Fang

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The four canines, or fangs, of a domestic cat. (The largest two teeth of the top and bottom rows of teeth.)
For other uses, see Fang (disambiguation).

A fang is a long, pointed tooth. In mammals, a fang is a canine tooth, used for biting and tearing flesh. In snakes, it is a venom-injecting tooth (see snake venom). Spiders also have fangs, which are part of the chelicerae.

Fangs are most common in carnivores or omnivores, but some herbivores, such as fruit bats, carry them as well. They are generally used to hold or swiftly kill prey, such as in large cats. Omnivorous animals, such as bears, use their fangs when hunting fish or other prey, but they are not needed for consuming fruit. Apes also have fangs, which they use for threats and fighting. However, the relatively short canines of humans are not considered to be fangs.

Fangs in religion, mythology and legend[edit]

Certain mythological and legendary creatures such as dragons, gargoyles and yakshas are commonly depicted with prominent fangs. The fangs of vampires are one of their defining characteristics.

The deities of certain religions such as Hinduism have fangs. One example is Chamunda, as well as Kali and Yama in some iconographic representations. These are an indication of their fierce aspect.[1] Fangs are also common among demonic figures such as Rangda in Balinese Hinduism.[2]

A vampire
Yama with fangs holding a daṇḍa
Hindu goddess Chamunda representation during the Durga Puja festival.
Dragon head on the replica ship, "Hugin"

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