Predatory dinosaur teeth

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An obvious difference between a carnivorous mammal and a theropod is seen in the form and function of the teeth. Predatory dinosaur teeth were not arrayed in the short sets of molars, canines, and incisors seen in modern cats and dogs (animatronic dinosaur). Dogs’ big, sharp, conical canines are used to puncture flesh; ca-nids and hyenas like to grab on to various parts of big prey and pull; weasels and cats deliver precision bites to vulnerable areas such as the base of the skull or the throat, and then use their complex slicing molars to cut up the meat. The predatory dino¬saur’s long rows of uniform, curved, flattened, serrated blades were very different, more akin to those of the modern predatory lizard. (The closest mammalian analogues were the extinct sabertoothed cats, which, recent research indicates, used a peculiar pinch-and-slash biting action.2) The key point is that most pre¬daceous dinosaurs were neither grabbers nor precision biters. The long, irregular tooth rows of the theropods were not suitable for precision work, and their bladelike teeth would have tended to slice or cut through the flesh of their prey rather than to hold tight. In fact, the serrations, which were on the keels on the front and back edge of the teeth, enhanced this slicing effect. A bit of often-repeated nonsense is that these teeth were as sharp-edged and pointed as steak knives. Actually, one can run one’s finger hard down the serrations with no adverse effects. But, powered by big jaw and neck muscles, the slicing perfor¬mance of these tooth rows was potent, The wounds they inflicted would have bled heavily and readily become infected. Limb muscles could have been sliced, crippling their prey. Or the belly could have been disem boweled-just as the giant Komodo monitors of modern day In donesia will cut open the bellies of oxen and deer.

 

The premaxillary teeth in the snout tip of Tyrannosaurus rex and its relatives had a somewhat different action. In many theropods these teeth were more D-shaped in cross section than the rest of the teeth, and they tended to cut out a small scoop of flesh. In tyrannosaurs the premaxillary teeth were fully D-shaped in cross section, with the flat of the D facing inward. Such teeth did not slice; instead, they cut out, like a trowel in dirt, or a cookie cutter. These D-cross-sectioned teeth were themselves arranged in an exceptionally broad, D-shaped, semicircular array at the front of the upper jaw, and were backed by slicing teeth behind them. They would have scooped out a long, deep chunk of flesh, leaving a great, trough-shaped hemor rhaging hole in the hapless victim’s sider- a diabolically nasty wound, and one rather like those made by some modern sharks.

animatronic dinosaur

Tanystropheus

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The Triassic diapsids were a very varied group. Some developed long necks for various feeding purposes. These tended to exist along the shoreline, feeding on the variety of foods to be found there. Others remained more generalized, with a familiar lizard-like build, and evolved into thegroup that survives today in the form of the lone genus of tuatara.

 

 

Tanystropheus

Tanystropheus

The neck bones, when first found, were thought to have been limb bones, possibly the wing bones of flying reptiles. The first remains were discovered in the 1850s and until the 1920s it wasreconstructed as a gliding creature rather like a flying squirrel. Study of the animal recommenced in the 197〇s, led by Rupert Wild of Stuttgart, and it is on his findings that modern restorations are based.

 

There is no agreement about how the neck was held or was used. What does seem to be evident is that Tanystropheus lived along the shoreline. The head and neck make it a water animal, but the rest of the body is distinctly terrestrial.

 

Features: The most obvious feature of Tanystropheus is the neck consisting of about two thirds of the length of the animal, made up of 12 extremely long vertebrae, making it stiff but not totally inflexible. The skull is large and in the adult carries teeth like those of a fish-eater, but in the juvenile more like those of an insectivore. The adult teeth are long and interlocking at the front, like those of a plesiosaur, and strong and sharp at the back. The body is slender and the tail moderately long with a thick base.

Trilophosaurus

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Trilophosaurus

 

This is one of those animals that is difficult to classify. In some respects, particularly the strange tooth structure, Trilophosaurus is similar to the rhynchosaurs but is much more primitive. Judging by the number of individuals found in desert flood deposits in Texas, USA, this is where it was thought to have lived,although some scientists regarded it as being a tree-climber. animatronic dinosaur

 

Trilophosaurus

 

Features: As in the rhynchosaurs. the jaws of Trilophosaurus are articulated so that they work in a simple up and down action. There are no teeth at the front but those at the back have very broad surfaces. The snout is very narrow and it appears to have carried a beak. The eyes are high up on the small head. The legs, with their long lizard-like toes show it to have been a four-footedanimal. The tail is long and heavy.

Hyperodapedon

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Hyperodapedon

 

This rhynchosaur was one of the most common herbivores of the late Triassic. Its bones constitute the principal terrestrial fossils of the period in Brazil. Many other genera, including Scaphortyx and Paradapedoti are so similar that they are now regarded as being the same genus. The name alludes to the structure of the jaws. The hind limbs were adapted for scratching in the soil and so it is probable that Hyperodapedon fed on the roots and underground shoots of the seed ferns. Animatronic Dinosaur

 

Hyperodapedon

 

Features: This is the typical rhynchosaur, with its barrel­shaped body and its broad head. The jaws narrow to a beak. There are two broad plates of teeth on the upper jaw consisting of several tooth rows. There is a groove down the middle of each. This groove accommodates the tooth row of the lower !aw, producing a powerful chopping and crushing action. The front of the mouth bears a pointed beak.

Mesosuchus

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DIAPSIDS – THE RHYNCHOSAURS

 

The Permian extinction saw the end of the seed ferns such as Glossopteris as the dominant form of vegetation. The animals, such as dicynodonts, that fed ott them also died out. The Triassic seed ferns, like Dicroidium, were smaller and less abundant, and the rhynchosaurs evolved to feed on them. These flourished until Dicroidium was replaced by the conifers at the end of the Triassic. walking dinosaur costume

 

Mesosuchus

 

Mesosuchus

 

Like the rest of the rhynchosaurs, Mesosuchus had a beak at the front of the snout and a single nostril hole on the mid-line of the skull. Either it was a very early member of the group that came to be the most significant plant-eater for a short time, or it represents nothing more than a primitive relative. The body was like that of a small lizard and showed little specialization to any particular way of life.

 

Below: Mesosuchus was one of the first plant-eaters to exploit the sudden expansion of the low-growing ferns.Features Asthe most primitive of the rhynchosaurs.Mesosuchus has many unspecialized features. It has conventional teeth in the front of the mouth and a single row at each side, which is quite different from the usual rhynchosaurian pattern of no teeth at the front and multiple rows at the side. In fact, it is so different that Mesosuchus is often regarded as being outside the main group of rhynchosaurs.

Endennasaurus

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Endennasaurus

This is known from two well-preserved specimens. The general structure seems to indicate that it was more at home on land than the other thalattosaurs were, despite its obvious adaptations to a swimming lifestyle. It has been suggested that this genus, of which only one species has been found, was more of a shoreline creature than the other thalattosaurs. It may have spent its life walking the beaches and splashing about in the shallows in search of its prey. Certainly it would have had no difficulty moving about on dry land when the need arose, such as when laying eggs. animatronic dinosaur

 

Endennasaurus

 

Features The body of Endennasaurus is much stouter than that of the other thalattosaurs. The ribs are heavy, as a restriction to the natural buoyancy of the animal, and there is a massive set of belly ribs. The tail is very long and compressed from side to side. The forearm is stout and broad, suggesting use as a paddle. The long jaws have no teeth but there is a long upper beak.

Xinpusaurus

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Xinpusaurus

 

Xinptisaurtis is quite a large rhalattosaur, discovered in China, in 2000. The two species of Xinpusaurus and one of Anshuusaums brings to three the total of thalattosaurs found in China to date. The limbs of this thalattosaur are clearly adapted as fins, rather than as the webbed feet that are more ususal among the thalattosaurs. This would have made this genus even more clumsy on land than its relatives. It has been placed within the Thalattosauridae family by scientists who have studied its fossils. walking dinosaur costume

 

Xinpusaurus

 

Features The obvious distinguishing feature of Xinpusaurus is the snout. The long toothless upper jaw projects well beyond the lower, giving the appearance of a swordfish – a feature that it shares with the European Endennasaurus. The purpose of this is unclear, but it could have been used for probing in the sand and mud of the sea bed for prey. This could indicate that the different genera of thalattosaurs were adapted for different lifestyles in the shelf seas around Pangaea.

Askeptosasurus is typical of the thalattosaurs

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Askeptosaurus

Askeptosasurus is typical of the thalattosaurs. It has a long slim neck and body with an extremely long ribhon-like tail. The whole structure is built to articulate from side to side giving an ccl-like swimming motion, stabilized by the limbs, rather like that of the marine iguana of the Galapagos Islands. The fact that the toes were well-webbed means that the limbs could have been used to propel the animal through the water when moving at low speeds, as well as for steering when moving at higher speeds propelled by the tail. Askeptosaurus has given its name to the family Askeptosauridac to which it belongs. This is one of three families within the thalattosaur order, the others being the Endcnnasauridae and the eponymous Thalattosauridae. Animatronic Dinosaur

 

Askeptosaurus

 

Features: All the swimming adaptation seems to be in the shape of the body and tail. The limbs are not greatly specialized for swimming and were probably used only for steering and stabilization. The nostrils are far back on the skull, close to the eyes, as in many air-breathing aquatic animals. Its large eye sockets contain sclerotic rings, reinforcing rings of bone, which suggest that it hunted fish by diving into deep waters.

Icarosaurus

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Icarosaurus

 

The only specimen of this gliding reptile, consisting of the front part of the body and the hones of one wing, was discovered in 1961 and was subsequently extensively studied by the American Museum of Natural History in New York,USA. It appears to be closely related to Kuehrteosaurus from England and has a similar wing structure. walking dinosaur costume

 

Icarosaurus

 

Features: Named after the son of Deadalus in Greek mythology, who tried to fly using manufactured wings, this is another of the Triassic diapsids specialized for flight. Like its relative Kuehneosaurus its wings are supported by extensions of the ribs that held a gliding membrane. In 1991 yet another flying diapsid, this one with a longer neck, was found in the same age of rocks in Virginia. It has yet to be named.

 

The thalattosaurs (ocean lizards) were a widespread grouf) of marine diapsid reptiles. They are known from California, USA, across Canada, Europe and China. They are fairly small animals and all tended to have the same eel-like body shape and long swimming tails. Apart front the fact that they were diapsids,their exact relationship to the rest of the reptile class is uncertain.

Kuehneosaurus

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Kuehneosaurus

 

Since the 1850s scientists have been discovering the remains of Triassic reptiles in Carboniferous limestones in Somerset, in southern England. In Triassic times theselimestones formed a desert ridge full of caves and gullies. Contemporary animals became trapped in these gullies and were fossilized in B rocks that were several million years older than they were.Among these fossils was the gliding reptile Kuehneosaurus. Animatronic Dinosaur

 

Kuehneosaurus

 

Features: The wings are formed from bones thatextend outwards from the sides of the animal. articulated where they attach to the body so that they could be folded back when not used. In appearance they would have resembled the flying dragon lizard of modern Malaysia, The rest of the body is rather lizard-like.