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Concerning Elephant's Teeth

Elephants have many peculiarities. One of them is, of course, their dental system.

When you look at an elephant, the first thing you notice are his tusks. These are long modified teeth that grow from the base of the trunk. These incisive teeth continue growing in the course of the elephants' life. 

African elephants, both females and males, have tusks. Of course, males' tusks are bigger and stronger.

Asian elephants have tusks of moderate size. Neither females never have big tusks, nor males ever have impressive huge tusks. In India males with nicely developed tusks are called "tusker", males with one tusk are called "Ganesha", males with small tusks or with no tusks at all are called "makhna". So, our male Aung Naing Lay is a typical makhna.

During last decades the number of tuskers hase considerably decreased. This has to do with continuous hunting after ivory. Unfortunately, elephants' tusks are a true curse for them. In order to satisfy "black market"'s demand for ivory elephants are being killed in large numbers both in India and in Africa.

Moles of elephants are peculiar, too. Animals have only one tooth on both sides of the jaw! That's why they have only four teeth/ These teeth are of bog size, they have a massive crown. Such construction allows elephants to chew rough vegetation, branches in particular. In the course of time these teeth wear out and chenge for new ones. A young elephant has six teeth on both sides of the jaw. The first tooth is functioning, the other five remain deep in the jaw bone. When the first tooth gets worn out, the next tooth starts growing and changes it. When the last tooth gets worn out, that means the elephant's life has come to its end. This happens when the elephants is about 45 years of age. The majority of elephants cannot live up to 50 years. Only several individuals out of a thousand live up to 60 years. All stories about amazing longevity of elephants are just fairytales.