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Re: Croc/dino dentition comparisons



>Paul Willis (et al) wrote:
>
>> In crocodilians and predatory dinosaurs with an overbite dentition, the two
>> sets of teeth work against each other like a pair of scissors. The
>
><snip> !
>
>are you sure croc teeth work like this? The films I've seen of crocs feeding do
>not show this at all. The croc drags the animal into the water , grabs an
>available bit of anatomy (a leg, say) and then spins in the water until the leg
>is torn off. It then swallows the piece wholemeal. There seems to be no cutting
>action at all. As the carcass decays, tearing lumps off becomes easier
>(although the film of corcs eating wildebeest showed all crocs eating (in
>hierarchicahl order) the same animal, so in this instance not mcuh was left
>over.

I guess that I was thinking more of the ziphodont crocs when I wrote this
but there is still a basic truth in it for other crocodilians. Ziphodont
crocs have theropod like teeth and double cookie-cutter mouths where as
more typically crocodilians had teeth designed for holding and puncturing.
The jaws still come together like a pair of scissors in action but, instead
of two blades, the jaws are like a pair of multiple hole punches. The
action you describe rips tha prey apaer along the dotted line made by the
teeth of the croc.

Cheers, Paul


Dr Paul M.A. Willis
Consulting Vertebrate Palaeontologist
Quinkana Pty Ltd
pwillis@ozemail.com.au