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Did you know Teeth first develop outside the mouth?

Monday, May 6, 2013

New research from the University of Alberta found that teeth first evolved from outside of the mouth of scales on shark-like fish, ischnacanthid acanthodians, that roamed the oceans 416 to 397 million years ago in early Devonian time.

So teeth initially developed outside the body and migrated slowly into the oral cavity.


Can you imagine the looks on that first smile? Imagine little tiny teeth aligned around the lips. I guess kissing and lipstick weren't invented yet.

Teeth initially gave a major advantage to grasp and hand on to prey until they can swallow it in one shot, i.e. they weren't used for chewing!

Jaws, which evolved earlier, along with teeth allowed fishes to go from filter feeding, like the big blue whale, to active predators. Evolution from passive feeding to hunting was the first evolutionary arms race among vertebrates.

Teeth evolved and specialised as the reliance on teeth grew according to the specific diet of each specie. They allowed vertebrate to become more efficient predators, and eventually more efficient herbivores.

For further information you can read the reference below or contact us at: www.ariadental.com

Blais SA, MacKenzie LA, Wilson MVH. 2011. Tooth-like scales in Early Devonian eugnathostomes and the ‘outside-in’ hypothesis for the origins of teeth in vertebrates. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31:1189-1199.



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