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Does a frog have teeth? This last living species intrigues scientists to this day

The idea of ​​a frog with teeth may sound crazy, but it’s real! The last living species with this characteristic is the Guentheri gastrotheca, responsible for intriguing scientists to this day, and researchers at the University of Florida (USA) dedicated themselves precisely to understanding everything behind this rarity. The findings were published in the scientific journal Evolution.

Researchers estimate that, throughout their evolutionary history, frogs have lost and regained their teeth several times. The study also describes some species of frogs that ended up developing large bony tusks, protruding from their jaws. But despite looking like teeth, these fangs have no dentin or enamel.

For decades, experts have wondered whether the structures in the mandible of the Guentheri gastrotheca they were bones or teeth. The study, willing to clarify this once and for all, cited two challenges: finding a frog of the species (which is very rare) and confirming the presence of dentin and enamel on teeth, something that cannot be done without the use of High resolution techniques.

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Researchers turned to CT scans to accomplish this purpose, and found dentin and enamel in these jaw structures. That is, they are not bones. The group believes that the secret lies in the complex tooth development pathway trapped in most living amphibians. Recently, another study highlighted a rarity: frogs that carry their eggs in “pockets”.

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