How many teeth does a snail have?

Some species of snail have been found to have as many as 20,000 teeth in their mouths (Image source: Alamy)

Question from Max Hall

The average garden snail has around 14,000 microscopic ‘teeth’ that run along a flexible structure called a radula. They use these teeth to grind and break down the leafy greens they eat. 

The rows of teeth appear like Velcro, with each tooth hooked inwards, making it easy for the snail to latch onto their food and transport it into their bodies. These teeth undergo a continual cycle of regrowth. New rows will grow at the back of the mouth and slowly move to the front as the front rows wear and fall away.


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