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Teeth of carnivorous dinosaurs show their hunting strategy, Prey Choice



The researchers found that predatory dinosaurs used the puncture-feeding method to capture and dissect their prey. Here the Saurornitolestes is shown by the method. Sydney Mohr and Javier Ruiz )

The analysis of the teeth of three main types of carnivorous dinosaurs shows similar patterns of wear regardless of the size of the dinosaur and the tooth itself. As it turned out, the dinosaurs used the same feeding methods, but varied in prey selection based on their tooth strength and shape.

Puncture-and-pull method

In the analysis of the teeth of predatory theropods from the Upper Cretaceous, the researchers They found out that the creatures used a feeding method called a puncture and a pull, where they used their jagged teeth to pierce the skin of their prey and then pull their heads down while still biting.

This was illustrated by the patterns of small scratches on the teeth, especially the parallel scratches that appear when biting the dinosaurs and the oblique scratches that form when the head is pulled back. These scratches were observed in all of the tooth samples analyzed, except for a sample that was slightly eroded.

"We found that the microbottom patterns were similar for all teeth studied, regardless of the size of the dinosaur's tooth or the shape of the dentition," said Ryan Wilkinson from the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, co-author of the study.

Different Loot Choice

Although theropods used a similar hunting method, researchers also found that they most likely had different loot choices, mainly due to certain differences in their teeth. Since their teeth still varied in shape and strength, making some stronger and others more susceptible to breakage, the dinosaurs were virtually forced to prefer certain types of prey to others.

For example, while the Dromaeosaurus and Saurornithinestes were probably adapted to Trojothtides who sought prey and processed bones, they probably preferred softer, smaller, and possibly even immobile, prey because their teeth were likely to fail at non-optimal bite positions and angles ,

  Theropod dinosaur teeth are often sharp and jagged, but may vary depending on the species and clades of the creatures. Obviously, Dromaeosaurus and Saurornitholestes teeth were more prone to wear over time.

(Photo: Torices, Wilkinson, et al., Current Biology) Theropod dinosaur teeth are often sharp and jagged, but may vary depending on the species and class of creatures. Obviously, the teeth of Dromaeosaurus and Saurornitholestes were more prone to erosion over time.

"All these dinosaurs lived at the same time and in the same place, so it's important to know if they are competing for food or if they want different prey species," said the study's first author, Angelica Torices of Universidad de La Rioja, Spain.

Researchers are now developing complex models of teeth, complete with roots and jawbones, hoping to better understand the diet of dinosaurs Biting process

The study is published in the journal Current Biology .

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