Mammal Teeth and Skulls – Adaptations and Identification. Teeth. Placoderm.
The placoderm is an extinct line of some of the first fish with jaws. This is an artist’s rendering of what it might look like based on fossil evidence. What looks like teeth in this picture are actually bony projections of the jaw.
Some animals have special incisors. These front teeth grow continuously during the life of the animal. If the animal does not use the wear them down by gnawing the teeth can grown right into the animals skull or jaw!
The placement of the eye orbits or sockets shows the lifestyle of the animal. Orbits that face forward give better depth perception and represent predators.
Eye sockets facing to the side allow an animal to have a wider field of view. These animals are normally prey.
Some animals have an enlarged saggital crest. A ridge-like area on the top of the skull where jaw muscles attach. A larger saggital crest means that an animal will have larger jaw muscles, and will have a stronger bite.
The herbivorous gorilla eats a lot of tough plant material, so it has a strong jaw to help it chew.
The tiger is a carnivore. It use its strong jaw muscles to bite down on its prey to kill and to rip meat from the bones.
The auditory bullae here are greatly inflated. area on the top of the skull where jaw muscles attach. A larger saggital crest means that an animal will have larger jaw muscles, and will have a stronger bite.
The size inflation of the auditory bullae indicate how well an animal can hear. The larger the auditory bullae, the better the animal can hear. The extra air in the bullae act like a reverberating chamber; that is it makes the sound louder.
These are small.
A rabbit skull is filled with an area that looks like bony webbing. This makes the skulls lighter making hopping from predators much faster.