Home Animals A Collection of 12 Animals With Human Teeth  (Accompanied by Images)

A Collection of 12 Animals With Human Teeth  (Accompanied by Images)

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 How would we characterize the teeth of humans? Well, similar to most animals, our teeth have evolved according to our diet and way of life. Therefore, humans are classified as omnivores, diphyodonts, and heterodonts. Don’t worry, it’s not as complex as it sounds!

As omnivores, we consume both plant-based and animal-based foods. In terms of tooth development, we go through two sets of teeth during our lifetime, hence the classification as diphyodonts. Additionally, as heterodonts, we possess different types of teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.

Now, you might have come across stories of fishermen claiming to have been bitten by creatures that leave bite marks resembling human jaws. The idea of an animal with human-like teeth can be unsettling, even for animal enthusiasts. Interestingly, various species worldwide exhibit teeth that bear a resemblance to those of humans.

So, get ready, as we delve into a discussion about several animals that possess teeth akin to ours!

List of Animals With Human Teeth

Sheepshead Fish (Archosargus Probatocephalus)

Number of Teeth: 32
Diet: Omnivore

Animals With Human Teeth

The Sheepshead fish, found in coastal regions of North and South America, possesses teeth that closely resemble those of humans. These fish, characterized by their silver and black stripes, can reach lengths of up to 35 inches and weigh as much as 21 pounds.

At the front of their mouths, Sheepshead fish have a row of incisors that bear a striking resemblance to human teeth. Additionally, they possess two rows of molars on the lower jaw and three rows on the upper jaw. These teeth begin to develop when the fish is merely 2 inches long and serve the purpose of crushing molluscs and shellfish, which form the majority of their diet.

While the Sheepshead fish is omnivorous, and willing to consume a wide variety of food, it primarily relies on molluscs and shellfish. However, it also indulges in over 100 species of plants, fish, and worms. Its dietary preferences shift throughout the seasons, with a preference for fish in spring, plants in summer, and worms during autumn and winter.

Scientists believe that Sheepshead fish play a significant role in maintaining the delicate balance of biodiversity within their ecosystem. Interestingly, these fish are also considered quite delicious, but caution is advised when handling them due to their formidable teeth, especially during fishing expeditions.

Pig (Sus Domesticus)

Cutest Rodents

Number of Teeth: 44
Diet: Omnivore

Similar to humans, pigs are omnivorous creatures with highly adaptable diets. They possess a natural inclination for foraging and can consume a wide range of food items, including grasses, fruits, nuts, leaves, insects, and even small animals, whether dead or alive, that can fit into their mouths.

While domesticated pigs often have their diets regulated by humans, their teeth remain similar to those of their wild counterparts. Piglets are born with “needle teeth,” which are sharp and serve a competitive purpose during nursing, as they compete with their siblings for their mother’s milk. Many pig farmers choose to trim these teeth when the piglets are very young.

Pigs, like humans, are diphyodonts, meaning they develop two sets of teeth during their lifetime. Their milk teeth typically fall out around 8 months old and are replaced by a set of adult teeth. A pig’s adult dental structure consists of 12 incisors, 4 canines, 16 premolars, and 12 molars.

However, unlike humans, pigs have long and sharp canines, which can be used for fighting purposes. In wild pigs, teeth continue to grow throughout their lives and can even curve back into their heads, showcasing a unique dental characteristic.

Dog (Canis Familiaris)

Number of Teeth: 42
Diet: Omnivore

Dogs, often considered humans’ best friends, possess teeth that share similarities with our own. While dogs come in various shapes and sizes, their dental structure remains relatively consistent, consisting of 12 incisors, 4 canines, 16 premolars, and 10 molars.

During their early stages of life, puppies have 28 milk teeth, which are notably sharp. These milk teeth are gradually replaced as the puppies grow, typically falling out by the time they reach 7 months of age.

Although dogs are omnivores like humans, they retain their predatory instincts and exhibit a preference for meat. Consequently, their teeth are designed for hunting, with sharper and more elongated canines compared to humans. These canines are well-suited for grasping and tearing into prey, as well as serving as indicators of aggression.

Similar to human teeth, dog teeth comprise multiple layers. The outer layer is composed of hard enamel, followed by dentin, and a soft pulp in the centre. This layered structure provides strength and protection to their teeth.

Giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardalis)

Number of Teeth: 32
Diet: Herbivore

Giraffes are easily identifiable due to their remarkably long necks, but their teeth often go unnoticed. Surprisingly, they possess the same number of teeth as humans, although the majority of them are situated towards the back of their mouths.

The incisors located at the front of a giraffe’s mouth resemble our own, but interestingly, they only have them on their bottom jaw. The front part of their top jaw is entirely devoid of teeth, hence why it’s considered impolite to request a giraffe to smile while taking a picture.

When it comes to feeding, giraffes employ their lips and a remarkable 21-inch-long tongue to pluck leaves, fruits, and buds from tall trees. They rely on their molars for chewing. Moreover, they possess ridges along the roof of their mouths, aiding in guiding the food towards the back teeth and throat.

Giraffes have a particular fondness for leaves from thorny Acacia trees. Their robust mouths are exceptionally adapted to masticating these prickly meals, which is fortunate considering they can consume over 100 pounds of leaves in a single day.

Horse (Equus Ferus Caballus)

animals with manes

Number of Teeth: 44
Diet: Herbivore

Similar to the majority of creatures listed here, horses exhibit heterodonty, which means they possess teeth of different shapes and sizes, each serving a distinct purpose. Positioned at the front of their mouths, horses possess 12 incisors akin to those found in humans, employed primarily for cutting the grass they consume.

The remaining teeth of horses, located at the back of their mouths, are known as molars and are instrumental in the process of chewing and grinding their food.

Horses also possess robust jaws and substantial jaw muscles, crucial for their grazing activities. In their natural habitat, horses allocate approximately 16 to 20 hours per day to the consumption of grass!

Interestingly, certain horses, predominantly stallions, exhibit pointed canines and/or “wolf teeth.” Although these teeth no longer serve a purpose in modern horses, they are widely believed to be a remnant from the evolutionary history of ancestral horses, aiding in the consumption of twigs and brushes.

Bonobo (Pan Paniscus)

Bonobo

Number of Teeth: 32
Diet: Frugivore

When it comes to our forefathers, it’s not surprising that one of the animals sharing similar dental features with humans is also included in this list.

The Bonobo, exclusively found in remote regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is categorized as an omnivorous frugivore. This signifies that its primary diet consists of fruits, but it occasionally supplements it with insects, eggs, and small mammals.

Similar to humans, Bonobos possess the qualities of being diphyodonts and heterodonts. They possess 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 8 molars, which they utilize in a comparable manner.

Their incisors serve the purpose of cutting food, canines are employed in tearing tough substances such as meat, and premolars and molars aid in the process of chewing and grinding.

Bonobos also utilize their teeth for communication, much like us. For instance, they occasionally display their canines as a display of aggression towards other members of their species.

Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes)

Anxious Animals

Number of Teeth: 32
Diet: Herbivore

The chimpanzee, along with the bonobo, stands as one of our two closest kin, exhibiting a genetic resemblance of over 98%. Remarkably, these two groups are even more closely connected to one another, sharing 99.6% of their DNA.

However, within that 0.4% disparity, notable distinctions can be observed. Notably, chimpanzees are recognized for their heightened aggression compared to bonobos, and they possess distinctly longer canines. This is attributed to the fact that chimpanzees employ their canines not only for eating but also for engaging in combat.

Chimpanzees have been observed attacking and consuming other primates, including their fellow chimpanzees and even gorillas. While most chimpanzee troops have diets similar to their peaceable bonobo counterparts, certain troops have been identified as having a preference for meat, consuming up to 2.5 ounces in a single day.

Western Gorilla (Gorilla Gorilla)

Number of Teeth: 32
Diet: Omnivore

Among the animals closely related to us, the gorilla is another species that possesses teeth reminiscent of humans. These colossal primates can reach weights exceeding 500 pounds and are recognized as the strongest among gorilla species.

Gorillas boast robust jaws and teeth, including elongated fangs that can extend over 2 inches in length. These impressive teeth grant them one of the most formidable bites in the animal kingdom. With a biting force measuring 1,300 pounds per square inch (PSI), their teeth can effortlessly crush a bowling ball as if it were a mere balloon.

Despite their immense power, gorillas are known as gentle giants and seldom exhibit aggression unless provoked or threatened. They primarily adhere to herbivorous diets, mainly consisting of leaves and foliage, although they occasionally consume insects. So, what purpose do their elongated canines serve?

Primarily, gorillas utilize their canines for stripping the bark of trees to access the nutritious portions beneath. Additionally, male gorillas employ their long canines in displays of dominance and as deterrents against potential threats to their families. If the need arises, these formidable teeth also prove useful in confrontations or fights.

Moose (Alces Alces)

Moose

Number of Teeth: 32
Diet: Herbivore

The moose, the largest member of the deer family, can reach weights of up to 1500 pounds and lengths of 10 feet. These majestic creatures can be found across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Similar to giraffes, moose, being large herbivores, do not possess upper incisors. They have a total of 6 teeth, along with 2 canines, all located in their lower jaw. To consume their food, moose employ their flexible lips, which allow them to grasp and gather vegetation.

Moose predominantly feed on fresh shoots from trees, as well as aquatic and terrestrial plants. As ruminants, they dedicate a significant amount of time to grazing. Interestingly, they have four stomachs and engage in a process known as rumination. After the food has undergone some fermentation in one of their stomachs, they regurgitate it and chew it again. This allows for thorough digestion and extraction of nutrients. In light of this, their 24 molars and premolars play a vital role, as they are robust and capable of enduring extensive chewing.

Cow (Bos Taurus)

cow

Number of Teeth: 32
Diet: Herbivore

Similar to the giraffe and moose, cows possess a total of 32 teeth, none of which are located at the front of the upper jaw. As ruminants, they allocate a substantial amount of time to chewing.

An intriguing aspect is that these hoofed creatures chew their food in a sideways manner, employing a circular motion to grind their molars. This distinctive chewing pattern is a result of the horizontal ridges present on their molars, which can give them a slightly comical appearance while eating!

Cows, like their counterparts, are herbivorous diphyodonts, primarily consuming grass. On average, they consume approximately 2 per cent of their body weight in food, which amounts to around 25 pounds each day.

Skunk (Mephitis Mephitis)

Number of Teeth: 34
Diet: Omnivore

While you may not appreciate the comparison, it’s worth noting that skunks actually share some similarities with human teeth!

Like us, skunks are heterodonts, meaning they possess different types of teeth for specific functions. They have 12 incisors, 4 canines, 12 premolars, and 6 molars. Similar to humans, skunk babies also have a set of milk teeth, which they shed within their first few months.

However, the significant distinction lies in the shape of skunk teeth. Skunks boast incredibly sharp teeth, particularly prominent canines, perfectly suited for slicing through meat. Their diet encompasses a wide range of foods, including plants, small mammals, birds, insects, and carrion.

These creatures are renowned for their fearlessness, sometimes even displaying aggression, and they utilize their impressive teeth to defend themselves against predators and other skunks.

Pacu (Colossoma Macropomum)

Pacu

Number of Teeth: 32
Diet: Omnivore

Completing our lineup of animals with teeth resembling those of humans is the pacu. Originating from South America, this species has gained notoriety due to its involvement in certain fishing tales that have garnered a spine-chilling nickname (Caution: Research at your own discretion!).

Although its alleged culpability remains disputed, it is true that the pacu possesses remarkably robust jaws and teeth strikingly reminiscent of human dentition, capable of inflicting harm if necessary.

These close relatives of piranhas can reach lengths of up to 4 feet and weigh as much as 90 pounds! However, unlike their menacing counterparts, pacus primarily consume plant matter, supplemented occasionally by unlucky fish. Their powerful jaws are employed to crush nuts and fruits that descend into the rivers that serve as their habitat.

Despite claims of causing injuries, pacus are generally regarded as harmless to humans, to the extent that some individuals even keep them as pets!

Reference:

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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.

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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.

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