Dinosaurs under the big sky

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Triceratops Individual Teeth

TC: TC2005.2.8.1, TC2005.2.8.2

Contents: two brown plastic store-bought models of teeth

Individual Triceratops teeth are spade shaped with the point of the spade indicating the top of the tooth. A central ridge runs vertically up the center of the surface of the tooth. On the lower jaw the ridges face towards the inside of the mouth. On the upper jaw the ridges face toward the outside. The roots of each tooth are bifurcated (double roots). The individual teeth fit together to form a tooth battery similar to that of hadrosaur dinosaurs. This can be viewed in the diagram above. Torosaurus teeth are almost indistinguishable from Triceratops teeth.

  • Hand one or both to visitors and ask them what they think they are, and then which direction is up and finally how they fit together. Encourage them to make descriptive observations.

  • Show how the individual teeth come together to form the tooth battery

  • Give a visitor a ceratopsian tooth and ask them to locate a real one in the exhibit.

  • Use the laser pointer to point out real ceratopsian teeth in the exhibit.

These plastic replicas are for sale in the museum store for about $5.00 each (Summer 2005).

Latest Cretaceous/T.rex

T.rex Braincase Endocast

TC: n/a

Contents: two white resin endocasts of a T.rex braincase
This is a cast of the part of the skull in which the brain is housed. By casting this void, we end up with a three dimensional model of what the brain would have looked like. This brain case cast was made many years ago when the paleontologist Osborn actually sliced the T.rex skull from which it came in half and poured plaster into each half. We are now able to get the same kind of information through CT scanning which is non-destructive to fossils.

T.rex Left Arm

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