Do Pigeons Have Teeth?


pigeon with fake teeth

No, pigeons don’t have teeth.

There is only one exception to this within the pigeon family and that is Samoa’s tooth-billed pigeon.

Common pigeons don’t have teeth because of the way in which they feed themselves.

Pigeons feed by swallowing their food whole.

The food passes straight into their stomachs or gizzard where it is ground up and digested, teeth would obstruct this.

A Reason Why Pigeons May Not Have Teeth

A hypothesis is that birds lost their teeth due to a survival mechanism.

Birds are hatched from eggs and it is calculated that 60% of the incubation period of an egg is used to develop teeth.

This figure has come about from studies of bird species that do have teeth.

So, the new theory goes that embryos altered to quicken the pace at which eggs were incubated and hatched.

The ultimate aim of this is the survival of the species.

The new generation of creatures were vulnerable to predators as eggs, so the faster they could hatch and take flight, means the more chance of survival for any batch of hatchlings. 

Recent Content