What Are Whales' Teeth Called?


Quick Answer

Whale teeth are simply called "teeth." The conical shape of whale teeth facilitates the catching of slippery fish. Whales that eat fish have more teeth than whales whose primary food source is octopus and squid.

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Full Answer

Whale teeth have a single root. Whales do not have incisors, molars, canines or premolars. Their cone-shaped teeth may be straight or slightly curved. Toothed whales are born with all the teeth they ever have. There are 71 species of toothed whales that inhabit global waters. Toothed whale species include sperm whales, beluga whales and narwhals.

Not all whales have teeth. Humpbacks, fin whales and blue whales filter plankton and other small food with strong plates of flexible keratin called "baleen."

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