Weird dinosaur species had teeth only in childhood: paleontologists discover
A team of paleontologists claimed to have found a new dinosaur species that had pointy teeth in their childhood but had no teeth as adults.
After analyzing 19 dinosaur skeletons unearthed in the Gobi desert of northwestern China, George Washington University’s paleontology PhD candidate Josef Stiegler and his team concluded that members of the Limusaurus inextricabilis species would lose all of their pointy teeth by the age of three years. For the rest of their lives, they lived as toothless beasts.
Stiegler said that it was quite puzzling when they found that the juveniles of the 160-milliion year old dinosaur species had teeth, while the adults had no teeth.
Stephen Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh who wasn’t involved in the research, said, “Who would have thought that a dinosaur would start off with teeth and then replace them with a beak when it became an adult?”
The remains of the ostrich-like modest dinosaurs were unearthed in the Gobi Desert of northwestern China. While as adults, L. inextricabilis had toothless beaks, the juveniles had jaws filled with up to 18 pointy teeth.
The research paper, published in the journal Current Biology, also suggested that the change in L. inextricabilis’ anatomy enabled the species to change its diet as it grew, probably allowing juveniles and adults to live together with no to compete for food.
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