Author: Brady Barr
Publisher: National Geographic, 2017
There’s a lot more to teeth than you might imagine. Chomp! gives us that information. Predators of all kinds are divided into categories: grippers, slicers, crushers, and gulpers.
First let’s meet the grippers. This group includes animals like the African Lion, the Tasmanian Devil, and the Nile Crocodile. These guys all kill their prey with a strong bite, but each animal listed has their own unique hunting adaptations and strategies. For example, the Tasmanian Devil’s “jaws open extra wide, to around 80 degrees (about the same as a T. rex) (pg. 11).
The next group are the slicers, animals whose teeth operate like a set of steak knives. Included in this category are the Alligator Snapping Turtle, the Great White Shark, and the Komodo Dragon. The Great White Shark is known as “the “bite and spit” predator. The Great White “attacks at high speed to cut and slice with a huge bite.” They also have protrusible jaws, which means they can spit their jaws out ahead of themselves for an even bigger bite (pg. 38).
Then we have the crushers who chomp away at their food. Humans are part of this group, as are the Gila Monster and the Grizzly Bear. Gila Monsters have the additional assistance of a deadly venom that uses grooves in its teeth for the venom to flow into the wound (pg. 63).
Lastly, we have the gulpers, those animals whose table manners don’t include much chewing. Animals in this group include the American Bullfrog, the Nurse Shark, and the African Rock Python. Unlike the Great White, the Nurse Shark sucks up its meals like humans would suck up a milkshake (pg. 82). Talk about diversity within a species!
Added to all of this fascinating information are Barr’s personal experiences with the animals. I have to admit – I couldn’t do his job. I am especially thankful for books like this one where the information is shared, and I can enjoy it in the comfort of my nice, safe home! Great photos and a snappy style makes this book a winner.
*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.