“Suppose you found the bones of an unidentified animal. How could you learn about what the animal ate?”
A long walk upon a deserted highway has gotten you lost. You cannot remember where you came from or even who you are. But you can remember one thing. How to identify an animals tooth. It’s a strange thing to remember but you recall it well. While shuffling along the road, you come across an animal’s skull. You squat down and peer at it. It has large eye sockets and an elongated jaw. Probably a horse, you think, but just to be sure, you look at it’s teeth. Long rows of molars in the back and large buck teeth in the front. Yup. It’s a horse. Another fact pops into your house as you recite out loud, “Horses are Heterodont, which means that they have different types of teeth. Most mammals, including humans, are heterodont. Cats (who are also heterdont) have teeth that are designed to fit right between their prays (most likely a little mouse) vertebrae, thereby snapping it in two, killing it instantly. Molars are used for grinding up the food before swallowing. Some heterodont’s have different teeth during different stages in their life. That is how archeologists can find out how old buried human remains are as well as what they ate.” You look around the deserted highway and sit down in the middle of the road. You blink a few times. You hear a car blare their horn.
Your eyes shoot open as you fall of off your bed with a thump. Then you remember. Your science quiz is tomorrow. You were having a dream. You get back into bed and smile. Yup. You’re going to ace that quiz.
Revised: Biology Lesson 140