MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Do beavers have baby teeth prior to using their adult teeth?

Date: Fri Jun 4 08:31:34 2004
Posted By: Dave Williams, Science Department Chair, Valencia Community College
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 1085284243.Zo

Thanks to my colleague, Steve Myers, for finding this Encarta article 
on teeth.

There you will find that Beavers are monophydont (although the more 
accepted spelling seems to be monophyodont), having a single set 
of teeth that grow for their entire lives. Humans (and apparently most  
mammals) are diphyodont, with 2 sets of teeth in a lifetime; one 
deciduous (falling out) and one permanent. Other animals may have 
polyphyodont dentition with regular replacement throughout their 

The Web is a bit short on examples but polyphyodont animals are 
found among fish and reptiles, with sharks and alligators being 
specific examples of polyphyodont kinds.

Hope this helps.

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