Marsupials avoid ever-growing teeth



Vombatus ursinus photo © JJ Harrison


Marsupials in Australia have radiated into various forms corresponding ecologically to American sloths, armadillos and anteaters. A surprising difference between these two groups is that the American animals have ever-growing cheek-teeth and most of the Australian animals do not.  A possible explanation for this difference is that the American animals are at greater risk of predation, forage in greater haste, and consequently contend with more grit while eating, than is the case for animals with similar diets in Australia. 
Robin and the Honey Badger, 8 January 2017

Vombatus ursinus
Vombatus ursinus