Camel Teeth: How Big Are They And What Purpose Do They Serve?

Ritwik Bhuyan
Feb 25, 2023 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Nov 15, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Two camels in the Libyan desert.

Camels are unique and are found in desert areas all over the world.

The mouth of a camel is different from any other animal as its teeth are strong enough for chewing wood easily and there are protrusions called papillae inside the camel's cheeks which lets the animal force the food down to the stomach. It is pretty funny to see the weird things on the sides of the camels' mouths.

No one remembers camels for their teeth. Everyone knows camels to be animals with hooves and big humps.

However, there is a lot to note about the teeth anatomy of these large hooved animals. They have been portrayed a lot in cartoons and illustrations with broad smiles and some prominent teeth rows.

Adult camels are known to have 34 teeth in total and like humans, camels too start with baby teeth and mature with permanent ones later in life. The purpose of each tooth in a camel's mouth has different purposes with incisors, molars, premolars, and canines.

Science has evolved a lot and we now can determine the number of teeth in all camels of the world. With six incisors in the lower jaw and two incisors in the upper jaw, the teeth of camels are quite strong.

It also determines the diet and location of the camels found in the world. The jaws and teeth of this member of the animal kingdom are strong enough to even break wood or eat cacti painlessly. They even spit from their mouth when threatened.

You can even judge the age of the camel by the number of teeth until the animal reaches seven years of age. You won't even have to go far to see a camel live as it is easily found in the Northern American range and also areas near South Africa.

You can also find these animals in India and neighboring countries of the Middle East.

Camels are found in Asia and Africa. Living in dry lands devoid of water and food, most camels are one-humped. However, cold areas in the northern parts have a body shape with two humps.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about do camels spit and how long can a camel go without water here on Kidadl?

Why do camels have sharp teeth?

Adult camels have 34 permanent teeth, while the milk teeth fall off. Camels have eight front teeth, 22 cheek teeth, and four canines.

The long-necked camels are quite common all over the world and have sharp teeth. Sharp teeth sometimes help camels break wood easily and even let them eat cacti. Groups of camels can be seen feeding only on cacti as food is really scarce in the sand-filled areas of the world.

American universities have researched this topic of science a lot and found that camel teeth are really strong and sharp to protect themselves from predators too.

What kind of teeth do camels have?

Camels possess different kinds of teeth including the ones at the back of the mouth.

Baby camels have incisors, molars, premolars, and canines. A camel will have six incisors in the lower jaw and two incisors in the upper jaw.

There will be 12 molars in total with three on each side of the mouth, on the top and bottom of the jaw. 34 permanent teeth can be seen after seven years of birth as the milk teeth fall out.

You will know the age of the camel by looking at the wear of the teeth and also the diet of the animal can be determined by this process. Fossil has also been found that proves this body shape and size.

How many teeth does a camel have?

If you check the small head of a large camel, you will notice that there are many different types of teeth present inside the mouth. People are fascinated by these popular animals and there is more to show regarding the teeth of camels.

In a baby, a camel has 22 milk teeth with one front tooth on each side of the jaw, three cheek teeth on each side, and one canine tooth on each side. This setup is for the upper jaw.

The lower jaw has three front teeth on each side, a canine tooth on each side, and two cheek teeth on each side of the jaw.

Once the camels mature, the milk teeth fall out and 34 permanent teeth start showing (usually seen after seven years of age). In the upper jaw, two front teeth are seen along with two canine teeth and 12 cheek teeth.

In the lower jaw, six front teeth are seen with two canines and 10 cheek teeth. Canines first appear at around six years of age and after around 15 years, the camel teeth start wearing off and the camels won't be able to feed on hard food.

What's special about camel teeth?

The teeth of camels help them feed on anything as they can easily bite into wood and chew cacti with ease.

The teeth of camels are similar to humans in many ways, and in the end, have the same construction and categorization. The sharp teeth are used to break into anything hard and also help in biting predators if threatened. They also help in chewing, however, the teeth wear out around 15 years.

Conserving Camels

There are many species of camels where some are very common and some are rare in the world.

Species like the wild Bactrian camel is considered critically endangered now. Predators, drought, habitat loss, and higher mortality rates in harsh conditions have led to the decline of the population of camels. Conservation techniques need to be made available to help these camels live a good life.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for camel teeth, then why not take a look at herbivore teeth or camel facts.

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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