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Re: Looking for tiny dinosaurs
In a message dated 8/12/98 3:35:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> Another way to look for signs of tiny dinosaurs would be to search for
> small teeth, the most likely fossils as for Mesozoic mammals (many of which
> are known only from teeth).
Has anybody done this?
I have! Sort of. And not while specifically looking for mammal or other
In the course of my field work in the Arundel Clay, I _routinely_ find very
small theropod teeth and on occasion even sauropod and ankylosaur teeth.
Ditto for croc teeth. It is almost certain that at least in _some_cases_
these are in fact teeth of juveniles. Of course we have our own small
coelurosaurs and a probable Dromaeosaurid similar to Deinonychus, but there
are even small, I mean really small versions of even these. Speaking for the
theropods, I believe it is generally regarded that juvenile theropod teeth
are, except for their size, identical in morphology to the adult versions.
Scaled down adult teeth you might say.
I would assume the sauropods, occupying the other branch of saurischia, like
the theropoda, would probably follow the trend observed in theropods but I
_do_ not_ know for sure.
In the case of the ankylosaurs, I have been told that size does not
necessarily indicate ontogenetic stage as this clade often has a widely
>Are small dinosaur teeth
> considered evidence of juveniles, or of possible small species?
So the answer to this is yes and no! And i am sure others will be able to
expand on this on a clade by clade basis ;-)
Thomas R. Lipka