Why do our faces look so different from those of our ancestor – Early Man? Do animals' teeth wear out? Why are they sometimes such funny shapes like tusks and fangs? An Eye for a Tooth: The Teeth of Animals aims to fill a gap in the genre of popular science. It explains and describes in everyday language how important teeth are to animals, how they function and why they are different shapes. It also looks at all aspects of the jaw system. The book deals with the dentitions of dinosaurs, primitive animals, sharks and rays, lizards, snakes, crocodiles and alligators. There is an extensive section on mammals, covering many different creatures of different shapes and sizes, including whales, herbivores and carnivores.
An Eye for a Tooth is not a comprehensive survey, but examples of each Order are considered and some unusually interesting dentitions are mentioned. The book concludes with sections on human evolution, evolutionary niches and the future of teeth. This book is an ideal companion for any fans of popular science who are looking to expand their knowledge, as well as those interested in evolution.
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Desmond Eccles was born in Belfast and educated at the RBAI (Inst) and Queen's University. He qualified as a dentist in 1950 and has taught dentistry in the dental schools of Belfast and Cardiff. He is the co-author of The Conservation of Teeth (Blackwell Science Ltd, 1973). Now retired, Desmond lives in Hillsborough.