What Is A Fang And Which Animals Have Fangs?

Hippopotamuses have 16 inch long fangs jutting out from their bottom jaws.
Hippopotamuses have 16 inch long fangs jutting out from their bottom jaws.

A fang is a modified tooth belonging to an animal designed to tear into flesh or hold the flesh in a tight grip. There are animals in the animal kingdom whose fangs have evolved over time into dangerous weapons that they use to assert dominance and to hunt. Mostly, carnivorous mammals and reptiles whose main diet consists of flesh have fangs. Herbivores have fangs that have reduced over time to just simple canines with some even lacking them completely.


The Hippopotamus is an herbivore that has 16 inch long fangs jutting from the bottom of its mouth. The hippo uses its fangs during fights for territorial dominance and to fight off threats from would be predators. The fangs are backed by a powerful jaw that can snap anything into two halves with just one bite.


The Baboon also joins this list with its set of terrifying fangs that grow from the top and the bottom of their jaws. Baboons are omnivorous, and they use their fangs to hunt and eat small animals that they hunt, but the fangs serve another bigger role, for fighting and defending a territory. The baboon with the largest fangs usually ends up at the apex of the troupe as the leader. The Gelada baboons are native to the highlands of Ethiopia and have the largest canine teeth. Whenever they are threatened they flip back their lips and gums exposing the fearsome large teeth.


All poisonous snakes have fangs, but the one that stands out from the pack is the Gaboon Viper which has fangs that stand more than 2 inches long. They use this to inject their poison into their prey. Cobras come close to them, and they even use their fangs to spray venom from a distance.


Sharks also several teeth which can be categorized as fangs, and they are arranged in irregular formation. These teeth regrow when they break off. These razor sharp fangs are used to cut through flesh and to hold the prey in place as they struggle.

Big Cats

Big cats such as tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards have sophisticated fangs which have become refined over the years of evolution into advanced weaponry that is behind their successful conquest of the animal kingdom. As far as land animals go these members of the cat family are responsible for most of the hunting.

Other Animals

Vampire bats have fangs that they use to pierce the tough skin of their victims to suck blood. Wolves also have their own set of fangs that have made them successful in their habitat in the cold regions of the earth.

Interesting Facts About Fangs

Sharks are the only animals whose fangs regrow after breaking off while the fangs of the others do not regrow, and this dramatically handicaps them as it is vital for their survival. Carnivores of the prehistoric era had bigger fangs because they had to deal with bigger prey, as the size of the prey reduced the fangs also evolved to smaller ones to what they are today. Tarantula spiders are among the arachnids that have fangs, and they majorly use it to hold their prey and to scare off potential danger.


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