The terrifying teeth of a Tyrannosaurus Rex hid behind scaled lips

Every known depiction of carnivorous dinosaurs is wrong. New research shows that their teeth may have been mostly hidden rather than exposed.

teeth tyrannosaurus rex And other predatory dinosaurs were hidden behind scaly lips. They couldn’t even pull it back to reveal their impressive teeth, contrary to what movie and TV images would suggest. This is it Conclusion From a team that studied the teeth of living reptiles such as the crocodile, as well as the teeth of predatory two-legged dinosaurs, incl VelociraptorAnd Spinosaurusand tyrannosaurs Giganotosaurus. “We need to change the popular idea of ​​what dinosaurs looked like,” says the paleontologist. Mark Wheaton from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom.

He wears

Wheaton and his colleagues based this idea on tooth wear. Exposed teeth must wear down faster than teeth that remain in the mouth. This is not just about physical protection. If saliva doesn’t continually wet tooth enamel, Wheaton said, it dries out and becomes more brittle.

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When the team examined the exposed teeth of modern crocodiles, they found significant wear and tear, with much of the enamel worn off. “It was as if someone had run sandpaper over it,” Wheaton says.

In contrast, the team found that the fossil teeth of the bipedal, or therapeutic, predatory dinosaurs were in very good condition, although these dinosaurs did not replace their own teeth as often as crocodilians. “This wouldn’t be the case if the teeth were outside the mouth like a crocodile’s,” Wheaton says.

Sheathed teeth

The researchers also noted that many living predatory lizards have hidden teeth. For example, the Papuan monitor lizard (Varanos Salvador) has larger teeth in relation to the size of its skull than t-rex. However, only the tips of these teeth can be seen when it opens its mouth. This is not only because his lips cover his teeth, but also because the teeth are covered in soft gums that are pushed back by what he is biting. “As a result, they sometimes bite their gums,” says Wheaton.

‘I think they’re right, and tyrannosaurs did indeed have more soft tissue covering their teeth than crocodilians. But I’m still not sure if their teeth were covered like monitor lizards,’ says the paleontologist. Steve Brusatte from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.

There’s been a lot of discussion about Tyrannosaurus lips in recent years, Brusatte says, but it’s not clear if t-rex More like a crocodile or a lizard. “There is no good contemporary equivalent of a predator the size of a bus with a bathtub-sized head crushing the bones of its prey.”

Jurassic Parkera

Wheaton doubts the research will convince Hollywood to change perceptions of dinosaurs. He notes that the filmmakers were reluctant to add feathers to the dinosaurs on screen, though the evidence that many had feathers is undeniable. However, so far there is no one t-rexFeathered fossils have been found.

“We are decades late in portraying dinosaurs in cinema. We are still in the era Jurassic ParkWheaton says. “It’s getting a little hopeless now, because they don’t represent what we think these animals used to look like at all.”

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Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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