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Titanosaur tooth histology and attachment



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new paper:


Rodolfo A. García & Virginia Zurriaguz (2015)
Histology of teeth and tooth attachment in titanosaurs (Dinosauria; Sauropoda).
Cretaceous Research 57: 248–256
doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2015.09.006
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667115300641


Dental histology of periodontal tissues (cementum, periodontal
ligament and alveolar bone) has been studied in mammals, crocodylians
and some basal tetrapods, but these structures have never been studied
in titanosaur sauropods. The goal of this work was to study the
structures of dental insertion in Titanosaurs. Like many physiological
processes, histological analysis of titanosaur teeth shows hard tissue
formation, characterized by a circadian rhythm. From thin sections it
was possible to observe microstructures such as incremental lines of
von Ebner, dentinal tubules and cross striations, all key to the
understanding of developmental tooth dynamics. The structural and
histological analyses carried out here on teeth of Late Cretaceous
titanosaurs reveals the presence of acellular and cellular cementum,
periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone, all structures necessary for
a truly thecodont dentition. This is the first time documented for a
dinosaur via histological tissue, and is an important finding that
will help elucidate aspects of dinosaurian dentition, tooth
replacement rate, feeding strategy, metabolism, and general biology.