Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Unlike humans, elephants change their teeth 6 times during their lives. Their teeth donít grow upwards, like in humans, but horizontally. They start with the size of thumb nail.
When they grow old and find it difficult to chew hard food, they move to places with softer vegetation, such as swamps. Eventually they will die because of their weakness and will die near the water. This frequent ending is what originates the myths of elephant graveyards.
The fangs (tusks) of elephants are the incisors in the other mammals and appear as from the age of one year. The particularity of these is that they lack tooth enamel. When the fang pops out, it still has a small layer of enamel that will disappear with use, leaving a fang made basically of dentin.
Approximately 2/3 of the fang are visible and alive, this meaning that it has an inner cavity with pulp including blood vessels and nerves. This is why fangs are so sensitive to blows and force*. The last third of the fang is located in the lower part of the skulls.
When a fang breaks, it can cause serious complications to the elephant. In extreme cases the nerve, the pulp, is exposed and the animal dies due to suffering great pain.
* Something which doesn't concur with the idea of 'operational' tusk swords ...