Dinosaurs under the big sky

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T.rex tooth with Baby Tooth

TC: TC2005.2.18.2, TC2005.2.19.2 (both baby teeth), n/a (big teeth)

Contents: two light brown resin baby teeth casts and two brown (one light, one dark) resin tooth casts

All dinosaurs that we know of replaced their teeth continuously throughout their lifetimes. As one tooth was lost, another tooth was growing in to replace it. Humans only replace their set of teeth once in a lifetime. This replica shows a large T.rex tooth (from B.rex—skull on display in the Hall of Horns and Teeth) and a smaller replacement tooth growing in behind it.

  • Hand the replica to visitors and ask them what they think it is. Encourage them to make descriptive observations. What do you think this is? What do you notice about it?

  • Ask visitors how many times they replace their teeth in their lifetimes. Have you lost a tooth? Why did B.rex lose and replace his teeth so many times?

  • Encourage visitors to look closely at the T.rex skulls on display. Can you tell T.rex replaced teeth regularly? Can you see new teeth coming in? Why do T.rex’s teeth look so uneven?

T.rex Jaw Section

Coming soon!

Human Jaw Section

TC: n/a

Contents: one white plastic cast of half a human upper jaw

This is a cast of an upper right human jaw. It is useful to compare to the T.rex jaw section, as well as to other dinosaur teeth to help visitors understand the difference in size and shape between their teeth and those of different dinosaurs.

T.rex Hind limb Claw

TC: n/a

Contents: one dark brown claw cast

This T.rex hind limb claw (cast) was discovered in the Hell Creek Formation from the Latest Cretaceous period (about 65-67 million years ago). The claw would have had a keratin sheath over it, making it even larger. Note the groove allowing blood vessels to be carried to sheath. This is a foot claw; front limbs of T.rex were similar in size to a human arm while rear limbs were many times larger.

Late and Latest Cretaceous/Hadrosaurs/Edmontosaurus/Maiasaura/Duck-billed Dinosaurs
Hadrosaur Teeth

Duck-billed dinosaurs generally had horny bills at the front of their snouts. Their teeth were located further back in their mouths in the cheek region, both top and bottom, and are therefore referred to as “cheek teeth”. Hadrosaurs had hundreds to thousands of cheek teeth in their mouths at any given time. Their individual teeth were small, long and narrow. Each tooth fit snugly up against the next creating an interlocking battery of teeth. Diamond shapes on the side of the tooth battery indicate this pattern and help to identify individual teeth within the battery. The diamond pattern faces toward the inside of the mouth on the lower jaws and toward the outside of the mouth on the upper jaws. Because the interlocking pattern offsets one tooth from the next, the degree of wear on each tooth varies across chewing surface of the tooth battery. Hadrosaur teeth meet close to vertically and then flatten out across a grinding surface.

Hadrosaur Tooth Abacus

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