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Grizzly bear teeth

 

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    Grizzly bears are omnivores and their teeth reflect a diet of both plant material and meat.   Bears retain the large and sharp incisor teeth (seen in true carnivores such as the big cats) designed for ripping flesh from bone.  In general, however, none of their teeth are as sharp and pointed as true carnivores.  

 

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     Bears also posses flat molars for grinding up grass and other vegetation.  Flat molars are essential considering that for many grizzles up to 90% of their diet is plant material.  

 

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    Compare the sharpness and look of this close up of a grizzly bear's teeth to a domestic dog or a cat and you might notice that the bear's teeth are not as pointy.  Dogs are also omnivores, but they eat a much higher percentage of meat and that is reflected in teeth that are sharper and more pointy than a bear's.  All of a domestic cat's teeth are sharp and point because it has a completely carnivorous diet.  

 

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 Photographs and text 2008 Jessica Teel