Do frogs have teeth

In answer to the question do frogs have teeth most frogs do in fact have some teeth of sort.  They are called maxillary teeth and are located in the top jaw of the frog.  They form a small cone shape at the top of the mouth.  There are also other teeth known as vomerine teeth which are located in the roof of the mouth of the frog.  They are used to hold their prey.  

Do frogs have teeth

Frogs do not have any teeth in their lower jaw.  This does not cause any problem to the frog as they do not tend to chew their food.  It usually gets swallowed in one go!  Toads do not have teeth.  

Why do frogs have teeth?  You might think that a frog would need to use its teeth in some form of self-protection, to bite a predator, but in fact this is not necessary.   Some frogs have other forms and methods of protecting themselves, so generally speaking, teeth aren't really necessary for biting. Teeth are really just for holding on to their prey before swallowing it.

However, a few years ago, scientists did discover that the tree-dwelling Gastrotheca guentheri are the only frogs with teeth on both their upper and lower jaw.  It is thought that they might have lost these teeth millions of years ago, and somehow they have managed to resurface.   

The Gastrotheca guentheri is more commonly known as the marsupial frog.  It is different from marsupial mammals though as it tends to carry its eggs in pouches that can be found on its' back, rather than in a pouch at the front.  

Going from data generated from DNA and fossils it was discovered that these frogs lost their teeth over 200 milion years ago.  It has since been discovered that they could have got their teeth back a mere 20 million years ago!

Do frogs have teeth

The vomerine teeth are there specifically to hold on to the frog's prey.  Do frog have teeth to chew their food?  No.  Really the teeth are there just to cling on to the prey which they do with the aid of the tongue also.  Similarly, the maxillary teeth are used to hold on to the frog's prey.

However, the African Bullfrog does have teeth and they are quite sharp too! They use them for eating their food, but they have also been known to bite a human when they feel threatened or are being picked up!  You have been warned!

Find out more about do frogs have teeth and all sorts of brilliant frog facts on the fabulous BBC website here.

Want to learn more about frogs click here


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