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Re: Diplodocus tooth occlusion

Nick Pharris (npharris@umich.edu) wrote:

<In other words, the lower jaw could be "stowed" with all the dentary
teeth fitting within the upper tooth row, or the lower jaw could be moved
forward, so that the upper and lower tooth rows formed a set of nippers. 

  Yes. And the teeth may have acted as do some rodent jaws work, wearing
at one another to form a "perfect" set of gouges. The rostral,
non-thegotic wear on the outer teeth cannot be worn at by other teeth,
suggesting that the animals were wearing at them to "sharpen" the edge
while the lower teeth worked at the opposite surface, or that unusual
feeding methods were at play. Possible rubbing against bark or the ground
may produce the outer tooth wear facets, as this is hardly understood by
Barret and Upchurch's work, though they offer feeding as the producing
factor (still possible, but this woulkd serve to dull the edge of the
teeth, not sharpen them as the teeth seem to exhibit).

Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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