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The Size of Gorilla Teeth

By Tom Ryan

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Just like humans, a gorilla has 32 teeth in his mouth. These teeth are strong, flat and broad, and his jaws are powerful -- but unlike humans, it isn't because he eats meat. Even his canine teeth, which grow proportionately much longer than a human's, aren't for killing live prey. In fact, this gentle giant is almost exclusively a herbivore.

How Gorillas Use Their Teeth

The gorilla has a set of teeth much like a human's, though they are particularly strong. This is because his teeth are adapted to chewing up his diet of coarse plant life. They are also proportionately larger, so that he can more efficiently eat the amount of food it takes to nourish his body, which can weigh more than 400 pounds. Notably, the gorilla is equipped with canine teeth proportionately larger than a humans -- they can grow up to 2 inches long each, giving the appearance of fearsome fangs. He generally only uses these for show, though, to scare off predators. On the off chance that he is attacked, they are powerful and sharp for attacking his foe, but the gorilla is a relatively peaceful animal who prefers to scare off attackers with his imposing looks and threatening posturing rather than directly engaging them.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Author

Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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