An ancient creature that went extinct some 200 million year ago has the sharpest teeth ever known, with tips measuring only one twentieth the width of a human hair, according to a study published in London on Wednesday.
Three dimensional model of an articulated pair of conodont teeth and a human hair for scale, both created using synchrotron radiation x-ray computed micro-tomography. [Image by D. Jones, A. R. Evans, K. K. W. Siu]
According to a report published in the British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, an international team said they have modeled the dental structure of conodonts, eel-like small primitive animals that lived in the earth's sea some 500 million years ago.
"We created high resolution 3D models of the conodont elements using x-rays from a particle accelerator in Japan, using it like a giant CT scanner," said David Jones, the lead author of the report at University of Bristol.
It revealed that the conodonts had teeth with tips only two micrometers across. The team concluded those are the sharpest dental structure ever measured.