- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids

9 Amazing Facts About Animal Teeth

5. Tooth Records

• The hardest teeth

The Mohs scale is used to measure the hardness level of objects. Talc, for example, is number 1 on the scale because you can scrape it with your fingernails. Diamond is at 10 on the hardness scale and is the hardest natural mineral. It can only be cut with another diamond. Mouse teeth are 9.6!

• The most teeth

On land, the armadillo holds the record with an impressive 104 teeth. And in water? That’s the spinner dolphin. It has 252 teeth in its long mouth.

The biggest and heaviest teeth

The elephant has the biggest and heaviest teeth. In 1897, an elephant was shot whose tusks weighed 465 lb (211 kg). Around 1900, a tusk from an unknown elephant was found to weigh 257 lb (117 kg). The longest tusks belonged to the extinct straight-tusked elephant. They were an impressive 16.4 ft (5 m) long! You can actually only see 2/3 of an elephant’s tusks; the rest is firmly anchored to its skull.

Armadillo Armadillo - Photo: Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock

4. Third Set of Teeth? Elephants Have a Fifth Set of Teeth!

Most mammals only have two sets of teeth. The first set grow in childhood, and the second set follow in adulthood. Elephants actually have a fifth set of molars in their mouths. If this fifth set breaks in the elephant’s old age, the animal will starve.

African Elephant African Elephant - Photo: JONATHAN PLEDGER/Shutterstock

3. Rat Teeth Carry on Growing

That’s why they have to keep nibbling and gnawing away to keep them short. If one tooth is lost, it’s possible that the tooth above or below it might grow through the gap as there’s nothing to stop it. Rabbit teeth also never stop growing.

2. Even Mosquitoes Have Teeth

47 of them to be precise. Snails also have teeth. They have around 25,000 tooth-like growths on their tongues.

1. Teeth? Don’t Need ‘Em!

You can almost count the mammals with no teeth on one hand. These are ten kinds of whale (baleen whales), eight kinds of pangolin and three kinds of anteater.

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