What Dinosaur has 500 teeth or more? Wow. I can still remember vividly the very first time I saw a Dinosaur, I must have been eight or there about and my elder brother just slotted in this movie one day and voilà! Dinosaurs. Big gigantic creatures that got me both scared and intrigued all at once.
I still remember the title of the movie was ”One Million Years Ago” and when I became much older and started reading about Dinosaurs, that was when I got to learn that they existed as far back as millions of years ago and had gone into extinction. That means, they no longer exist.
So, here in this Dinosaur review, we will clear your doubt about What Dinosaur has 500 teeth
What is a Dinosaur?
If you are one of those that to like reading ancient books or watching documentaries, then you won’t necessarily need me to tell you what a Dinosaur is, but for the sake of those who aren’t into all that? A little explanation will do. So here we go.
The Dinosaurs were spectacular animals that ruled our planet for more than 150million years ago, they evolved diverse shapes and sizes, from the fearsome giant Spinosaurus to the chicken-sized Microraptor, and were able to survive in a variety of ecosystems.
The word Dinosaur means ”terrible lizard’‘ (I must say, the name suits it just perfectly) and like lizards and some snakes, dinosaurs were reptiles. Apparently, the word dinosaur came from an English palaeontologist called Richard Owen.
He came about the name, by joining two Greek words together, ”Dino” from the Greek word ”Deinos” which means terrible and ”Saurus” comes from the Greek word ”sauros” which means lizard.
Richard Owen came up with this name in 1842 after he had seen lots of dinosaur fossils being uncovered. He then realised that they all linked in some way and then came up with the name dinosaur.
Some dinosaurs were fierce hunters and carnivores(meat-eaters), while others were herbivores, choosing the way of peace(plant-eaters).
Dinosaurs lived on land, laid eggs and built nests. They had the nature of walking on their toes, standing upright on pillar-like legs and holding their long, bony tails off the ground.
Their fossil remains suggest that they were very closely related to ancient and modern-day birds and they were more than 700 specie of dinosaurs and they existed in all the continents, including Antarctica.
For perspective, fossils are the preserved remains of plants and animals whose bodies were buried in sediments, such as sand and mud, under ancient seas, lakes and rivers. Fossils also include any preserved trace of life that is typically more than 10,000 years old).
In fact, a number of paleontologists now believe that birds actually evolved from dinosaurs, because some dinosaurs could fly.
Characteristics of a Dinosaur?
What are the characteristics of a Dinosaur with 500 teeth?
- They had an upright stance, with legs perpendicular to their body. This is the main feature that sets dinosaurs apart from other reptiles.
- Like other reptiles, they laid eggs.
- With the exception of some birds, for example penguins, dinosaurs lived on land, not in the sea.
- Their skull had a hole between the eye socket and nostril. This feature is shared by all archosaurs.
- Dinosaurs also had two holes behind the eye socket. Large, strong jaw muscles went through the holes to attach directly to the top of the skull. As a result, the jaws were able to open wide and clamp down with more force.
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Some Dinosaur that has 500 Teeth ore More
What are some Dinosaur that has 500 teeth that you need to know? How do they look and what are their uniqueness?
1. Tyrannosaurus Rex
This is indisputably the king of the dinosaurs with 500 teeth or more, Tyrannosaurus rex is immensely popular thanks to a fawning press, countless starring roles in movies such as “Jurassic Park” and TV shows. Apparently, Tyrannosaurus means “tyrant lizard king”.
Tyrannosaurus rex has a massive body, sharp teeth, and jaws so powerful they could crush a car and is itself, the size of a school bus. The famous carnivore dominated the forested river valleys in western North America during the late Cretaceous period, 68 million years ago.
2. Triceratops Horridus
Triceratops, is Latin for “three-horned face,” called so because it had three horns.
This herbivore was probably one of the most instantly recognizable of all dinosaurs is the North American, with its parrot-like beak and huge frill at the back of its head.
It combined a gentle, plant-eating disposition with three fearsome-looking horns that were probably used both in courtship and keeping hungry tyrannosaurs and raptors at bay. This dinosaur is from the late Cretaceous period (68-66 million years ago).
Velociraptor, which actually means “swift or speedy thief,” was small in size (about 3 feet tall and 6 feet long), smarter than most dinosaurs, and a fast runner on its two hind legs—up to 40 mph, which was great for hunting prey when it wasn’t scavenging. Fossils that have been found in northern China, the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, and Russia showing sharp teeth and long, sickle-shaped claws always give crowds at dinosaur museums extra pause.
What Dinosaur has 500 Teeth?
Below are the some notable characteristics of some Dinosaur with 500 teeth or more you need to know.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- SuperOrder: Dinosauria
- Order: Sauropoda
- SubOrder: Sauropodomorpha
- Family: Rebbachisauridae
- Genus: Nigersaurus
Having established a detailed enough background of what dinosaurs are and all that was necessary for you to know, we can now go ahead to discuss in detail the particular dinosaur that this post is targeted at. This dinosaur is the Nigersaurus. Stay on, this promises to be interesting.
- Name: Nigersaurus (Greek for “Niger lizard”); pronounced NYE-jer-SORE-us.
- Habitat: Woodlands of northern Africa.
- Historical Period: Early Cretaceous (110 million years ago).
- Size and Weight: About 30 foot long and five tons.
- Diet: Plants.
- Distinguishing Characteristics: Relatively short neck; hundreds of teeth in wide jaws
The Nigersaurus is a 30-foot-long plant-eating dinosaur that lived 110 million years ago in what is now Niger’s Sahara Desert. Although the fossils were found in the Sahara Desert, when Nigersaurus lived the area was a floodplain with wide rivers, conifer forests and lush vegetation.
On November 16, 2007, Science Daily described it as the dinosaur, whose mouth worked like a vacuum cleaner as hundreds of tiny teeth and nearly translucent skull bones were been discovered.
This bizarre, long-necked dinosaur is characterized by its unusually broad, straight-edged muzzle tipped with more than 500 replaceable teeth. The original fossil skull of Nigersaurus is one of the first dinosaur skulls to be digitally reconstructed from CT scans.
Classification of the Nigersaurus
The Nigersaurus is classified under suborder Sauropodomorpha, superfamily Diplodocoidea, family Rebbachisauridae and subfamily Nigersaurinae.
When it was first discovered, it was believed to belong to family Dicraeosauridae. Superficially, its structure does resemble the members of this family. But Paul Sereno reclassified the remains based on the new fossil evidence that he had acquired.
The Rebbachisaurids are among the basal most member of superfamily Diplodocoidea; they lack the bifid neural spines that the other members of this superfamily possess.
The Nigersaurinanians all possess hollow, air filled bones.
Discovery of the Nigersaurus
The remains of the Nigersaurus were first discovered by Philippe Taquet, who was a French paleontologist in the rich fossil vertebrate fauna of the Elrhaz Formation in an area called Gadoufaoua.
He led an expedition in Niger between the years 1965 and 1972. He discovered the fossils in the Elrhaz Formation of the Tegama group.
Taquet had found only a few bones at that time and reported them in 1976. Due to the scarcity of the remains and their badly preserved nature, the dinosaur remained undescribed at that time.
Fast forward to 1997, better preserved fossils were uncovered during an excursion led by Paul Sereno.
The bones of the Nigersaurus were very thin and pneumatic. In fact, one of the skull fragments was so paper thin as to allow the passage of sun rays through it. It is this delicate nature of the bones that had caused them to be so poorly preserved.
No fully articulated skeleton has yet been ascribed to the Nigersaurus and no complete skull has yet been discovered either. All information available about it stems from piecing together bones from separate individuals.
Currently, apart from a few rib bones and coccygeal vertebrae, almost all bones of the Nigersaurus have been discovered.
The Teeth of the Nigersaurus
The teeth of the Nigersaurus were arranged in the form of batteries. Each functional unit of the battery had 9 inchoate teeth ready to take their place. The maxilla had about 68 batteries and the mandible close to 60. Thus, at any stage, it possessed about five hundred teeth in its jaws. This number was first estimated to be 600, but now has been scaled down.
The individual teeth were elongated and curved, not being extremely sharp. Such dental arrangements are generally seen ceratopsids and hadrosaurs.
The most unusual feature of Nigersaurus was its style of feeding, as its mouth was the widest part of its head and was equipped with several hundred small sharp teeth.
In fact, it was designed such as one tooth wore out, it was replaced by another (up to 9 replacement teeth lay behind each cutting tooth), perhaps as often as once per month. Nigersaurus is believed to have eaten like a lawn-mower, taking it predigious quantities of low-lying vegetation.
The skull of the Nigersaurus was very specialised for feeding as it had four large side fenestrae, openings in the skull and thin bones, with a wide muzzle filled with more than 500 teeth, which were replaced around every 14 days.
Nigersaurus is the only known tetrapod animal to have had jaws wider than the skull and teeth that extended laterally across the front. The teeth in the upper jaw may have been 20–30 percent bigger than those in the lower jaw.
Under each active tooth, there was a column of nine replacement teeth within the jaw. With 68 columns in the upper jaws and 60 columns in the lower jaws, these so-called dental batteries comprised a total of more than 500 active and replacement teeth.
The enamel on the teeth of Nigersaurus was highly asymmetrical, ten times thicker on the outwards facing side than on the inner side. One wonders what’s with all that dental prowess though. Among dinosaurs, Nigersaurus sets the Guinness record for tooth replacement.”
Size of a Nigersaurus
Small for a sauropod, Nigersaurus was about 9 m (30 ft) long, and had a short neck. It weighed around 4 t (4.4 short tons), comparable to a modern elephant.
For perspectice, Sauropods (or “long-necked” dinos) were a magnificent group which included the largest land animals to have ever walked the earth. So in comparison with a Sauropod, the Nigersaurus was much smaller.
What did the Nigersaurus Eat
The Nigersaurus was an herbivorous dinosaur, just like other sauropods. Its diet likely consisted of ferns, angiosperms and shrubs. Due to the weak nature of its jaw bones, some scientist posit that it only used its teeth to cut vegetation and then suck it in using a vacuum like action because its gait was likely slow.
The herbivore did a good job of sharing its habitat with other dinosaurian megaherbivores, as well as large theropods and crocodylomorphs.
The habitat of the dinosaur comprised of the African plains and woodlands.
Other odd Features of the Nigersaurus
Away from its odd Jaw design that resulted in its undeniably weird teeth possesion, the Nigersaurus also had other odd features which are;
1. It had a backbone that was more air than bone. “The vertebrae are so paper-thin that it is difficult to imagine them coping with the stresses of everyday use — but we know they did it, and they did it well,” according to Wilson, who was a team member in the Nigersaurus expedition.
2.The Nigersaurus was a ”Short Neck-Long Neck” Dinosaur, all at once. This is so said because, the Sauropods are usually associated with extensive necks, some well-endowed species even placed over 35 feet between their heads and shoulders. But Nigersaurus and its closest relatives (which together formed a sub-group called the “Rebbachisauridae”) decided to come with shorter necks, thereby betraying the family.
3. Though it had large nostrils and a fleshy snout, Sereno and colleagues(the Expeditors) found that Nigersaurus had an underdeveloped olfactory region of its brain and thus did not have an advanced sense of smell.
In fact, its brain-to-body-mass ratio was average for a reptile, and smaller than those of ornithischians and non-coelurosaurian theropods. The cerebrum comprised about 30percent of the brain volume, as in many other dinosaurs.
What Dinosaur has 500 teeth is what you need to be familiar with so that when you visit the zoo next time it woundn’t look scary to you.