Each species is defined by a few specific traits and abilities, many of which are crucial to survival. One of the many ways humans differ from others in the animal kingdom goes directly back to our habits as omnivores. Take a look at the different teeth in the animal kingdom and their comparison to human teeth.
Humans are omnivores, meaning that we can eat a variety of food sources including meat, plants, and algae. While there are some similarities between humans and other omnivores, our teeth are unique in the animal kingdom. A typical adult mouth will have 32 teeth, which will be the second and the last set in the mouth. The human mouth consists of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Each of these teeth are designed to carry out a different function in eating.
Dogs are similar to humans in that they have two sets of teeth during their lives. The first set consists of 28 baby teeth with the adult set consisting of 42 teeth. Derived from their name, the canine teeth are the most prominent in dogs, having the potential to give them a ferocious appearance. Dogs will use these teeth to secure items in their mouth as well as to defend themselves when threatened. Dogs can experience some of the same problems with their teeth, including tooth decay.
While by nature cats are carnivores, domesticated cats often end up eating plant material along with their diet. All of the teeth in a cat’s mouth are sharp, not even the molars have a grinding surface there. Cats will experience two sets of teeth over their lives except for molars which will only have one permanent pair coming between five and six months of age.
A shark will continue to shed and grow new teeth all throughout their lifetime. It is estimated that one shark will shed around 35,000 teeth over the course of their life. There will be multiple rows of teeth along the jawline of a shark. Some species can have as many as 50 rows. The shape a shark tooth will take greatly depends on the food they are able to get. Sharks that eat a diet primarily consisting of mollusks and crustaceans will have flatter denser teeth made to crush. Sharks that eat mostly fish will have sharper teeth made to grip their prey.
There are many differences that can be found between animal species, especially when it comes to the structure of the teeth. Learn more about these differences, and what makes our teeth and jaw line unique from everyone else.