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Different Teeth, Different Diet

In this worksheet, students will be looking at how an animal's teeth are related to its diet.

'Different Teeth, Different Diet' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Animals, including Humans

Curriculum subtopic:   Teeth

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

There are many types of animals that have teeth. Fish have teeth, and so do lizards, snakes and frogs. These animals generally have small, pointed teeth that are used for biting but not for chewing.

Snake

 

Mammals (like bears, lions, horses and humans) have teeth too. Unlike other animals, mammals have a variety of teeth that are used for different purposes.

Lion

 

The type of teeth they have can tell you a lot about the types of food that they eat.

 

Let's explore how different teeth determine the diet of an animal.

Humans have three different kinds of teeth. Can you match each tooth with its use?

 

Teeth in mouth

Column A

Column B

B: incisor
cutting
C: canine
tearing
A: molar
grinding

Look at these animals and try to match each one with the type of diet it is suited to.

 

 

Jaguar Horse Teeth

 

Column A

Column B

jaguar
meat eater (carnivore)
horse
plant eater (herbivore)
human
mixed diet (omnivore)

Which TWO of these animals don't have teeth?

 

whale blue tit lizard turtle goldfish
WHALE BIRD LIZARD TURTLE FISH
whales

birds

lizards

turtles

fish

Some animals have chisel-shaped incisors on their upper and lower jaws.

 

Incisors

 

What kind of foods do you think these teeth would be good for eating? (Select all the options that you think are correct).

tough plant roots

seeds

nuts

fruits

Some animals have molars that have sharp W-shaped surfaces.

 

Hedgehog

 

What do you think these would be good for crunching up?

twigs

soft fruits

insects

fish

Here is the skull of a carnivore.

 

Carnivore skull labelled

 

What is the name of the teeth labelled B?

incisors

canines

molars

pre-molars

Here is the skull of a herbivore.

 

Deer skull

 

If you look at it, you can see two main sorts of teeth.  What are they called?

 

Tick TWO boxes.

 

 

incisors

canines

molars

carnassial

Look at this picture of an elephant's teeth:

 

Elephant's teeth

 

Can you see the grinding surfaces?  What do you think it's designed for eating?

tough plant material

brazil nuts

crunching up bones

Sharks have teeth that are continually being replaced throughout their lives.

 

Shark

 

Can you think why?

older teeth become soft and fall out

they have fights with other sharks

teeth regularly break off and need replacing

Crocodiles have teeth like a lot of little spikes.

 

Crocodile

 

Why do you think all their teeth are the same?  You probably don't know the answer, so look at each answer and go for the one you think makes the best sense.

they only eat meat so they don't need different sorts of teeth

they use their teeth to grab food and then swallow it whole

they have spiky teeth so their jaws fit together properly when their mouth is closed

  • Question 1

Humans have three different kinds of teeth. Can you match each tooth with its use?

 

Teeth in mouth

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

B: incisor
cutting
C: canine
tearing
A: molar
grinding
EDDIE SAYS
Incisors are sharp,blade like teeth that are good for biting and cutting.
Molars are flat topped teeth that are good for chewing and grinding.
Canines are pointed teeth that are good for holding and tearing.
  • Question 2

Look at these animals and try to match each one with the type of diet it is suited to.

 

 

Jaguar Horse Teeth

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

jaguar
meat eater (carnivore)
horse
plant eater (herbivore)
human
mixed diet (omnivore)
EDDIE SAYS
The jaguar has sharp canine teeth, good for catching and biting its prey, and big incisors, good for taking the meat from bones. The carnassial teeth at the back are like shears that can crunch bone.
The horse has blade-like incisors that are good for snipping grass and other plants, and flat topped cheek teeth that are good for grinding tough plant material.
Human teeth are good for biting and chewing and are somewhere between those of a meat and plant eater.
  • Question 3

Which TWO of these animals don't have teeth?

 

whale blue tit lizard turtle goldfish
WHALE BIRD LIZARD TURTLE FISH
CORRECT ANSWER
birds
turtles
EDDIE SAYS
Birds and turtles have hard beaks but they don't have teeth. Fish and lizards have small pointed teeth.
  • Question 4

Some animals have chisel-shaped incisors on their upper and lower jaws.

 

Incisors

 

What kind of foods do you think these teeth would be good for eating? (Select all the options that you think are correct).

CORRECT ANSWER
tough plant roots
seeds
nuts
fruits
EDDIE SAYS
All of these are correct. Animals with teeth like this are called rodents and they are specialised for gnawing their food. They include mice, rats and squirrels. Rodents depend so much on their incisors to eat that if they break one they can't feed and will starve to death. By the way, the picture is of a rodent called a naked mole rat!
  • Question 5

Some animals have molars that have sharp W-shaped surfaces.

 

Hedgehog

 

What do you think these would be good for crunching up?

CORRECT ANSWER
insects
EDDIE SAYS
Animals with teeth like this are called insectivores, which means that they mainly eat insects. Hedgehogs and shrews are examples of insectivores.
  • Question 6

Here is the skull of a carnivore.

 

Carnivore skull labelled

 

What is the name of the teeth labelled B?

CORRECT ANSWER
canines
EDDIE SAYS
A carnivore is a meat-eater, so it depends upon its canine teeth for capturing prey and then using them to tear into it. If a carnivore breaks one of its canines it may starve to death.
  • Question 7

Here is the skull of a herbivore.

 

Deer skull

 

If you look at it, you can see two main sorts of teeth.  What are they called?

 

Tick TWO boxes.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
incisors
molars
EDDIE SAYS
Herbivores, like this deer, are plant-eaters, so they don\'t need canines. Do you see that big gap - no canines. They use their incisors for nibbling off plant material, like grass and leaves, and then their molars grind it up into a pulp ready for swallowing.
  • Question 8

Look at this picture of an elephant's teeth:

 

Elephant's teeth

 

Can you see the grinding surfaces?  What do you think it's designed for eating?

CORRECT ANSWER
tough plant material
EDDIE SAYS
As you probably know, elephants are herbivores and their teeth are designed for grinding up tough plant material like roots, leaves, twigs and so on. Those sorts of foods need a lot of crushing in order to get any goodness out of them.
  • Question 9

Sharks have teeth that are continually being replaced throughout their lives.

 

Shark

 

Can you think why?

CORRECT ANSWER
teeth regularly break off and need replacing
EDDIE SAYS
Sharks spend much of their lives eating and they regularly break teeth eating tough food like other fish. Because they depend on their teeth, they have a constant process of re-growing teeth, rather like a conveyor belt. In fact, a shark may have up to 30 000 teeth in its lifetime!
  • Question 10

Crocodiles have teeth like a lot of little spikes.

 

Crocodile

 

Why do you think all their teeth are the same?  You probably don't know the answer, so look at each answer and go for the one you think makes the best sense.

CORRECT ANSWER
they use their teeth to grab food and then swallow it whole
EDDIE SAYS
Crocodiles capture fish and animals that have fallen into the river. Their spiky teeth grab the prey in order to hold it. They then swallow it whole or, if it\'s too big, they spin round quickly to break off a chunk they can swallow. A crocodile\'s digestive process is fairly slow.
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