Teeth

Jaws: Terrific yet Terrifying

Jaws are an amazing system as they can contribute to many aspects of life such as eating, defence, locomotion, etc. Each species has specific needs and thus each set of jaws tends to be adapted to fit these demands. In the animal kingdom, some jaws show unique characteristics, which not…

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Reaction Diffusion Patterns in Jaws of the Animal Kingdom

The endless number of patterns in nature is fascinating; they vary from spots on tigers, to lines on wood, to even teeth patterns in alligators. A mystery lies beneath all of this variety: how do these complex patterns arise and form such differing patterns? The origin of these patterns in…

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Stable Isotope Analysis: Predictive Power and Challenges

The presence of stable isotopes, i.e., elements with extra (or missing) neutrons which do not decay over time, provides a strong tool for tracing of animal activities in both the near and distant past. Quantification of these stable isotopes using mass spectrometry, followed by mathematical analysis, allows scientists to make…

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The Biochemical Basis of Fossilization

In exceptional cases, organism remains may fossilize, persisting in sediment and retaining morphological features across great lengths of time. Eluding complete biological breakdown, these special artifacts of nature are evidence of previous life on Earth and archive the planet’s diverse history. Here, we investigate several environmental conditions which influence fossilization,…

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Design, Purpose and Specificity of the Narwhal’s Tusk

The narwhal’s tusk is a fascinating organ as it has the composition of a tooth but very different properties, in particular its ability to grow in a straight line. To understand the design mechanism allowing this particular feature, we will first present the composition, function and properties of the tusk.…

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Hypotheses for the Tooth Eruption Mechanism

Tooth eruption, the movement of the tooth germ from its non-functional position in the alveolar processes to its final function position in the oral cavity, is a little-known mechanism despite being highly documented. Many theories try to explain the mechanism of the eruption of the tooth; however, none succeed to…

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Rodent Adaptations to Ever-growing Teeth

Rodents have ever-growing incisors as a result of their chew-intensive diets. The potential consequences of this growth are numerous and can cause serious diseases for these animals. To avoid these outcomes, the structures and mechanisms involved in the function of nutrition must adapt to this trait. Therefore, the incisors are…

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