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At last, a new research unveils the reason why birds have teeth instead of beaks. The report demonstrates that birds lost its teeth nearly 116 million years ago.
Scientists discovered that Archaeopteryx which is the ancestor of the modern bird once had a set of teeth. The remnants of the bird found from Germany shows that birds emerged from tooth reptiles. The fossil became the basis of the entire research.
Afterwards, researchers tried to figure out the reason behind the loss of teeth. They closely analyzed the genetic structure of the birds in order to find out the reason.
Later on, the study shows that the genetic mutation in the birds is responsible for the loss of teeth. The scientists informed that six genes in birds give birth to teeth in birds.
Generally, these genes form enamel and dentin in vertebrates. Enamel is the outer side of the tooth, whereas dentin is the material present inside the tooth. Enamel is relatively stronger as compared to the dentin. The end of the production of enamel is the chief reason of the loss of teeth.
However, these six genes are inactive in modern birds. Surprisingly, birds are not the only one that lost teeth. A few other mammals such as turtle, whales and pangolins also lost teeth. These animals developed other means of feeding as a substitute of teeth.
Mark Springer, one of the main researchers of the report stated that the presence of these inactive mutation propose the birds lost teeth nearly 116 million years ago.