Birds and Beaks and Teeth

December 15, 2014 6:45 AM

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Birds and Beaks and Teeth

The beak is a characteristic of birds that make their class of mammal extremely unique. They use their beak the way we use our teeth: to gnash or tear or bite. But for birds it also has other uses: they can probe a flower or a hole in the ground, or the can crack a nut, or simply hold and carry things with their facial appendage.

A new study, however, actually investigate if birds had teeth at one point–and if they did, why they lost them. “People used to think that birds lost their teeth in order to lighten their skeleton so they could fly better,” paleontologist Stephen Brusatte, currently with the University of Edinburgh....

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