Chapter

Structure and Evolution of a Sauropod Tooth Battery

Paul C. Sereno and Jeffrey A. Wilson

in The Sauropods

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780520246232
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246232.003.0006
Structure and Evolution of a Sauropod Tooth Battery

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This chapter addresses the tooth-bearing bones and dental battery of Nigersaurus taqueti and provides an initial cranial reconstruction. It also reviews the feeding specializations common to diplodocoids and how these were modified within rebbachisaurids. The skull and neck of the holotypic specimen of N. taqueti were found in close association. The premaxillary, maxillary, and dentary teeth are explained. The tooth battery of Nigersaurus is quite different from that in ornithischians. In Nigersaurus, the teeth are restricted to the transverse portion of the anterior end of the skull, and at least the lower tooth row extends lateral to the parasagittal plane of the lower jaw. Unlike the parasagittal dental batteries of ornithischians, the dental battery in Nigersaurus is oriented transversely and may have been used for cropping rather than prolonged oral processing. Dental batteries evolved three times independently within Dinosauria—in euornithopod and neoceratopsian ornithischians and in rebbachisaurid sauropods.

Keywords: tooth-bearing bones; dental battery; Nigersaurus taqueti; cranial reconstruction; feeding; diplodocoids; rebbachisaurids; euornithopod; neoceratopsian ornithischians

Chapter.  9252 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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