General, Research, Technology

Why did dinosaurs lose their teeth?

As you know, the ability to change teeth inDepending on age, not only people own it, but even some animals. However, probably only the smallest part of Hi-News readers is aware of the existence of similar processes in the dinosaur organisms that inhabited our planet in the distant past. According to a new study by Michael D. D'Emik, an assistant professor of biology at Adelphi University, scientists found that about 70 million years ago, a special dinosaur lived on the planet, able to shed and replace its teeth as needed. According to the portal newatlas.com, Majungazavr, who lived in the territory of modern Madagascar, could replace his teeth 13 times faster than other carnivorous dinosaurs.

Some dinosaurs could shed and replace their teeth like modern sharks.

As you know, carnivores recovervital energy mainly from bones, which are a very good source of various nutrients. In order to get access to useful substances as simply and quickly as possible, animals have developed a number of different strategies. So, some of the predators have very hard teeth, which can serve the whole life of a living organism without significantly dulling; others have teeth that can grow all their life as they wear out, while still others can replace fangs as needed and with envy. One of these creatures was the dinosaur of the species Majungasaurus, whose unique ability made it somewhat similar to a modern shark.

See also: What is known about the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs?

Majungasaurus Teeth

Having studied the nature of the wear of the teeth of Majungasaurus andcomparing them with the teeth of two other carnivorous dinosaurs, an allosaurus and a ceratosaurus, the researchers found that the relatively soft teeth of the found fossil creature had microscopic growth rings, like a tree, except that they were deposited daily rather than annually. Computed tomography of the intact jaws of Majungazavra showed that the dinosaur’s teeth were not fixed, constantly changing to new approximately every two months.

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In addition to Majungasaurs, the ability to change teeththere were cubs of ceratosaurs, which at one time had some kind of “deciduous teeth”. Such an unexpected conclusion was made by scientists who analyzed the remains of several individuals of this species of dinosaurs. Due to the fact that the jaw of dinosaurs was constantly changing during the process of growing up, their diet was highly dependent on age. So, if young individuals could eat some smaller animals, then to an older age they completely switched to a plant “diet”, which required a complete replacement of existing teeth. Researchers suggest that the teeth of ceratosaurs in this case fell out gradually, allowing them to make a smooth transition to a “vegetarian” lifestyle. By the way, a well-known platypus has retained a similar feature to date, which initially had about 8 teeth, subsequently turning into keratinized plates that help with grinding plant foods.