Biology Essays

Identifying An Animals Diet Just By the Structures of Its Bones

Suppose that you stumbled across the bones of some dead animal. How could you determine what type of food that it ate during its lifetime? Is there a way to know whether a creature is a herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore just by its bone structures? Actually, there is!

The first thing that you should examine is the Skelton. Specifically you should look at the jaw and teeth. The arrangement and types of teeth found in a skull can tell you a lot about an animal’s diet. For example, the teeth of a carnivorous animal will be more sharp and pointed.

IMG_4590You can tell that the this animal was a carnivore, because in the picture its canine teeth and the surrounding teeth are elongated and sharp, making them the perfect things to use to tear into their prey. Even the molars near the back of the mouth are more sharp than they would be in a Herbivore.

The teeth structures of herbivores are more smooth and not as sharp. Since they eat plants, they would have more molars that make grinding up plants easier.

IMG_4591This is a Horse’s skull. As you can see, there are a lot more molars that they use to grind up the food. Near the front of their mouth however, you can see some larger teeth. These are very strong, and their purpose is to tear large chunks of food off for the molars to grind. None of these teeth are very sharp like in the carnivorous animal, but they are super powerful and strong.

So, the next time that you stumble across an old animal skull; be sure and try to determine the type of food that it ate before you google it!

-Shiphrah

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