Sauropod Jaws

Sunday, August 28, 2011

While there is obviously some variation in the teeth and jaws of sauropods, they are on the whole pretty conservative when compared to the theropods or ornithischians (none of them have beaks for starters!). Rather peg-like clippers of one form or another seem to be the main theme. This nice set of jaw piece though does show that if nothing else, the size and number of the teeth can be dramatically different across a jaw of otherwise similar size.

Here we have the multiple and very small teeth of Nigersaurus (top), rather more robust, but still ultimately long, thin and quite numerous teeth of Apatosaurus (middle), and finally the much larger and more robust teeth of Camarasaurus (bottom). Nigersaurus is especially nice and odd as you can see the huge numbers of replacement teeth sitting in situ the gives this an appearance that’s something like a dental battery of a derived ornithischian.

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