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egg tooth

a calcareous prominence at the tip of the beak or upper jaw of an embryonic bird or reptile, used to break through the eggshell at hatching.
Origin of egg tooth
1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for egg tooth
  • Chicks lack an egg tooth at hatching and kick their way out of the egg.
  • Chicks lose their egg tooth within a few days of hatching.
  • They have a nonfunctional egg tooth which suggests that they may have evolved from egg layers.
  • Newly hatched diamondback terrapin with egg sac and egg tooth.
  • They have an egg tooth that doesn't work, which means that they may have evolved from egg layers.
British Dictionary definitions for egg tooth

egg tooth

(in embryo birds and reptiles) a temporary tooth or (in birds) projection of the beak used for piercing the eggshell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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egg tooth in Science
egg tooth  
A hard, toothlike projection from the beak of embryonic birds, or from the upper jaw of embryonic reptiles, that is used to cut the egg membrane and shell upon hatching and that later falls off.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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