Elephants are one of the largest living animals on Earth with different sizes and shapes. Some live in the wild, others are domesticated by humans. The most common elephants weigh between 3-7 tons, stand up to 3 meters high at the shoulder, and have a body length of about 5 to 7m.
They are mostly found in forests and grasslands in hot climates. They are famous for their unique gray skin color and ivory tusks which they use in defense or for digging up vegetation from the ground.
Elephants are known for their long sharp trunks but do they really have teeth? in this article, we will talk about the Elephant’s teeth.
Do Elephants have teeth?
In short, yes, elephants do have teeth. And their teeth are made of hard ivory or bone. And those teeth that elephants have in the mouth are called “the tusks”. They are used to dig up vegetation from the ground, such as roots and underground tubers. Elephants do have other types of teeth in their mouth including premolars, upper incisors, and molars.
How many teeth do Elephants have?
Elephants have 26 teeth in their mouth. And they have only two incisor teeth on their upper jaw and those are called the tusks. So, out of 26 teeth in their mouth, they only have 2 teeth that are visible.
The other breakdown of Elephant teeth includes 12 molars and 12 premolars. Elephants have 3 molars in the back of their mouths and 2 molars in the front of their mouths. The elephant’s premolars are in place to grind down food, and the elephant’s incisors are for cutting food.
What is the function of the Elephant Teeth?
Elephants have a very unique set of teeth in their mouth and their main purpose is to eat food. And the types of food that elephants eat are very diverse from grasses to roots.
They use their teeth in different ways as they go after different types of vegetation. For instance, they use their incisors like tusks to dig out roots and tubers that are buried deep under the soil and other vegetation.
Elephants are herbivores and eat different plants. They use their tusks to dig up plants that they can eat, which is sometimes harmful to humans. So, the purpose of their teeth is not pretty much like how we see it as a scavenger.
Do Elephants bite?
Well, elephants don’t have teeth that are like a blunt weapon or something. But they do have tusks and those are very sharp so you can see why humans would call them dangerous animals. Elephants can break off tusks when they get old or if they want to get rid of them.
And this way they can learn a new life skill of using the tusks solely as tools rather than weapons. When Elephants do bite, the bite is so strong it can crush almost any small-medium animal.
Why are Elephant teeth so expensive?
The most expensive ivory comes from elephant tusks. And in some countries, this tusk ivory is illegal to trade and sell. But when it does get sold, it’s very costly because of its extreme rarity and value. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), about 30,000 African elephants are killed each year for their ivory tusks. The tusks are capable of making a lot of money if they were sold at high-enough prices.
Elephants have a very unique set of teeth in their mouth and the main purpose of their teeth is to eat food. They use those teeth in different ways as they go after different types of vegetation.
Even though, elephants do bite and have teeth, but aren’t animals that are dangerous to humans although it is important to keep your distance, especially in the wild. I hope you learned something about Elephant teeth.
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.