From the Winter 2011 Conservationist for Kids
Did You Know?
By Gina Jack and Eileen Stegemann
Deer don't have upper incisors, so they tear, shred or roughly shear off vegetation when eating, rather than neatly snipping it like a rabbit.
General shape: (see large drawing above) elongated skull with a large gap on the lower jaw between the incisors and back teeth
Teeth: broad molars are quite sharp for cutting, slicing and grinding
Eyes: set somewhat to the side for better peripheral vision
Coyotes eat mostly meat, but their diet is actually quite broad and includes deer, rabbits, rodents, carrion, fruit, birds and insects.
General shape: long, with a large braincase and elongated snout
Eyes: located on the front of the head; give the coyote binocular vision and better depth perception
Cottontails have very thin, light bones, which help the animal to run more quickly.
General shape: small and broad
Teeth: upper and lower incisors enable it to neatly snip off plants; cottontails have two pairs of upper incisors-a small incisor lies behind each large, deeply grooved upper incisor
Eyes: very large eye sockets located on its sides, giving a wide field of vision so predators can be seen more effectively
The beaver's incisors automatically sharpen one another when the uppers meet the lowers. Constant gnawing keeps the teeth from growing too long.
General shape: skull and jaws are heavy and broad
Teeth: four large bright-orange chisel-like incisors (two on top, two on bottom) are deeply rooted in the skull and are used to fell trees for both food and building material
Eyes: eye sockets and ear openings are located high on the skull, making it possible for the beaver to see and hear while floating on the water's surface