'Kibulu' The African Lion

Tooth and Dare: Animals Open Wide


There is much to be said about an animal with open mouth — most of which involves getting away from it. In the event that you’re unable to extricate yourself, this is a dental-focused look at what you’re in for.

These Teeth Are Not For Bananas Paula BronsteinThese Teeth Are Not For BananasMale baboons are blessed with canine teeth that can reach two inches — and that's longer than a lion's.
When Meerkats Kill UWE ZUCCHIWhen Meerkats KillMeerkats' cartoon counterparts tend not to focus on the fact that with up to 40 teeth, they subdue their prey with a "latching" strategy, locking on for four to five minutes until rendered quite dead. That Big Sucking Sound BarcroftThat Big Sucking SoundA whale shark's mouth can stretch up to five feet wide. Inside, they've got 300-plus rows of tiny teeth and "filter pads" which they use to eat plankton, fish eggs, and other small helpless things which hardly stand a chance.

'Kibulu' The African LionNewspix/Newspix via Getty ImagesOpen WideAn African lion which, please note, has 30 teeth. How they use those impressive chompers often depends on gender: Males are typically responsible for defending the pride while females do the bulk of the hunting.

Hello, Kitty Oleg NikishinHello, KittyWhat does a Canadian sphynx kitten look like when it's bored with facts about teeth? Like this. Black Panther at Night John DominisBlack Panther at NightThe last thing a gazelle will ever see. Mouthing Off AuscapeMouthing OffShall we talk about bite-force for a moment? A 2012 study measured a saltwater crocodile's bite-force at 3,700 pounds per square inch; a lion's bite-force, by way of comparison, is about 1,000 pounds per square inch.
Tooth Fairy Alert ALEXANDER NEMENOVTooth Fairy AlertThe Kamchatka brown bear has three molars on the lower jaw that are quite weak and are often lost early on. The Invasive Snakehead Fish Says Ahhhhh. Joe RaedleThe Invasive Snakehead Fish Says Ahhhhh. Pain by Any Other Name DEA PICTURE LIBRARYPain by Any Other NameShould you ever find yourself looking for the fish that holds the record for largest teeth relative to head size, ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner: the Sloane's viperfish. Its teeth are so large that, when its mouth is closed, they overlap the jaws.
The Other "Jaws" FRANK PERRYThe Other "Jaws"Long teeth and powerful jaws allow leopards to kill small prey with a tender bite on the back of the neck; larger animals have the pleasure of being held by the throat and strangled. Harbor Seals Yawn, Too. ArterraHarbor Seals Yawn, Too. Madagascar's Finest DEA / C.DANI / I.JESKEMadagascar's FinestMeet the Leaf-tailed gecko. Favorite food? Spiders!
The Big Yawn MyLoupeThe Big YawnA hippo can open its mouth 150 degrees. That four- to five-foot yawn will expose 36 teeth — including tusks that can reach two feet in length. . . . Tusk-O-Rama DEA / C.DANI / I.JESKETusk-O-Rama . . . Oh, and they are considered about the most aggressive animal in the world. A Mandrill's Maw De Agostini Picture LibraryA Mandrill's MawMandrills eat tree bark, nuts, seeds, roots, crabs, fish, grass, birds, eggs, spiders, mice, snakes, tortoises, lizards, worms, frogs, ants, snails, mollusks, and fruit. And they have the chompers to prove it.
The Big Squeeze BettmannThe Big SqueezeThe Anaconda's teeth aren't made for chewing but rather for holding its prey still so that the joys of constriction can begin. But in case you're curious, they have four rows of teeth on their upper jaw and two on their lower jaw. Snap. Crackle. Pop! MANAN VATSYAYANASnap. Crackle. Pop!Although one whack from a tiger's paw packs enough power to crush a bear's skull, tigers prefer to kill with their four-inch-long teeth, which are, like, sharp. How sharp? They can bite through bone. Blood Sucker George SkaddingBlood SuckerThe lamprey's face is pretty much a big, sucking mouth with sharp teeth that point inward. There is good news and bad news about the lamprey. The bad news is that parasitic lampreys feed by boring into the flesh of other fish to suck their blood. The good news? Only 18 species of lampreys are parasitic.
Teeth That Won't Quit UniversalImagesGroupTeeth That Won't QuitGreat Whites never run out of teeth. Worn out? Chipped? Broken? No worries! They're continually replaced by new, sharper, and equally serrated teeth. Dragon Breath VW PicsDragon BreathAhh, the Frilled Neck Dragon. A native of Australia, this lizard is a carnivore, feeding on spiders and cicadas, beetles and butterflies, moths and mice, as well as the non-alliterative: termites. And during the wet season they binge, ingesting hundreds to thousands of flying ants and termites. Neck-Breaker MarkaNeck-BreakerPumas do not monkey about. They leap onto the back of their prey then deliver a bite powerful enough to break a neck.
Inside a Dog's Mouth PA ImagesInside a Dog's MouthThe Portuguese Water Dog is highly susceptible to . . . tartar build-up. Also note that 80 percent of dogs experience some form of dental disease by age two. Please consult a relevent specialist for more information. Beyond Orthodontia Russell KnightBeyond OrthodontiaTwo horse-mouth facts to impress your friends: 1. A typical horse has between 36 and 44 teeth. 2. A horse may have as many five different shapes of teeth; this is called "heterodontous," meaning teeth of different shapes for different purposes. You're welcome. Roar Chris JacksonRoar Meet the Vampire Fish IGFAMeet the Vampire FishYou can call this fish a payara. . . or you can use one of its more lurid, side-show names: saber tooth barracuda. Vampire fish. Vampire tetra. Or saber tusk barracuda. In any case, its two lower fangs measure as long as six inches. You'll find your vampire fish in the Amazon Basin.
Gecko Grin Joel SartoreGecko GrinPlenty to say about the mouth of a leaf tail gecko but wouldn't you rather know that it has no eyelids? Nothing to Laugh About AuscapeNothing to Laugh AboutHow strong is a hyena's jaw, you ask? So strong that they've been known to kill a dog with a single bite to the neck — a bite that doesn't even break the skin. If You're a Pig, You Have 44 Teeth. MarkaIf You're a Pig, You Have 44 Teeth.
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