Today, we’re going to learn all about some amazing animals that have tusks. Tusks are those big teeth that stick out of an animal’s mouth. They are often made of ivory and can grow super long. Animals use their tusks for things like defending themselves, attracting mates, digging, lifting objects, etc. Let’s dive in and explore some of the most astonishing tusked creatures out there!
You’ve probably seen photos or videos of elephants before. These giant animals are famous for their long tusks made of ivory. Tusks on male African elephants can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh over 100 pounds! Whoa! Female African elephants have tusks, too, but they are much smaller. Asian elephants also have tusks, but not all of them – only the males have them.
Elephants use their mighty tusks for so many things. They use them to dig in the ground for water and roots to eat. They strip bark off trees with their tusks and even knock down full-grown trees! Tusks help them lift heavy objects like logs. They also use their tusks for defence against predators like lions or tigers. The tusks are very sensitive and help them feel around their environment.
Hippos might look like gentle giants, but watch out – they have razor-sharp tusks! Male hippos have two big tusks on their bottom jaw. They can grow up to 2 feet long. Females have tusks, too, but they are much smaller. Hippos put their tusks to work in battle.
They are very territorial and use those chompers when fighting other hippos that enter their space. Their powerful jaws and giant tusks are enough to crush a crocodile! Yikes!
You may not have heard of these funny-looking pigs from Indonesia, but male babirusas have some beastly upper tusks. Their tusks actually curve backwards over their face and, in some cases, can grow so long they pierce the skull! Crazy.
They use their curvy fangs to intimidate other males when competing for food or mates. The tusks are also used as weapons in fights. Female babirusas have smaller tusks.
Strap Toothed Whales
In the oceans, strap-toothed whales have wicked tusks too. They get their name from the unique criss-cross pattern on their teeth. Males have two long sabre-like tusks on their lower jaw.
They can be up to 12 feet long! The tusks help them grab prey like giant squid. They also use their tusks for combat and competition. Females don’t have full-grown tusks.
Narwhals are unique arctic whales known for their long spiral tusk. This tusk is actually an enlarged tooth that can grow over 10 feet long! Male narwhals have this long spear-like tusk that they use during mate competition and territorial fights.
The tusk is also sensitive and helps them sense their environment. Females sometimes have a small tusk, but it rarely develops.
If you ever see a walrus, you can’t miss those huge tusks! Walrus tusks are enlarged canine teeth that extend out from their upper lip. They can reach 3 feet long and weigh over 5 pounds! Male walruses use their massive tusks to show dominance and fight over territory.
Their tusks are also handy for breaking holes in the ice, helping them climb onto ice flows, and protecting them from polar bears. Females have tusks, too, but they are a lot smaller.
We can’t talk about tusks without mentioning warthogs! These wild pigs are really recognizable by their large upward-curving tusks. They have two tusks on their lower jaw that are used for defence, digging roots, and sparring with other warthogs.
When males fight, they interlock their tusks and try to wrestle each other to the ground! Tusks can grow to 9 inches long and curve in a complete circle in old males! Watch out for those chompers!
Water deer are a unique species found in China and Korea. They are the only species of deer with long vampire-like tusks! Males have long, curved, sabre-like upper canine teeth that protrude down from their upper jaw.
These fangs can reach 5 inches long! They use their tusks for competing and fighting with other males during mating season. Females have much smaller tusks.
Finally, we have the cute tufted deer. They live in China and also have some wicked fangs. Male tufted deer have long upper canines that protrude out of their mouths.
Their tusks can reach 4 inches long! They use their vampire-like teeth in territorial fights and combats during mating season. Females have little tusks that don’t grow very long.