Meet the species of carnivorous dinosaur that roamed Madagascar 70 million years ago.
Meet the dinosaur: Majungasaurus
Majungasaurus had to replace its mouth full of teeth every two months. Growing replacements for each tooth from two to 13 times faster than other meat-eating dinosaurs, the researchers found. The study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.
Michael D’Emic, study author and assistant professor of biology at Adelphi University in New York said,
This meant they were wearing down on their teeth quickly, possibly because they were gnawing on bones.
There is independent evidence for this in the form of scratches and gouges that match the spacing and size of their teeth on a variety of bones — bones from animals that would have been their prey.
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The dinosaur was around 21 feet long and it reigned at the top of the food chain in Madagascar. Its sharp teeth could slice like knives through the flesh of its prey. It has a short snout and a horn on top of its head.
But its teeth were meant for flesh so it wasn’t great when it came across some bones. The rate of tooth growth was so fast that it lines up with how quickly the sharks have in replacing their teeth.