A group of researchers strived hard to determine the reason why birds have no teeth. The study divulges that birds lost their teeth around 166 million years ago.
The biologists of the UC Riverside along with researchers of the Montclair State University carried out the study. The researchers used the remnants of 48 tooth genes in birds to find the exact time period when birds lost teeth. The report confirms that modern birds are originated from toothed ancestors.
Mark Springer, main author of the study informs that dead genes of birds gave an insight regarding the teeth of bird. It revealed that beak is a kind of characteristics of modern bird. The team of experts claims that the common ancestor of birds is theropod dinosaur. It symbolizes the toothless and enamel-less vertebrates in birds.
Moreover, the study reveals that modern birds usually use beaks to grind food. The process is a part of their digestive tract.
The development of teeth in vertebrates is a pretty complicate procedure that involves several genes. Among the entire gene, six genes play a vital role in the formation of the enamel and dentin. However, these genes are inactive in most of the modern birds.
In a nutshell, the research proposes that the genetic system required for the creation of teeth was lost in the ancestor of birds.
The study is printed in 12th December’s edition of Journal Science