Related topics: dinosaurs · fossil

Filipinos plan more diggings where new human species found

Archaeologists who discovered fossil bones and teeth of a previously unknown human species that thrived more than 50,000 years ago in the northern Philippines said Thursday they plan more diggings and called for better protection ...

Tongzi hominids are potentially a new human ancestor in Asia

The CENIEH has been participating in a comparative research about human teeth discovered in this Southern China site which has revealed that Tongzi's teeth do not fit the morphological pattern of traditional Homo erectus.

Salamanders chew with their palate

The Italian Crested Newt – Triturus carnifex – eats anything and everything it can overpower. Earthworms, mosquito larvae and water fleas are on its menu, but also snails, small fish and even its own offspring. A research ...

Diet-induced changes favor innovation in speech sounds

Diet-induced changes in the human bite resulted in new sounds such as "f" in languages all over the world, according to a study by an international team led by researchers at the University of Zurich. The findings contradict ...

How megalodon's teeth evolved into the 'ultimate cutting tools'

Megalodon, the largest shark that ever lived, is known only from its gigantic bladelike teeth, which can be more than 7 inches long. But these teeth, described by some scientists as the "ultimate cutting tools," took millions ...

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Tooth

Teeth (singular tooth) are small whitish structures found in the jaws (or mouths) of many vertebrates that are used to tear, scrape, and chew food. Some animals, particularly carnivores, also use teeth for hunting or defense. The roots of teeth are covered by gums. Teeth are not made of bone, but rather of tissues of varying density and hardness.

Teeth are among the most distinctive (and long-lasting) features of mammal species. Paleontologists use teeth to identify fossil species and determine their relationships. The shape of the animal's teeth are related to its diet. For example, plant matter is hard to digest, so herbivores have many molars for chewing. Carnivores, on the other hand, need canines to kill prey and to tear meat.

Mammals are diphyodont, meaning that they develop two sets of teeth. In humans, the first set (the "baby," "milk," "primary" or "deciduous" set) normally starts to appear at about six months of age, although some babies are born with one or more visible teeth, known as neonatal teeth. Normal tooth eruption at about six months is known as teething and can be painful.

Some animals develop only one set of teeth (monophyodont) while others develop many sets (polyphyodont). Sharks, for example, grow a new set of teeth every two weeks to replace worn teeth. Rodent incisors grow and wear away continually through gnawing, maintaining relatively constant length. Many rodents such as voles (but not mice) and guinea pigs, as well as rabbits, have continuously growing molars in addition to incisors.

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