Tooth shape changes within the jaw (homodont to heterodont). SEMs of adult lower jaws. (A) Homodont unicuspid snake, Python molurus, (B) homodont gecko, Paroedura picta, (C) homodont tricuspid Monitor lizard, Varanus niloticus, (D) heterodont anole, Anolis allisoni. (D′) Tricuspid teeth of the posterior jaw at the back of the mouth. (D″) Unicuspid teeth of the anterior jaw at the front of the mouth. Scale bar = 1 mm (A–D) and 200 μm (D′,D″).[1]

In anatomy, a heterodont (from Greek, meaning "different teeth") is an animal which possesses more than a single tooth morphology.[2][3]

In vertebrates, heterodont pertains to animals where teeth are differentiated into different forms. For example, members of the Synapsida generally possess incisors, canines ("eyeteeth"), premolars, and molars. The presence of heterodont dentition is evidence of some degree of feeding and or hunting specialization in a species. In contrast, homodont dentition refers to a set of teeth that possess the same tooth morphology.

In invertebrates, the term heterodont refers to a condition where teeth of differing sizes occur in the hinge plate, a part of the Bivalvia.[2]


  1. ^ Zahradnicek, Oldrich; Buchtova, Marcela; Dosedelova, Hana; Tucker, Abigail S. (2014). "The development of complex tooth shape in reptiles". Frontiers in Physiology. 5. doi:10.3389/fphys.2014.00074. PMC 3933779. PMID 24611053.   Material was copied from this source, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
  2. ^ a b A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. 10 October 2017.
  3. ^ Tanika, M. "Dentition in Mammals: Definition, Origin, Types and Unusual Teeth in Mammals". Retrieved 10 October 2017.

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