Blocker (tooth)


May 20, 2022

The blockbuster is a specialized pair of teeth appearing in carnivorous mammals. The blockbusters are derived from premolars and molars, while their carriers allow - thanks to sharp cutting edges - to cut pieces of meat. In the case of carnivores, blockbusters are derived from the first molar of the mandible and the last premolar of the mandible. The blockbusters also appeared in the extinct group of carnivorous mammals Creodonta (which is probably a sister group to Carnivoramorpha), where, however, they are derived exclusively from stools, never from premolars. In some animal groups unrelated to beasts, blockbusters developed convergently, as did the Pleistocene marsupial of the genus Thylacoleo, which probably excelled among the largest blockbusters of all carnivorous mammals. The development and morphology of blockbusters depends on the ecology of the beast. The most developed blockbusters tend to have purely carnivorous species of beasts, but with more omnivorous species of beasts, blockbusters are also more adapted to crushing food, not only to slicing meat. For example, in the hyena (Proteles cristata), which feeds on insectivores, blockbusters are completely absent. All pinnipeds also lost their blockbusters.