Selenodont
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Selenodont

Selenodont teeth are the type of molars and premolars commonly found in ruminant herbivores. They are characterized by low crowns, and crescent-shaped cusps when viewed from above (crown view).[1]

The term comes from the Ancient Greek roots (sel?n?, 'moon' or 'moonlike'), and , ? (odoús, odóntos, 'tooth').[1] They differ from human molars in that the occlusal surface is not covered in enamel; rather, the layers of enamel, dentine, and cementum are all exposed, with cementum in the middle, surrounded by a layer of enamel, then a layer of dentine, all wrapped in a second outer layer of enamel.[1]

Viewed from the side, selenodont teeth form a series of triangular cusps. The combination of triangular profiles with ridges formed by the exposed layers makes the sideways jaw-motion of ruminants (think of a cow chewing) an effective way to break-up tough vegetable matter.

References

  1. ^ a b c Dorit, Robert L.; Warren F. Walker Jr; Robert D. Barnes (1991). Zoology. Orlando, Florida, USA: Saunders College Publishing. pp. 925-926.

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Selenodont
 



 



 
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