Tyrannosaurus Rex are the most famous dinosaurs, often depicted in books and movies with large, protruding teeth. But that detail may be wrong, according to a new study.
The scientists analyzed the ratio between skull size and teeth in extinct theropods and their modern reptilian relatives. They found that theropod teeth were not long enough to protrude from their mouths. They also examined cross-sections of the teeth of Daspletosaurus, an ancestor of an alligator and Tyrannosaurus Rex. They noticed that in the crocodile the enamel on the outside of the teeth was thinner than on the inside, while in the theropod there was no such difference. This could indicate that the theropod had lips that protect its teeth from wear and tear.
Finally, the scientists looked at other details of the skull anatomy of theropods, crocodiles, and lizards. They found that alligators have several holes in their noses that help them feel pressure. Lizards do not have such holes, but there are other holes on the teeth through which vessels and nerves pass. Theropod skulls were found to be more similar to lizards (with lips) than crocodiles (without lips).
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