Elephant molars are sequentially erupting teeth, usually six teeth being present per quadrant throughout the life of an animal. As the elephant ages, the molar tooth in function drifts rostrally and is lost and replaced from the caudal direction by the next tooth in the sequence.
Five year old elephant with maxillary second and third molars visible. (Asian)
Same animal as in the previous photograph six months later after the loss of the left maxillary second molar.
Same animal as before at the age of 10 years showing third molars fully in occlusion with the fourth molars erupting caudally.