The human body is an incredible thing, and our teeth are just one part of that. But what about all of the animals out there? The animal kingdom boasts some pretty powerful and awesome teeth, many of which are best viewed from a safe distance. We’re looking at you, Mr. Grizzly.
Saber-Tooth Cat (State Fossil)
If these aren’t a set of extreme canines, we’re not sure what would qualify. Although extinct, the saber-tooth cat still has impressive teeth, even as a fossil. Perhaps the coolest part about these teeth is that ancient cats didn’t possess these killer canines to begin with; they evolved into them. In some species, these teeth could get up to almost 20 inches long!
California Golden Trout (State Fish)
These freshwater fish are commonly found in creeks and rivers in California. Most trout have small and thin razor sharp teeth, as well as gill rakers which are found in the throat, next to the gills.
Garibaldi Fish (State Marine Fish)
The Garibaldi Fish is a damselfish that can be found in the Pacific Ocean. Named after Giuseppe Garibaldi for its bright color, these fish have throat teeth (gill rakers) which rub together to produce a clacking or thumping noise.
California Grizzly Bear (State Mammal)
Featured prominently on the California state flag is the California Grizzly Bear! These mammals have 42 teeth, with large molars for chewing and sharp canines. This balance allows them to eat a variety of prey, from fish to moths.
California Gray Whale (State Marine Mammal)
Gray whales are baleen whales, meaning that they lack teeth, and instead have baleen plates that filter food such as krill, amphipods, and small schooling fish. Although we used to hunt these creatures, they have been a protected species since the early 1900s.
California Quail (State Bird)
The California Quail, like most birds, doesn’t have teeth at all! Instead, they have a gizzard which squeezes food. Quails will actually pick up gravel which gets stored in their gizzard and is used to crush the food inside.
Desert Tortoise (State Reptile)
The California Desert Tortoise can live to be 200 years old! These herbivores also don’t have teeth, but instead a beak, much like a bird. They salivate and grind their food until it breaks down enough to be digested. These creatures don’t just walk slow; they eat slow too. Maybe he needs some dentures…
Hatchlings use something called an “egg tooth” to help them escape their eggs, but this isn’t a tooth at all. It’s a small, sharp tip on their snout that helps them break the shell and push it away.
Schedule your family’s dental appointment with Dr. Jone for more fun facts about teeth!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Raymond Jone, Pacific Sky Dental
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