How many teeth does a cheetah have?


Quick Answer

Cheetahs have 30 teeth total in their jaws. They have 16 teeth in their upper jaw and 14 teeth in their lower jaw. Most species of cats have exactly the same number and kinds of teeth, although the size of their jaws and teeth may vary.

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Full Answer

The basic cat jaw has 30 teeth in it, with 6 incisors, or flat front teeth, in both jaws, 2 fangs or canines in both, and 2 molars in both. The upper and lower jaws only differ in that the upper jaws have 6 premolars whereas the lower jaws have 4. The extra premolar in the upper jaw is adapted for crushing bone. Cheetahs follow this basic jaw plan exactly. However, their teeth are shorter and smaller than may be expected for a cat of their size, because their skull shape is adapted for hard breathing. They have enlarged nasal passages, crowding out the area of the skull where the upper teeth would be rooted.

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