When asked which living thing has the most teeth on the planet, a toothy shark will most likely immediately come to mind. But this is not at all true and no matter how strange it may sound, the size of a living creature in no way affects its toothiness.
In fact, the most toothy living organism on the planet is an ordinary small and harmless grape snail. Twenty-five thousand small teeth are hidden in her mouth, with which the snail is able to break and grind even the hardest stems and leaves without any tension! The shark, on the other hand, occupies only the second place in the "toothy" squad.
Grape snail can be found in all corners of the earth, except northern Europe. From ancient times it was eaten, although it was never considered a delicacy. Today it is often possible to meet those who grow snails at home as pets.
The debate about the "toothiness" of the cochlea still does not stop, because the teeth it has are significantly different from the teeth in our usual notion. The thing is that in the snail’s tongue there is a kind of grater, called a radula, on which several thousand chitin cloves are located. Thanks to this structure, the snail can easily scrape food from the surface, and then swallow it. The cloves consist of magnetite, which is the most durable biomaterial that can be restored, which is why a new one grows in place of the worn out clove. Thanks to this "apparatus" located in the mouth of the cochlea, it can cause significant damage to plants. Moreover, an ordinary snail may well eat a whole tomato in a day. Gardeners know how dangerous snails are for their garden plots, since it is not uncommon when you go out into the garden in the morning to see a lot of nibbled leaves. If the number of snails in the garden increases sharply, then they will have to be disposed of in various ways in order to try to protect the crop.
The number of teeth in snails directly depends on their variety. Most often, this figure ranges from 15 to 25 thousand. This fact once again emphasizes how mysterious is the nature in which even the most toothy shark is inferior in its toothiness to a small, harmless snail.
Big roadside slug
Roadside slug is a clam belonging to the class of gastropods. It’s a paradox, but this baby has the most impressive number of teeth. There are about 30,000 in the slug's mouth. This creature needs teeth to feed plants and fruits.
The gastropod class snails are very slow creatures. But they rightfully take the second place among the toothy representatives of the animal kingdom. The pointed cloves are arranged in rows in the tongue. The number of rows can reach 135 to 100 teeth per row. Thus snails can be very toothy. 14,000 teeth - bigger than a shark!
It is expected that the shark is one of the three leaders of toothy animals. Gray shark is a rare species. Up to 3,000 deadly guns can be in its mouth. Their number can vary, since the teeth of the sharks can fall out, but new ones invariably grow in place of the old ones. The predator uses only the first two rows, while the others have it in reserve. If the murder weapons become blunt, sharks sharpen them on stones.
Dolphins are friendly creatures. Although they do not pose a danger to humans, their jaw can scare. After all, up to 200 teeth are placed there. Therefore, do not think that dolphins are completely harmless. There have been cases of attacks on people, but this is rather the exception to the rule.
This huge mammal has at least 60 teeth and an unusual jaw structure. 26 pairs of sharp fangs are located on the lower jaw, and at the top there are special notches for teeth. Each tooth weighs about 1 kg and has no enamel.
Another small predator belonging to marsupials. They appeared at the end of the Mesozoic era. They have 50 teeth. On the upper jaw of possums there are 5 incisors, and on the lower 4. They are hunted thanks to these incisors. Because the remaining teeth in predators are very primitive and poorly developed.
This ancient animal is the owner of a unique dental apparatus. He can have about 40 teeth in his mouth. And in especially large individuals, the number of teeth reaches 100. The battleship feeds on larvae, insects and plants. Its small teeth are also suitable for these purposes. The uniqueness of the teeth of the ancient creation lies in the fact that they are able to grow until the end of the animal’s life.
Among toothy animals there are completely harmless. They just need teeth for eating. But there are also dangerous predators who use their fangs for completely non-peaceful purposes. This expresses the diversity of the natural kingdom.
1. Roadside large slug
The record holder in this top ten is a large roadside slug. These creatures live exclusively on land. The clam tongue has about 30 thousand teeth, while the baby is not a predator, he uses his toothy jaw to eat fruits, berries and various leaves.
A large roadside slug uses its teeth to grind plant foods.
3. Gray shark
Gray sharks are extremely rare. Moreover, scientists have not yet come across any old shark of this species. Such a terrible predator in the mouth can have 2-3 thousand sharp teeth. The teeth are arranged in several rows. In this case, the shark uses only 2 front rows of teeth, and the rest are spare.
The teeth of the gray shark grow throughout life, so when one tooth falls out, it is replaced by a new one. It is noteworthy that gray sharks can even eat bony fish and crustaceans, this does not harm the teeth, because they are covered with special enamel.
The old teeth of the shark after falling out are replaced by new ones.
5. Common Dolphin
Although the dolphin is a peaceful mammal, there are a huge number of teeth in its mouth - about 200-210 pieces. According to this indicator, dolphins take the first place among other species of toothed whales. Bottlenose dolphins have fewer teeth than ordinary dolphins - there are only 100 of them.
The common dolphin is the leader in the number of teeth among all toothy whales.
There is no doubt that the alligator is the most toothy reptile. In the mouth of this dangerous predator there are about 80 teeth, and they are very sharp. When the alligator’s teeth wear out, new ones immediately grow in their place.
Due to the nutritional characteristics, the teeth of alligators wear out very much, but new ones grow on the site of the lost fangs.
Alligators differ from crocodiles in the teeth. When the alligator’s mouth is closed, the teeth are hidden inside, and the crocodile, even when the jaws are tightly compressed, canines are visible on the lower jaw.
8. Marsupial anteater
The marsupial anteater or nambat resembles a squirrel in appearance, but at the same time it is a representative of marsupial anteaters. Marsupial anteaters have small, weak, and asymmetrical teeth. The total number of teeth in the mouth varies from 50 to 52. With the help of these teeth, the marsupial anteater chews on the shells of insects.
The marsupial anteater has asymmetrical and varied teeth. This helps him efficiently cut his food.
9. Ordinary possum
Opossums appeared on Earth at the end of the Cretaceous, since that time they have remained almost the same.
An ordinary possum is a marsupial mammal, small in size with an archaic dental formula, which indicates the primitiveness of animals. There are 5 incisors on the upper jaw and 4 on the lower jaw. The teeth of the possums are brown. Fangs are well developed. An ordinary possum has up to 50 teeth in its mouth.
Opossum is a rather dangerous animal, since it is not very friendly in nature and already has 50 teeth, so it can be a good bite.