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article imageResearch reveals T.Rex had unique serrated teeth

By Daniel Woods     Jul 28, 2015 in Science
Research at the University of Toronto has found that Theropods, the species of dinosaur home to T.Rex, had unique teeth structures that underlined their predatory dominance.
On Tuesday scientists published a new study which looked at the tooth structures of carnivorous dinosaurs.
The research focused on Theropod species, the largest land predators to grace the Earth, a group which included Tyrannosaurus Rex, Allosaurus and Coelophysis. The Theropod family dominated as top predators for around 165 million years.
A team lead by paleontologist Dr Kirstin Brink, from the University of Toronto Mississauga in Canada, used a scanning electron microscope to study fragments of fossilized teeth.
The results revealed a complexity in tooth structures that was previously unknown.
Analysis showed that the internal dental tissues of Theropod species were arranged in a way that created a unique, serrated structure.
This reinforced the strength of the teeth, and made them perfect for the "puncture and pull" feeding style, enhancing their efficiency for piercing, gripping and ripping flesh.
Comparative analysis of theropod dental structures.
Comparative analysis of theropod dental structures.
K. S. Brink, R. R. Reisz, A. R. H. LeBlanc, R. S. Chang, Y. C. Lee et al.
In addition, fossil evidence shows that T.Rex teeth could crush bone, with remnants found in the bones of prey, and also chunks of prey bone found in fossilized T.Rex dung.
The Komodo dragon from Indonesia is the only extant reptile on the planet today with a similar tooth structure.
The findings indicate that T.Rex and its cousins would have been able to prey on creatures much larger than itself.
Dr Brink commented
What is so fascinating to me is that all animal teeth are made from the same building blocks, but the way the blocks fit together to form the structure of the tooth greatly affects how that animal processes food. The hidden complexity of the tooth structure in theropods suggests that they were more efficient at handling prey than previously thought.
The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
More about Dinosaurs, Trex, theropod, University of toronto, Dr Kirstin Brink
 
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