STL Science Center

STL Science Center

11 November 2015

What is in Your Teeth?

The teeth of mammoths are composed of ribbon-like layers of enamel that create an interesting and highly effective grinding surface. Mastodons have very different teeth that are more well-suited to  shearing and tearing. Where mammoths have flatter surfaces with grinding ribbons inlaid into the enamel plates, mastodons possess multiple nearly conical cusps in their teeth that allow for plant materials to be caught between the cusps and torn, sheared really, by the chewing actions of the jaws. The dietary differences are briefly mentioned by Daniel Fisher in this video showing the different teeth. The second video shows the teeth isolated from the mandible. Watch each video and appreciate the differences! Also, a special thanks to Elizabeth Deering for sharing much more information about mammoth teeth than I could post here!

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