Besides a lot of other feature which make the Tyrannosaurus Rex frightening a recent study has discovered another one: the animal had serrated teeth just like a steak knife. According to the research published in the journal Scientific Reports even though many other dinosaurs seemed to have similar teeth to the Tyrannosaurus Rex the resemblance was only superficial. The only living creature which is known to have serrated teeth is the komodo dragon.
The lead author of the study Dr. Kirstin Brink of the University of Toronto Mississauga explained that all animal teeth have the same building blocks. However the way in which the animal processes food is determined by the manner in which the blocks fit together in order to form the tooth structure. Theropods such as Tyrannosaurus Rex were better at handling their prey because of the unknown complexity of their teeth.
Previous research indicate that the stress cracks were formed when the animals chomped on hard bone while their formation prevented the tooth from shattering. However this new study suggests that the cracks were actually existing with a purpose.
For the research the scientists analyzed a tiny crack-like feature which was at the bottom of the serrations. This could only be observed when the tooth was cut open. The researchers analyzed teeth which had not yet erupted instead of studying those who had been used for feeding already. This was possible because dinosaurs had new teeth growing all throughout adulthood. The findings indicate that the strange structures from the bottom of the serrations were present fright from the start. So this feature made the Tyrannosaurus Rex and other Theropods more ferocious and helped them keep their place at the top of the food chain.
Dr. Brink remarked:
The strange structure is actually a special arrangement of tooth tissues that increases the size of the serration, strengthening it and preventing it from wearing away quickly.”
He further continued saying that this enabled the teeth to remain longer in the jaw. Thus there were no gaps in the tooth row while new teeth were emerging. So when the dinosaur pierced through the flesh the bite was sill efficient.
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