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Re: Heavy Teeth??



Larry Febo wrote:
> 
> Just saw the Discovery Channel show ..."Creatures of the Skies; When
> Dinosaurs Ruled". Heard Phil Currie`s explanation of how Sauropod teeth were
> simple and peglike, and that weight might have been a factor in their
> design. Being that the sauropod head was attached to so long a neck, weight
> saving a the head end would be a priority. I suppose that batteries of
> ornithischian type teeth would be a bit heavier than what sauropods would
> have evolved, but ....how much heavier when compared with that multi-ton
> neck it already was strapped with? I mean really!....how much would it
> matter to have some extra teeth? That explaination is also used in the case
> for birds loosing teeth as they evolved toward more modern forms.I also find
> that hard to follow.

Do you mean "hard to swallow?"

Not only were sauropod teeth at the very end of a long moment arm, but heavier 
teeth 
would involve a fair amount of overhead (so to speak) in terms of heavier jaw, 
jaw muscles, growing replacement teeth, etc.  Recall also that enamel and 
dentine are 
denser than normal bone, so the effect of adding size to teeth is also 
disproportionate. 
 I suppose (signal for rank speculation) that if I were designing a sauropod, 
I'd invest 
in a real killer tongue and blow off the teeth.

  --Toby White