Dino With "Vacuum Mouth" Revealed

Dino With
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Nigersaurus taqueti, a sauropod that lived in the Sahara region 110 million years ago, had a mouthful of slender teeth—more than 500 of them—packed inside its jaws. Each tooth was about the size of a toddler's incisor.

In a new study in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers used a CT scan on a skull to expose up to nine replacements stacked up behind each working tooth.

The teeth, coupled with its broad, flat jaw, allowed the dinosaur to constantly munch on ground vegetation—not much different from a cow.

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno, who named the dinosaur in 1999, led the research team. (National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society.)

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—Photograph by Mike Hettwer, courtesy of Project Exploration ) 2007 National Geographic
 
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