What you eat affects your teeth, and your Plantation family dentist can provide you with some do’s and don’ts. Apparently, what dinosaurs ate also affected their teeth, and those teeth are giving paleontologists some clues about what they ate and how they did so, according to the Washington Post.
Meat-eating dinosaurs had serrations on the back of their teeth called denticles, and as they ate, their food scraped the denticles, causing small abrasions.
Researchers studied the denticles of fossil teeth from 57 dinosaurs including a nine-foot-tall tyrannosaur called a Gorgosaurus as well as smaller dinosaurs Troodon, Dromaeosaurus and Saurornitholestes.
All of these dinosaurs were carnivores with two legs, long tails and skinny forearms that lived in the Upper Cretaceous period, between 100 million and 66 million years ago.
They found that all of these dinosaurs ate using a “puncture and pull” method, first clamping down on their prey then pulling backward with their head.
Experts say it was a very efficient way to remove meat from a carcass, especially large vertabrates that carnivores would be eating.
Komodo dragons, which are the largest living lizards, still use this eating method today.
All dinosaurs could regrow teeth, and scientists believe plant-eating dinosaurs grew new teeth more often because their teeth got worn down from chewing a lot of vegetation. Studies estimate that while some dinosaurs regrew one new tooth a month, some species took twice as long to regrow a tooth.
Some dinosaurs, like Apatosaurus, had “stripper teeth” that they used to remove leaves from branches, but then swallowed the plants whole without chewing them. And the duck-billed hadrosaur had more teeth than any other dinosaur with nearly 1,000 plant-grinding teeth embedded in their teeth.
Tyrannosaurus Rex had a mouth full of serrated teeth that served different functions in a variation of the puncture-and-pull method. T-rex’s front teeth gripped and pulled while its side teeth tore flesh. The teeth in the back teeth chewed up the meat and forced the food into the throat.