Dental pad

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A hand pulls back the lips on a goat or sheep, exposing the bottom front teeth and a hard, thick pad that substitutes for the upper front teeth.
Dental pad of domestic livestock. Note the lack of upper incisors and canine teeth.

The dental pad or browsing pad is a feature of ruminant dental anatomy that results from a lack of upper incisors and helps them gather large quantities of grass and other plant matter.[1][2] In cattle, the tongue is used to grasp food and pinch it off between the dental pad and the lower incisors. However, since they cannot bite grass off, they are inefficient at grazing more closely than 6 inches (15 cm) from the ground.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rouge, Melissa (2001). "Dental Anatomy of Ruminants". Colorado State University. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Toothless cud chewers, To see ourselves as others see us...". WonderQuest. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Hall, J.B. "Nutrition and Feeding of the Cow-Calf Herd: Digestive System of the Cow". Virginia Cooperative Extension. Retrieved 5 May 2010.