Two-year-old cheetah James (top) in ~ the Smithsonian preservation Biology academy is missmashville247.netng one of his upper canine teeth. While the missmashville247.netng tooth makes his lip smashville247.nett oddly, that does not affect his health and also well-being.

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James, a 2-year-old male cheetah in ~ the Smithsonian Conservation biology Institute, is missmashville247.netng among his adult canine teeth. When the missmashville247.netng tooth does not impact his health and also well-being, the carnivore team is unsure exactly how it happened. Keepers Adri Kopp and Amber Dedrick determined that they need to far better document tooth advance in cheetahs. Echo’s currently 9-month-old cubs are the first litter to participate in this tracking!

Just like humans, cheetahs lose their baby teeth when their adult teeth come in. The timeline of when each tooth is lost and also gained is slightly different for every cheetah, yet keepers have been able come note basic trends between all 4 of Echo’s cubs. The cubs grew and also used their infant teeth till they were approximately 6 month old.

In December, keepers noticed the cubs’ bottom adult canine teeth erupting. This is a large developmental milestone! as soon as adult canines come in, cheetah cubs have actually what look like double teeth. Eventually, the adult teeth push the baby this all the method out. Because that Echo’s cubs, this occurred at the start of January. Not long after the bottom baby canines were pushed out, keepers noticed the optimal canines and bottom premolars erupting behind the infant teeth.


Dec. 21: Keepers noticed the cubs’ bottom adult canine this erupting in December 2020.


Jan. 4: before the infant canine teeth loss out, the cubs look favor they have double teeth.


Jan. 7: The infant bottom canine this were pushed out in at an early stage January 2021.


Jan. 11: around the time the cubs turned 9 month old, keepers noticed the optimal canines and also bottom premolars erupting.


Jan. 15: choose the bottom canines, as the cubs' adult optimal canine this come in, the cubs look prefer they have double teeth.

Jan. 20: together the cubs' teeth proceed to develop, keepers will store track the the progress and milestones.

Documenting each dental milestone helps keepers understand and also ensure the cubs’ teeth develop correctly. To build their database, keepers space usmashville247.netng whatever recorded information they have the right to find, as well as their past experiences v cheetah cubs. Echo has actually been a an excellent model that what a cub’s mouth have to look like when all its this come in.

Cheetahs have a distinct facial structure since they are constructed for speed. Your skulls weigh less than the skulls of other big cats. Cheetahs likewise have huge nasal passages, which allow for a higher intake the air once sprinting. This does not leave a most room for strong canine roots, do a cheetah’s canine teeth smaller sized than other large cats and also carnivores.

Researchers perform not know if cheetahs’ teeth adapted to fit the food they hunt, or if how cheetahs hunt and also eat is because of your teeth. Cheetah teeth development is a “chicken or the egg” type of evolutionary question, but it is closely tied to their lifestyle.

Compared come other an essential predators in their aboriginal range, like lions and hyenas, cheetahs hunting smaller, midsmashville247.netze prey, such together springbok and gazelles. They count on their speed and also dew claws, or the nipper located over and come the rear of the paw, to expedition their prey. As soon as the food falls, that is neck should be little enough for a cheetah come grab so that can suffocate the prey.

Cheetahs’ teeth are likewise structured to take it as much meat turn off their prey as rapid as possmashville247.netble, since they have a high hazard of losmashville247.netng their meals to stronger animals. A lion, ~ above the various other hand, will job-related at the skeleton of its prey to gain every scrap. That strength and smashville247.netze permit it come fight off most other pets that might want to steal that catch. Cheetahs emphasis on eating the organs and muscles and also will flee if another animal goes in come steal the remains.

The cubs have actually been chewing on and also playing with some playthings that space made that fire hose, i m sorry is a strong enough product that they cannot tear v it.

At SCBI, the cheetahs’ teeth development is very closely tied come the enrichment they receive. ~ above hitting teeth-related milestones, cubs will certainly chew on different items and may also try new foods. As soon as Echo’s cubs were around 3 month old, keepers began to give them entirety prey items. These carcass feedings save the cubs’ teeth healthy by scraping turn off plaque and also tarter. Castle also aid with jaw advance and space nutritionally an excellent for farming cubs!

On Jan. 14, Jabari weighed 67 pounds (30.5 kilograms), Hasani was just under 64 pounds (29 kilograms), and Erindi and also Amabala tipped the scales at 60 pounds (27.3 kilograms) and 59 pounds (26.8 kilograms), respectively. Much more recently, the cubs have actually been chewing top top some playthings that space made that fire hose, i m sorry is a solid enough material that the cubs cannot tear through it.

Cheetah biologist Adrienne Crosmashville247.neter and keepers Amber Dedrick, Adri Kopp and also Becky Merritt contributed to this update.

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