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At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

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Fun Facts About Animal Smiles

Bumblebee Bat Britanica200June is National Smile Month and we’re celebrating smiles of all shapes and sizes.

With help from Delta Dental of Washington, we’ve searched high and low to find some of the most impressive smiles in the animal kingdom.  Here’s what we found:

Smallest Smile—The mammal with the smallest smile is Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, pictured above.  They’re nicknamed the bumblebee bat because they’re not much bigger than a bumblebee. They’re a little over an inch long, have reddish-brown coats, and a pig-like snout. They live in large colonies and eat tiny insects.

Keep reading to learn which animal has a smile big enough to park your car in and for tips on maintaining a healthy smile.

Drawing of the bowhead whaleLargest Smile—The mammal with the largest smile is the bowhead whale. Their smile is a whopping 16 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 12 feet high. You could park a car in their smile! Their tongues weigh a ton and they don’t have any teeth. Bowhead whales have baleen. Baleen are large, hair-like bristles used to filter out tiny plankton from sea water.

Smallest Teeth—The world’s smallest teeth belong to the mosquito. The tiny pests have 47 teeth. That’s twice as many as you and 15 more teeth than grown-ups have.

Largest Teeth—The world’s largest teeth belong to the African elephant. They have the heaviest and longest teeth on record. A single elephant molar can weigh over 6 pounds and their tusks can grow over 11 feet long. The largest tooth on record is the single tusk of an African elephant. It was 11 ½ feet long and weighed 214 pounds!

Lemonshark200Most Teeth—Lemon sharks grow a new set of teeth every two weeks. That’s roughly 24,000 new teeth a year. The Tooth Fairy would be very busy if you lost and grew as many new teeth as a lemon shark.

The world is full of wonderful smiles, including yours. Celebrate your smile this month by remembering to brush for two minutes twice a day, floss once a day, and schedule your next dental visit.

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Guest Friday, 01 August 2014