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Lirainosaurus (Sauropoda) teeth

From: Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Verónica Díez Díaz, Xabier Pereda Suberbiola & José Luis Sanz (2012)
Juvenile and adult teeth of the titanosaurian dinosaur Lirainosaurus
(Sauropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of Iberia.
Geobios (advance online publication)

A large sample of more than 100 teeth of the titanosaurian sauropod
Lirainosaurus astibiae from the Late Cretaceous Laño quarry (Northern
Spain) has been studied. Most of the teeth are small (crown height
less than 13 mm), cylindrical, with parallel edges and smooth enamel;
a few larger teeth are tapered and have more ornamented enamel. These
differences are regarded here as ontogenetic changes, the small teeth
being interpreted as those of juveniles and the large ones as those of
subadult or adult individuals. The juvenile teeth also present some
differences in the apex of the crown: some of them have a tapered tip,
and others have apical and/or mesial/distal facets. The first are
probably unerupted or non-functional teeth, while the ones with wear
facets are functional teeth. This is the first time a change in the
microwear structures of the apical wear facets between juvenile and
adult teeth is observed in a titanosaurian taxon. Moreover, this let
us to hypothesize a switch in the diet and food processing between the
juvenile and adult individuals of Lirainosaurus. Finally, the teeth of
Lirainosaurus are different from those of the Late Cretaceous European
titanosaurs described to date and also differ from the teeth of basal
titanosauriforms from the Early Cretaceous of the Iberian Peninsula.