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Animal Adaptations
Below is a pictorial review of the differences between carnivore and herbivore teeth.
For information on skull morphology click here, and for imformation on homologous versus analogous traits, click here.

Fox skull: from a typical carnivore (meat-eater)

Carnivores generally have long, sharp front teeth which help them catch and tear into their prey. The back teeth are narrow and sharply serrated, much like the blade of a knife. They are used to cut meat into smaller chunks. Insectivores (like moles) eat insects almost exclusively, and have fine, needle-like teeth.

Squirrel jaw: from a typical herbivore (plant-eater)

Herbivores have broad, flat molars (back teeth) with rough surfaces, which are used for grinding up tough plant tissues. Many herbivores (like squirrels) have chisel-like front teeth used for gnawing through wood or hard seeds. These teeth grow continually to avoid being worn down with use. Herbivores often have a gap between the front and back teeth to allow space for repositioning plant tissue as it's chewed, since much chewing is required to break it up.

Omnivores (such as humans) eat both plants and animals, and have broad, flat molars for grinding up a variety of foods. The front teeth are wide, narrow at the tips, and somewhat chisel-shaped, making them useful for biting off chunks of meat or plant material.
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