lose teeth each week. They get new teeth when they lose the old ones. They may have over 20,000 teeth in a lifetime.

Crocodiles have 60 teeth in their mouth at any one time and can grow up to 2-3,000 teeth during their lifetime.

Poisonous snakes have hollow fangs which eject poison.

Giraffes have 32 teeth, just like humans.

Elephants have four sets of teeth in their lifetime. Their tusks are the longest teeth in the world.

Dolphins have more teeth than any other animal. Some dolphins have over 200 teeth. Scientists can tell the age of a dolphin by the rings on their teeth.

Snowshoe rabbits fight with their teeth. Adult males, called bucks, fight one another with their teeth when they court the females or does.

Baleen whales don't have teeth. Instead they have stiff, fringed plates, made of the same stuff as human hair and fingernails. They hang down from the upper jaw and trap small fish and other food.



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