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Exceptionally simple teeth in sauropod dinosaurs demonstrate a novel approach to herbivory in Late Jurassic ecosystems Project ID: 000345163 Public
23 Media · 21 Specimens · Managed by: Keegan Melstrom

DESCRIPTION

Dinosaurs dominated terrestrial environments for over 100 million years in part due to highly successful feeding strategies. During the Late Jurassic, dinosaur ecosystems exhibit a wide range of dental adaptations. We quantitatively measured dental shape in well-known Late Jurassic dinosaurs to test for a relationship between diet and dental complexity. Sampled taxa exhibit a wide range of dental complexities that are on par with the disparity observed in modern saurians. Ornithischians display complex dentitions, corresponding to their herbivorous habits, whereas theropods exhibit relatively simple teeth related to their carnivorous diet. Diplodocoid sauropods, in contrast to nearly all known herbivores (living or extinct) possess simple teeth. Our analyses reveal that in sauropod dinosaurs tooth complexity is related not to diet but tooth replacement rate. The decoupling of herbivory and tooth complexity, and a strong inverse correlation between complexity and replacement rate, demonstrates a novel approach to herbivory in sauropod dinosaurs.

DETAILS

Managed by
Creator
Melstrom, Keegan
Contributors
Whitlock, John; D'Emic, Michael; Butler, Richard; McHugh, Julia; Schwarz, Daniela

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STATISTICS

Number of media
23
Number of represented specimens
21
Number of represented cultural heritage objects
0
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