These Dinosaurs Were Able to Replace Their Teeth

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CT-scan models of the jaws of Ceratosaurus, Majungsaurus, and Allosaurus show the microscopic views of the interior of their teeth. The stripes are running from the upper left to the lower right in every image, and they are deposited every day in incremental lines, that allow the tooth to be reconstructed.

A dinosaur species that ate meat – Majungasaurus was named – lived in Madagascar about 70 million years ago. They replaced all of their teeth every two months, according to a study published in the journal PLOS One. They were able to grow new teeth thirteen times faster than other carnivorous dinosaurs, according to Michael D. D’Emic, the lead author of the study. They would form a new tooth in every socket every two months.

These Dinosaurs Were Able to Replace Their Teeth

That actually means that they were replacing them quickly because they were bothering the bones. There is evidence with regards to this matter – scratches and gouges which match the space and the size of their teeth on some of the bones of the animals which fell as their prey.  The study also took a look at two other species of predatory dinosaur: Ceratosaurus and Allosaurus. This was a chance to see the tooth growth patterns and to understand it better.

Other animals gnaw on bones, because, this way, they can ingest some nutrients. A perfect example would be rodents. This requires strong teeth, but this was not the case of Majungasaurus – they did not have strong teeth. The study shows the hypothesis that explains why their teeth have such elevated rates of replacements. The growing process of the teeth placed Majungasaurus in the same class as sharks and herbivorous dinosaurs.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.