– Why do Birds or flying creatures (including insects) in general don’t have teeth?


Additionally, what are pros & cons of beaks as opposed to teeth?

In: 4

Teeth are heavy. They have to be thick and durable to work well as teeth, but a flying creature needs to be light to fly and save energy.

Difference in food, and difference in mouth parts. Teeth are good for cutting and grinding, which is good for grinding plants, and turning meat into something that we won’t choke on.

Birds have a beak, which is basically like two large teeth but work slightly differently. Birds eat mainly bugs, and can swallow most of their food whole. Most birds that can’t swallow something whole only need their beak to crush a shell. The birds that do eat meat have slightly different beaks that allow them to tear off large chunks, but still don’t need teeth because they can swallow those large chunks whole.

Insects have mandibles and pincers which also serve a similar purpose to beaks and teeth. Usually insects focus less on chewing food, and more on only biting off pieces that are small enough that they can swallow in the first place, though some do use their mouth parts to grind things down to a smaller size similar to teeth.

Bats are mammals, and have teeth. Birds probably lost bony jaws and teeth as adaptations to reduce weight for flight, but some have bills that serve as teeth to rip and tear food they swallow . Some birds have serrated bills that are analogous to teeth, for grinding vegetation. Insects don’t have a bony skeleton, so no teeth. They do have analogous mouth parts for piercing, sucking, rasping, tearing.

Tl:DR: They don’t need them.