#1
Old 11-20-2011, 02:06 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: In my house
Posts: 1,610
Two teats or four?

I've noticed that animals such as cows, deer, and moose have udders with 4 teats. Goats and sheep have two. I don't know the right term to use here, but is there a division in a classification of animals that includes this, so you could know if, say, an ibex mom has two teats or four?
#2
Old 11-20-2011, 10:41 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: St. Louis, MO 50mi. West
Posts: 4,419
Just to add to confusion, don't dogs and cats have six or eight? Probably tied to average litter size?
#3
Old 11-20-2011, 11:21 AM
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 37,304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post
I've noticed that animals such as cows, deer, and moose have udders with 4 teats. Goats and sheep have two. I don't know the right term to use here, but is there a division in a classification of animals that includes this, so you could know if, say, an ibex mom has two teats or four?
Not really. The number of teats is fairly flexible evolutionarily. There may be certain numbers that are characteristic of particular genera, families, or even orders, but this is not generally a primary character for classification. Note that cows are much more closely related to goats and sheep (all family Bovidae) than they are to deer or moose (Cervidae).

Last edited by Colibri; 11-20-2011 at 11:23 AM.
#4
Old 11-20-2011, 12:45 PM
Charter Member
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 72,722
You'll even occasionally get a human with more than the standard-issue two.
#5
Old 11-20-2011, 02:55 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,783
Sometimes it's variable (in normal individuals, not the occasional abnormal case). Pigs may have as few as 8 or as many as 16.
#6
Old 11-20-2011, 03:08 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Island of Misfit Toys
Posts: 10,305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
You'll even occasionally get a human with more than the standard-issue two.
Has a human ever had more than two functioning ones though? No really, I want to know!
#7
Old 11-20-2011, 11:52 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: In my house
Posts: 1,610
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
Just to add to confusion, don't dogs and cats have six or eight? Probably tied to average litter size?
I'm thinking more in terms of the bag between the hind legs, versus the variation in mammary quantities found along the body
#8
Old 11-21-2011, 07:34 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 18,758
During development, all mammals have what's called a "milk line" that runs down the torso and abdomen - one on each side, actually. Teats can develop anywhere along those lines and in any number - from two up top, like us humans, to lots all along the lines, like dogs, cats, and pigs, or just a few down at the bottom, like cows and goats. That's the reason why it's evolutionarily flexible. Instead of having to develop a whole new structure in a new place, it's more a matter of just flipping some switches along the line.
#9
Old 11-21-2011, 08:32 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 13,516
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
Probably tied to average litter size?
There does seem to be some connection here. And you can see an obvious evolutionary benefit: if your average litter is 4-6 kittens, having 8 teats is an advantage. But if a human has only 1 child 99% of the time, anything more than 1 teat = 1 spare would be a waste of resources.

It might be interesting to try to add to this table:

Code:
Species #teats usual litter size frequency 
--------- -------- ---------------- --------------
human 2 1 98.92%
horse 2 1 99.99%
cow (beef) 4 1 98.9% - 99.6%
cow (dairy) 4 1 91.1% - 98.1%
cat 8 4-6 ?
#10
Old 11-21-2011, 09:02 PM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: In a canyon, in a cavern
Posts: 1,126
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
There does seem to be some connection here. And you can see an obvious evolutionary benefit: if your average litter is 4-6 kittens, having 8 teats is an advantage. But if a human has only 1 child 99% of the time, anything more than 1 teat = 1 spare would be a waste of resources.
I dunno. I've heard it said that anything over a mouthful is wasted, but perhaps having a spare can come in handy; there is something to be said for symmetry. If two teats reproduced more than one, I can see two as being an advantage. I've always liked them in pairs (although one pair is enough for me).

excavating (for a mind)
#11
Old 11-21-2011, 09:10 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,481
Quote:
Originally Posted by AClockworkMelon View Post
Has a human ever had more than two functioning ones though? No really, I want to know!
I'd heard of women with supernumerary nipples find them "leaking" when they're nursing from the two, typical ones. Without stimulation, the extras stop producing milk. An outcome which is probably for the best, fetish aspect aside, because who wants to wear absorbent nursing pads up around their collarbone, or down along the bottom side of their ribcage. That's where the human "milk line" is, the "fully developed boob on the sternum" style of the movie Total Recall isn't possible.

Last edited by Arkcon; 11-21-2011 at 09:11 PM.
#12
Old 11-21-2011, 10:25 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 13,516
Quote:
Originally Posted by excavating (for a mind) View Post
I dunno. I've heard it said that anything over a mouthful is wasted, but perhaps having a spare can come in handy; there is something to be said for symmetry.
You are obviously male (like me).

But I have been told by my sister, mother, & other female relatives that having 2 is verrry helpful when nursing -- you switch the baby over whenever the one in use gets sore or tired or empty.

And symmetry is very important to vertebrates -- nearly everything in our body comes in matched pairs.

Last edited by [email protected]; 11-21-2011 at 10:26 PM.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:11 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: rand mcnally store smirnoff malt liquor is porn art limey definition double headed nickel brer definition oven safe mugs extra spell 3.5 finish line ribbons mirror screensaver wtf flag nomad bikers scalp twitching human selective breeding hammer bullets famous trios list sweaty dynamite bacteria smells ebay ups uniforms smelt taste is 5'10 short men vpl red blue background safety razor walmart mirror.co.uk satire single horned animals eskimo death ritual gunnery sergeant marines traci lords penthouse vibrating football game solaris du hank the dwarf should i use real name on twitter can you laminate your social security card still itching after lice treatment overdose on tylenol extra strength so it is written so shall it be done that's the beauty of it it doesn't do anything give me all your loving lyrics aleve or advil for toothache best way to cover cast for shower examples of sexual deviance vietnam era veterans hats are black babies born white first green arrow bumper sticker meaning offend your delicate sensibilities room essentials replacement parts comcast cable box usb port taking ibuprofen before tattoo i will not tell a lie wagner cast iron waffle maker what do brandy taste like god bless the child who's got his own room to room intercom wireless concrete or paver patio black rectangle on tv screen banished colonial charter 1.7 download what can someone do with your licence plate number half my christmas lights are out easiest jobs to get hired value of 30 pieces of silver middle names for ophelia mensa practice test scores where are steam game files stored mrs jenkins in living color zheng he's expeditions were cut short because kitchen nightmares best episodes