Birds are much older than man. Man is just 2 million years old while birds are already 116 million years old. They even used to have teeth, which may mean that beaks are more advance than teeth in the order of evolution. Let us find out.
Archaeopteryx, the immediate for-bearers of birds as they are now, were discovered to have a set of functional teeth. This was according to the scientists who did the research. They found what was left of the bird in Germany. Birds evolved from reptiles which were originally aquatic in nature. What transformed them into aerial animals was not discussed however. What the scientists found was a fossil. It was from there that they started piecing their findings together.
It was later on that the scientists became curious why their teeth had disappeared and were replaced by beaks. They decided to examine the bird’s genetic makeup to determine what really happened.
The discovery led them to conclude that the cause was due to some changes in the genes.. They revealed that six genes were responsible for the formation of teeth: these are the enamel and dentin forming genes in the bird, which are part of our present day teeth. Enamel is the white outer covering of our teeth and the hardest substance in out body. The dentin is the softer inner part. According to their findings, the loss of enamel and dentin genes led to the disappearance of the birds teeth.
The six enamel and dentin forming genes are now non functioning in present birds. It is known that other animals such turtles, pangolins, and whales had teeth before. Because of the loss of their teeth, they adapted a softer diet such as fruits and plankton.
According to Mark Springer, one of the main researches, birds lost their teeth almost 116 years ago.