When I was teaching my second graders about the hunting techniques employed by the different predators of the animal kingdom, I was prepared to answer several questions.
But there was one of the questions that took me by surprise … is there any other species of animals other than snakes that have pointy teeth?
So, on hearing the question of my students, I decided to learn more about the question before giving them an answer. So here is what I learned about animals that have fangs.
Animals that have fangs:
- Musk Deer
Table of Contents
- List of animals that have fangs:
- In Summary
List of animals that have fangs:
If you have been wondering about which animals have fangs, here is a list to satisfy your curiosity.
The canine teeth of lions are known as fangs.
As one of the animals with long teeth, it needs to be sharp, powerful, and capable of immobilizing the prey.
At the same time, it should make it easy for the lion to tear the flesh of the bones of the prey.
When you observe the canine teeth of lions or their fangs, you will find that these are slightly blunted, making this ideal for immobilizing the prey.
However, once the fangs bite into the lower neck and upper chest of a prey’s body, they can completely tear into the windpipe.
Lions kill their prey by strangulation and suffocation. So, one of the best ways for doing it would be to tear through the windpipe of its prey.
The canines of lions can grow up to seven centimeters, making them one of the most formidable fanged creatures in the animal kingdom.
Snakes are the creatures that we always associate with fangs.
The primary reason for it is that snakes have distinctive front teeth that they use to inject a cocktail of toxins into prey to immobilize it.
But not all species of snakes have fangs.
Snakes with fangs have some grooves running from the fangs to the venom sack, usually placed at the back of their teeth.
The nerves get activated when the snake gets ready to insert the venom into the prey or ward off an attacker.
The unique feature of a snake’s fangs is that they can re-grow it if they lose one. The fangs of snakes can also fold back into their mouth.
This is important for the snake not to bite themselves and inadvertently poison themselves.
If you have ever watched a vampire movie, you must have seen the actors’ fangs suck the blood from their prey.
Bats inspire these fangs, but these have nothing to do with the fictional vampires.
The vampire bats have sharp canines because they are dependent on the blood of cattle, large birds, horses, and other similar creatures for their nutrition.
Although their name sounds quite formidable, these creatures are pretty small.
The size of a vampire bat will be no bigger than your thumb, and its wingspan is eight inches.
The bat uses its canines to bite into the skin of a sleeping animal to suck the blood from its body.
The sharp fangs help with piercing the prey while the chemicals in its saliva prevent the blood from clotting.
Like other big cats, Tigers have four massive canines, two on their upper jaws and two in their lower jaws.
The canines of tigers are known to grow up to eight centimeters in length and since tigers are ambush predators, they need to immobilize their prey with the help of their teeth.
When they hunt their prey, they need to bite into the body of massive prey like buffaloes, boars, and deer.
They need sharp, strong teeth that will help them paralyze their prey easily.
A tiger will use its canines to strangulate its prey and puncture its jugular vein. This is necessary because the creature often hunts beasts larger than its size.
Wolves hunt in packs, however, they have to use their teeth when bringing down prey.
Nature has endowed the creature with sharp canines to make it easier for them to bring down prey significantly larger than their average size.
It is these canines that are considered to be fangs. The fangs of a wolf can be nearly 2.5 inches to 3 inches in length.
These fangs are not only used to grip prey but to immobilize it as well. When a wolf grips its prey, it can tear into its windpipe or jugular vein.
This is necessary to immobilize the prey and ensure that the entire pack can attack it and finally kill it.
Wolves also use their fangs to defend themselves from other predators.
These creatures are known to be quite territorial and will use their teeth and claws to defend themselves and their territories.
Amongst the big cats, jaguars probably have the most frightening and the most pronounced set of teeth.
If you have seen any documentary about big cats like tigers, leopards, and jaguars, you will find that these spotted animals are easily recognizable by their canines and their fangs.
A jaguar has four canines, two in the lower jaw and two in the upper jaw.
The jaguar bite is known to be quite deadly because of its fangs.
These cats can easily bite through bones as well as their prey’s skull and are even known to crush the shell of turtles.
They can do it with the help of their powerful jaws and fangs.
Jaguars are patient animals and expert ambush hunters. With the help of their powerful fangs, they can kill their prey with a single bite.
In many movies, spiders are dangerous creatures with sharp fangs.
But in reality, they are pretty shy and will never bite unless they feel threatened.
The fangs of most spiders cannot even penetrate the human skin.
Only the bite of spiders like the brown recluse, hobo, camel, wolf spider, black widow, tarantulas, and the banana spider can penetrate your skin.
Most of these spider bites will only cause an allergic reaction, however, the bites of spiders like the female black widow and the tarantulas can prove dangerous.
The fangs of spiders are different from that of other animals as these are opposed towards one another.
The fangs seem like a pinch, and when the spider bites, it is like a pinch.
Leopards are apex predators, making it necessary for them to bring down prey that is larger than their size.
Evolution has endowed them with powerful jaws, speed, and strong canines known as fangs.
Leopards use their fangs to bite into their prey’s jugular veins and bring them down.
But you will also find that leopards use these fangs to defend themselves.
Like jaguars, leopards are also territorial, and they need to defend their territories from other leopards or predators.
The sharp fangs of the leopards are also a defensive weapon, and the creature can use these successfully to protect themselves.
9. Musk deer
Musk deer are mistakenly known as ‘vampire deer’ because of their pronounced fangs that jut out of their mouth.
But in reality, these deer are pretty gentle.
The musk deer have been hunted indiscriminately for their preputial glands’ secretions used in the perfume industry.
Excessive hunting has made the musk deer an endangered species.
The fangs of the musk deer have a unique purpose, and you will find that only the male of the species has the fangs.
The musk deer uses its fangs to fend off competing males during the breeding season.
Unlike other creatures, the fangs of the musk deer are its incisors. It is used as a weapon to fend off other deer and win over the female deer.
The animals that have fangs are lions, snakes, bats, tigers, wolves, jaguars, spiders, leopards, and musk deer. Most animals’ teeth are for chewing, so they can get enough nutrients from food for survival, however, fangs are mostly used for immobilizing prey by biting and tearing into their flesh.