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Mark Shelly wrote:
> From the recent discussions on teeth, it would seem that this is an
> area that someone could specialize in. Almost every article I read on
> dinosaur discoveries mentions some type of theropod teeth. It would be
> helpful if you could readily look up teeth types found and identify the
> general type of dinosaurs from an area. Likewise, teeth sifters could
> pass on information on specific small teeth found to someone specifically
> working in this area. Knowing where teeth were located could also be
> useful in identifying the types of dinosaurs from a specific region.
> Useful information is often found by footprints - such as the possibility
> of larger animals from those known. Likewise, large teeth might indicate
> that there are possibly larger or smaller species than already found.
> Questions abound. What happens to dinosaur teeth found by mammal
> hunters? Were there any small theropods at the KT boundary? Were small
> theropods as numerous as small mammals based on teeth finds? Can teeth be
> used to age dinosaurs? Would the presence of teeth over the ages help
> identify the relationship of dinosaurs? Would a look at the change in
> ornithopod teeth show how they evolved over time? Would the evolution and
> type of teeth indicate the type of vegetation eaten? Are there teeth out
> there for which we have no known dinosaur?
> With replaceable teeth, they should be fairly common. The hard part is
> finding out about their prevalence. Full scale diagrams with cross
> sections could be produced that would act as a great field guide,
> especially for non dinosaur paleontologists.
> Is there anyone working is the area?
Actually, this is the exact thought that went through my mind
about a year ago. I came to the same conclusions as you and I guess this
is going to be the next place where I focus my attention (i.e., hoping to
fill this exact slot).
I will comment on the earlier discussions about teeth later, but
I will be happy to answer questions on this topic.
Department of Geology
University of Pennsylvania
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