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Differences in Teeth Location   no comments

Posted at 4:50 pm in Teeth

Teeth are also extremely important to predatory fish. Sharks have jaws whose inside surface is studded with teeth. These are arranged in regular rows with the tips pointing backwards, thus allowing the shark to hold its prey securely. Of course, the teeth at the very front have to work the hardest and they wear out the most rapidly. Sharks, too, would have a bad time if their front teeth were not replaced by new ones. The fact is that the front teeth are in motion throughout the shark's life. Bent over like attacking soldiers, row after row, they slowly but steadily move towards the edge of the jaw. The front rows of old worn-out teeth gradually 'crawl' out and, after having taken a glance at the outside world, fall out, only to be replaced by the next ones. Having worked their share and become well worn-out, these teeth, in their turn, release themselves and those behind move up to replace them. This process continues until the shark dies. Some extinct fossilized sharks had teeth which had not fallen out and, although they were quite old, they had the front part of their snout studded with teeth. This ability to constancy renew its teeth means that a shark is Đ°ble to fight right up to old age.

When the teeth are used solely to crush food, they may be located in some place other than the mouth. In some cases it may even prove advantageous to move them from the 'preparatory' shop to some adjacent department. Fish of the carp family have a toothless mouth, but you would be well advised not to put your finger into the throat of such a fish for it is there that they have their teeth and where the initial processing of food is carried out.

Some predatory fish and sea turtles have their teeth in their gullet. These are not properly teeth but very sharp and sometimes rather large spikes which are necessary to prevent the prey, which is still alive, from getting away. A spike-studded gullet is very much like the skin of a hedgehog or spiny ant-eater. All the spikes point towards the stomach and the food can thus only move in that direction. There is no way back from the stomach.

Written by rickweak on January 2nd, 2010

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