Nigersaurus: The Mesozoic Cow’ that has more than 300 teeth

Reconstructed skeleton of a surprisingly bizarre dinosaur known as the plant-eater Nigersaurus. This is a sculpture of what scientists believe to be the unique head of the dinosaur that it could have appeared to be like. Then, the casts of bones have been put together in the exact form for the Nigersaurus. BILL O’LEARY/THE WASHINGTON Post/GETTY Images

“Mesozoic Cow” is a satire taken by Gary Larson’s ” The Far Side.” However, it’s not. The name was coined to the African dinosaur Nigersaurus Taqueti in the year 2007 when the latest discoveries regarding the dinosaur’s appearance were released during the year 2007.

When speaking to NPR during the interview Paleontologist Paul Sereno called Nigersaurus (pronounced “NI-juhr– SOR-us) “the most bizarre dinosaur I’ve ever come across.” He then compared the face of Nigersaurus to the face of a vacuum cleaner.

A shrewd herbivore The reptile consumed food in what is today known as the Sahara Desert 110 million years ago. It was able to gather food using an enormous, wide mouth. The snout was larger then the back animal’s head.

Then Nigersaurus could have teeth. In fact, hundreds.

Small Giants

The term “elephant-sized” generally means it’s huge. If not truly massive.

Nigersaurus was just 29 feet (or approximately nine metres) long. Based on the most lenient estimates, it was about 4.4 tonnes (i.e. four tonnes in metric units). Overall the dinosaur was roughly the size of an contemporary African elephant.

There’s a caveat. There’s a reason, Nigersaurus was one of the sauropod. One of the most important dinosaurs of the day, the small-headed, plant-eating sauropods were around for approximately 140 million years. Their ranks comprised the biggest species ever to be seen on Earth.

Experts suggest that the most massive species might have been 110 feet (33.5 meters) in length. In addition, 40-85-foot (12 to 26 meters) sauropods can be found in different regions of fossil records.

Comparatively, Nigersaurus was on the smaller side. The main thing that caught everyone’s attention was the mug that the dinosaur sported.

A Dentist’s nightmare

Sereno’s comparison of vacuums is on target. When viewed from up above Nigersaurus’ muzzle appears to be the commercial part of an home appliances.

The jaws contained something that was never before seen on a sauropod tooth, also known as “dental,” batteries.

It’s not regarding Double A Duracells here. Dental batteries were effective tools for processing food that were used by numerous plant-eating dinosaurs. They were vertically stacked columns with replaceable teeth. When the top tooth wears out in a particular column, the tooth below it would be moved to the left and take over the old tooth’s place.

Even better was that the tooth column was lined up right alongside one another, like canned Sardines. Therefore, a dinosaur outfitted with batteries for dental use could store hundreds of teeth (old and new) within its mouth.

In Nigersaurus’s case the upper jaws were stocked with 60 small columns of needle-shaped teeth. A total of one hundred and 68 of them were at the bottom jaws. When viewed in total the beast had over what dinosaur has 500 teeth.

Dinosaur-hunters are used to finding dental batteries in beaked herbivores like the horned Triceratops and shovel-billedEdmontosaurus. However, they’re not common among sauropods.

“Mind It I Go Through?”

The tooth position is as crucial as the amount of teeth. Ask anyone who has ever had to use braces.

All of the tooth column in Nigersaurus dental batteries were arranged in the front of the mouth, located along the muzzle’s curving edge.

What’s a dinosaur got to do with chompers such as these? The idea of chomping on trees was probably not an alternative. Nigersaurus was not just small-bodied for the sauropod species, but the animal also had small neck.

The evidence suggests Nigersaurus was fed at the ground level. It’s like the cow.

Nigersaurus was named in honor of Nigersaurus is the West African country where its fossils have been discovered: The Republic of Niger. When this animal was roaming, forests and braided rivers covered the land. (Nigersaurus was required to look out for Sarcosuchus which was a massive cousin of modern crocodiles.)

This large muzzle was great to scoop up ferns, horsestails, and other plants that were low in the ground. And , with its abundant teeth, this dinosaur could have been able to slash through the plant life.

It is bad for the health of your teeth. Nigersaurus likely wore its crowns on its teeth in a quick-fire speed. It’s good to know that it was always stocked with of new teeth. According to an study from 2013 that was published in PLOS One, Nigersaurus likely substituted every “new” tooth within 14 days.

Head’s Up! (Maybe)

Since Nigersaurus consumed food by putting its head down scientists have been pondering the posture of its head. Sereno along with his fellow authors have claimed that the herbivore turned its neck and face towards the downwards- regardless of whether it was eating or not because it was a matter of habit.

After a long and laborious process they were successful in rebuild an inside view of Nigersaurus skull. They were able to get a great view of the lateral semicircular canal (LSC) of the ear’s inner part, which assists animals to maintain their equilibrium.

As judging by the LSC orientation of Nigersaurus, Sereno and company believed that the animal was seen walking around with its snout pointing towards the ground at an angle of 67 degrees. Imagine a teenager who is mumbling and you’ll be able to understand.

Others have challenged this assertion, but. Research conducted between 2010 as well as 2013 revealed that the location of the LSC cannot be used to determine the normal head position was. It’s time to construct a time machine before.

The Air Apparent

Nigersaurus did not come under the radar for quite some time. The first fossils belonging to the animal were found in the mid-1950s when French paleontologists from the Nigerian Sahara. Unfortunately, the majority of the bones were discarded or fragmentary.

Scientists in the period didn’t take the time to give the sauropod an official name.

The story got interesting in 1997. This was when one of Sereno’s field team spotted the presence of Nigersaurus skull bone fragments. In the course of two missions, enough material was discovered to reconstruct approximately 90% of creature’s skull.

And what a skeleton that was! The new fossils provided us with our first glimpse of the dinosaur’s complex dental batteries and the mouth of a vacuum cleaner. Sereno identified the species as Nigersaurus Taqueti in tribute the paleontologist Philippe Taquet – in 1999.

what dinosaur has 500 teeth?

Scientists would have probably discovered more Nigersaurus remains earlier if it weren’t due to the animal’s delicate bone structure. According to the findings of a 2007 study by Sereno this animal was an “featherweight skull.” A number of bones found in Nigersaurus head were less than 0.08 millimeters (or 2.25 millimeters) thick.

The absurdities didn’t stop there.

Much like today’s birds, ancient dinosaurs had bones that were hollow that contained air sacs. Nigersaurus vertebrae was one of them. an extreme. Quantified by volume certain of its backbones actually had more air in them that … it seems more than bones..

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