Scientists Explain Why Cretaceous Dinosaurs Were So Dangerous

Spinosaurus dinosaurs could have developed up to three generations of teeth at the same time. That high speed

their replacement explains why so many teeth of thistype has been found in Cretaceous sites. And also why these individuals were dangerous predators. Scientists confirmed their assumptions in the course of a new study.

Scientists re-evaluate fossilsremains of jaws found in 1983 in the region of La Rioja, Spain. The remains are dated to the Lower Cretaceous period. In particular, paleontologists have found a fragment of the left jaw of a predatory dinosaur, in which eight alveoli have been preserved. Using microCT techniques, they found the remains of several teeth developing simultaneously in one of these tooth sockets.

Reconstruction of the skull of a spinosaurid dinosaur. The part of the jaw that paleontologists have studied is highlighted in red. Source: Erik Isasmendi, UPV/EHU

“We have recognized up to three generations of teeth in one andthe same alveolus: a functional animal tooth, another emerging tooth that will replace the first, and the rudiment of one that will eventually replace the second, the scientists explain in the article. "This suggests a very rapid change of teeth and is probably one of the reasons why so many spinosaurus teeth can be found in the Iberian Peninsula during the Lower Cretaceous."

To date, it is known that somespinosaurids - medium to large carnivorous dinosaurs with elongated skulls - change their teeth faster than other theropods: in just two months.

Although it is not known exactly why the teeth of Spinosauruschanged so often, it is believed that this helped them survive. A large number of functional teeth was a decisive advantage in holding prey between the jaws.

Read more:

Einstein's prediction may come true: how an experiment with invisible atoms will change physics

On the pyramid in China found a portrait of the "king of ancestors". He ruled over 4,000 years ago

“This is science fiction”: scientists create a fundamentally new type of quantum computers