top of page

Amazing Animal Teeth

Did you know?

Some fish have teeth on their skin!

It’s true! In fact, researchers have discovered a species of cavefish in Ecuador that not only have teeth protruding from their skin, but actually use them to navigate. Use of teeth in this manner by any animal species has been unknown up until now. Many fish have such skin teeth (denticles), which are surrounded by dentine and capped in enamel, but most use them for cutting, protection or to reduce drag when swimming — not to help them make sense of the world around them, like Astroblepus pholeter, the catfish found in Ecuador, does.

Did you know?

A recently discovered species of Indonesian rat was found to be nearly toothless, having no back teeth!

It’s true — and highly unusual for a rat. In fact, Paucidentomys vermidax is the only known rodent in existence that doesn’t have molars. Of the 2300+ kinds of rodents known to scientists, almost all retain a lot of teeth due to their extremely diverse diets, which include everything from seeds, to grasses, and even some smaller animals.

Since Paucidentomys vermidax appears to feed solely on earthworms, they seem to never have had a need for molars, and therefore eventually evolved to the point where they don’t have them at all.

Did you know?

Pets need dental care, too!

It’s true! And although our practice only provides dental care to humans (sorry to disappoint all of you Rufuses and Rexes out there who might be reading), many of our staff members and patients are animal lovers and have plenty of furry friends in residence with them. In fact, animals need regular dental check-ups and even, at times, cleanings by their vet, and keeping their teeth healthy can give them a greater chance at a longer, healthier life, just like it does with humans. Home care is another important facet of keeping pets’ teeth in tip-top shape. There are even specially-formulated foods and toothpastes made especially for our furry friends. Check with your vet for more information.

—Dr. Shannon Norman-Kotre, Ann Arbor Dentist


bottom of page