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Re: Teeth of Moroccan dinosaurs



I'm no authority on the authenticity of dinosaur teeth, but I can provide some
information which may prove helpful to you.

1)  All dinosaurs replaced their teeth continuously throughout their lives.  
Some
dinosaur embryos are known to have replaced teeth while still inside the egg!
2)  Von Ebner growth lines have been used to estimate the rate of dinosaur tooth
replacement at 50 to 100 days for some hadrosaurids and ceratopids, 300 days in 
a
small dinosaur on the order of _Deinonychus_, and 800 days for a giant such as 
an
adult _Tyrannosaurus rex_.  (See "Tooth Replacement Patterns" in _Encyclopedia 
of
Dinosaurs_).
3)  10-75% of the distal tips of the teeth of some specimens of _Tyrannosaurus 
rex_
were snapped off prior to burial.  (See "Paleopathology" in _Encyclopedia of
Dinosaurs_).
4)  Broken off or shed fossil theropod teeth have been recovered from many 
feeding
sites, but the sites rarely contain the skeletal remains of the theropods whose
teeth were shed.
5)  Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the vertebrate body, and is the 
most
likely to be fossilized.  Many extinct mammals are known by their teeth alone.
6)  The longevity of large theropods is unknown, but it has been estimated that
other large dinosaurs would have taken from seven years to several decades to
attain the sizes of some specimens.
7)  An adult _Carcharodontosaurus_ individual would have possessed about 64 
teeth
at any one time; spinosaurids sported over 100 teeth; young theropods appear to
have had long muzzles and large numbers of teeth as well.
8)  Fossil teeth are readily identified as such, even by an amateur fossil 
hunter,
whereas isolated shards of fossil bone may be overlooked or prove difficult to
identify.

It seems to me that there should be a lot of theropod teeth out there, and many
dealers advertise fossil dinosaur teeth for sale, but again, I'm no authority.
Hopefully, a working paleontologist will be able to give you the real scoop.
--
Ralph W. Miller III  <gbabcock@best.com>