By Alison Majikes/Special to thedailyfloss.com
Have you ever wondered how the Tyrannosaurs rex and other theropods avoided chipping and cracking their razor sharp teeth while ripping apart their prey?
Well, me either. But according to an article on livescience.com, researchers examined the teeth of theropods, a group of bipedal carnivorous dinosaurs that include the T.rex and Velociraptor, to study what appeared to be cracks in their teeth.
Research showed that the so-called “cracks” weren’t cracks at all. The structures were deep folds within each tooth intended to strengthen it and help prevent breakage when the dino tore into its prey, said study lead researcher Kristin Brink, a postdoctoral researcher of biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
This new study, published on July 28 in the journal of Scientific Reports, actually trumps the one from the early 1990s when researchers first discovered the cracks in a dinosaur named Albertosaurus.
It was found that the serrated teeth help the animals more easily tear through flesh and hold onto the chunks of meat they rip.
These useful chompers still exist today in Komodo dragons, however, Komodo dragon teeth do not have the deep interdental folds nor any extras layers of dentin that would strengthen their bite, said Brink.
“It’s really cool that such a small little change in the tooth structure, a small arrangement of the dental tissues, could completely change the ways these animals are living,” she said.
Read the full article on LiveScience: http://www.livescience.com/51672-theropod-serrated-teeth.html?s