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Phytoliths in Dino Teeth Give Clues to Diet
This is from the October 20th Science News. The web site is
but unless you have a subscription you can't get to it.
Even flossing wouldn't have helped
From Bozeman, Mont., at the 61st annual meeting of the
Society for Vertebrate Paleontology
Small particles trapped in minuscule cracks or pits in
the fossilized teeth of some plant-eating dinosaurs could give
scientists a way to identify what types of greenery the ancient
Different types of plants produce phytoliths that look alike, but some
groups of species generate distinct crystal forms. Krauss
analyzed the phytoliths produced by living relatives of the ancient
plants found in the fossil layers holding the dinosaurs.
The sizes and shapes of crystals from the fossil teeth suggest that the
ceratopsian dinosaurs, relatives of Triceratops, may have eaten a high
proportion of tough-leafed cycads, whereas the hadrosaurs, or duck-billed
dinosaurs, probably favored ferns.
This issue also has articles (also from SVP) on a juvenile Triceratops and
horn growth and a fossil site at a kitty litter pit (also by Sid