Dinosaur Teeth, Eating Habits and Lifestyles
Scientists search for many clues as they strive to learn about dinosaurs. Fossilized bones give information about the size and shape of dinosaurs. Studying a dinosaur’s skull and teeth also gives scientists ideas about what these animals ate, how they hunted for food, and how they digested their meals. Carnivorous dinosaurs usually had very sharp teeth, which they used to rip flesh from bones. The presence of flat teeth hints at dinosaurs that probably ate plants. Many dinosaurs actually got new teeth after their teeth wore down and fell out. New teeth might have appeared as often as every month or two for some dinosaurs.
- Information About Sauropods: Sauropods were large dinosaurs that ate plants. Many fossil remains of sauropods are incomplete because these animals were very large. Teeth fossils indicate that sauropods were able to eat coarse plant materials.
- Structure and Evolution of a Sauropod Tooth Battery (PDF): Sauropods received replacement teeth when they lost them. The teeth functioned as units, erupting together in groups.
- An Evolutionary Cascade Model for Sauropod Dinosaur Gigantism: Overview, Update, and Tests (PDF): Sauropods were the largest dinosaurs that ever roamed Earth. These dinosaurs also lived for the longest period.
- Head-Biting Behavior in Theropod Dinosaurs: Paleopathological Evidence (PDF): Fossil evidence of craniums indicates that Theropod dinosaurs engaged in biting behavior to other dinosaurs’ heads.
- Physical Evidence of Predatory Behavior in Tyrannosaurus Rex (PDF): Tyrannosaurus rex was a large theropod dinosaur. Scientists have studied fossils to learn about feeding habits of these dinosaurs.
- What Can Be Learned From a Fossil Tooth? An Inquiry Into the Life and Diet of a Small Theropod Dinosaur (PDF): Tooth shape and wear patterns provide many clues about feeding patterns of dinosaurs.
- Long and Girdle Bone Histology of Stegosaurus: Implications for Growth and Life History (PDF): Study of stegosaurids’ skeletons provides clues about their age at sexual maturity and the longevity of the species.
- Stegosaurus Armatus: The stegosaurus was about 30 feet long with two rows of plates along its back and tail. At the end of its tail were four spikes.
- Stegosaurus Plates Provide First Solid Evidence That Male, Female Dinosaurs Looked Different: A new study reveals that male and female stegosaurids probably had varying features. The back plates may have differed for each gender.
- Stegasaurus Overview: Scientists surmise that the stegosaurus used its plates and spikes for self-defense against other dinosaurs.
- Introduction to the Hadrosaurs: Hadrosaurs are sometimes called “duck-billed” dinosaurs because their heads had a crest that resembled a duck bill.
- Dinosaurs in Iowa: Hadrosaur fossils have been found in central regions of the United States.
- World-Famous Dinosaur at North Dakota Heritage Center (PDF): The mummified remains of a hadrosaur named Dakota have been displayed to show the public what these dinosaurs might have looked like.
- The Earliest Known Duck-Billed Dinosaur From Deposits of Late Early Cretaceous Age in Northwest China and Hadrosaur Evolution (PDF): Iguanodontids share similar behaviors and physical characteristics to hadrosaurs.
- A Mysterious Thumb: Scientists have many guesses about how iguanodons used their spike thumbs, from fending off attacks to foraging for food.
- The Cretaceous: Iguanodon: Scientists have found iguanodon fossils in Europe, Asia, Northern Africa, North America, and Australia.
- The Lower Jurassic Ornithischian Dinosaur Heterodontosaurus Tucki: Cranial Anatomy, Functional Morphology, Taxonomy, and Relationships (PDF): Studying the skull shape and teeth of the heterodontosaurus provides fascinating clues about this dinosaur’s behavior.
- Heterodontosaurus Dinosaurs: Heterodontosaurus had different kinds of teeth in its mouth, which forces scientists to guess about the kind of diet this dinosaur ate.
- Heterodontosaurus Tucki: This small dinosaur was only about three feet long, and it lived during the early Jurassic period.
- Bunny-Size Dinosaur Was First of its Kind in America: Ceratopsian dinosaurs included triceratops and aquilops, which existed during the Cretaceous period.
- Arizona Museum of Natural History : Ceratopsians: Ceratopsians have been compared to rhinoceroses due to their beaks, frills, and horns.
- Ornithischia: Ceratopsia: Ceratopsians had horns on their heads, and they resembled parrots with a beak-shaped nose.
- Tail as Old as Time: How the Ankylosaur Tail Evolved: Ankylosaurs had a club at the end of their tails and bodies covered with thick armor.
- Overview of Ankylosaurus: This plant-eating dinosaur had a large stomach for digesting its food. It walked on four legs, and it had a horny beak.
- Dinosaur Faunal Assemblages Through Time and Space (PDF): Ankylosaurids lived in Asia during the Cretaceous period.
- Ornithomimid Dinosaurs: Ornithomimids were carnivores, but they did not have teeth.
- Ornithomimids From the Nemegt Formation of Mongolia (PDF): Scientists have uncovered nearly complete skeletons of these dinosaurs, which provide many clues about their behaviors.
- Carnivores : Ornithomimids: Ornithomimids resembled birds, although they probably did not have wings. These dinosaurs may have been larger than ostriches.
Miscellaneous Dinosaur Information
- A Short History of Dinosaur Paleontology (PDF): The first dinosaur bones found were thought to be dragon bones due to their size and shape.
- Dinner or Dinosaur? Both! Carving a turkey has some similarities to dissecting a dinosaur. Turkeys and raptors had many characteristics in common.
- Oviraptor Philoceratops Dinosaurs: The oviraptor was small like a bird, and this dinosaur lived during the late Cretaceous period.
- A History of Dinosaurs (PDF): Dinosaurs lived during different periods and in different locations over much of Earth. Humans can only guess how long dinosaurs inhabited Earth.
- Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History (PDF): An English naturalist created the term “dinosaur” in 1842, using it to describe the fossilized bones that had been discovered.
- Smallest North American Dinosaur Discovered (PDF): The fruitadens dinosaur weighted less than two pounds, and it was just more than two feet in length. Remains of this dinosaur were found in Colorado.
- A History of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs (PDF): The inland area of Queensland is the site of an extensive dinosaur fossil find. By digging down past the top layer of soil, people have been able to find the remains of many dinosaurs.
- Bringing Dinosaurs Back to Life (PDF): The American Museum of Natural History has displayed skeletons of dinosaurs for decades in an attempt to educate the public while trying to encourage them to visit the museum.
- A T. Rex Named Sue (PDF): Sue is the biggest and most complete skeleton of a tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur ever found and compiled. This display tours the world to educate the public.
- Feathered Dinosaurs and the Origin of Flight (PDF): Explore the evolution of feathers with scientists’ hypotheses about the dinosaurs that might have had feathers.
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