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Re: Theropod Teeth/Lizard lips



>All,
>       Just my hypothesis:  based on educated thought:  I do not believe that
>ANY theropods had to have, or did have, exposed teeth, when there mouths were
>closed, even T rex, and Ceratosaurus could have had thick/wide lower lips to
>contain the upper teeth for a Lizard/Tuatara lip-like tightly closed mouth
>(and I am not suggesting that Dinosaurs were lizards).
>
>        Overhanging teeth make biting , and cutting into flesh next to
>impossible, and this fights the theory of theropods using their jaws like
>cookie cutters, which I believe they DID.  How can tooth work against tooth
>when they are separated by a gap of flesh?
>
>         Thomas Dickens

        There may have been room for a little variety here.  Some modern
crocodilians have exposed teeth when their mouths are closed, others do
not.  This difference doesn't seem to markedly affect their diet or feeding
behavior, though.  Maybe this is a bit of evolutionary "leeway", a
characteristic that is neither especially advantageous nor disadvantageous,
with some variation existing within the basic "pattern" .  Since predatory
dinos had dentition that more closely resembles crocodilians' than it does
other modern predators', as far as natural selection goes the overbite may
not have been a big deal.

bruce

        "The more television I watch, the more I wonder why I'm not already
supreme ruler of earth."  --Dogbert