Taking A Bite Out of Tooth Evolution: Frogs Have Lost Teeth More Than 20 Times
Published:02 Jun.2021    Source:Florida Museum of Natural History

Scientists have long known that frogs are oddballs when it comes to teeth. Some have tiny teeth on their upper jaws and the roof of their mouths while others sport fanglike structures. Some species are completely toothless. And only one frog, out of the more-than 7,000 species, has true teeth on both upper and lower jaws.

Now, the first comprehensive study of tooth evolution in frogs is bringing the group's dental history into focus. Florida Museum of Natural History researchers analyzed CT scans of nearly every living amphibian genus to reveal that frogs have lost teeth over 20 times during their evolution, more than any other vertebrate group. Some frog species may have even re-evolved teeth after losing them millions of years before.