Scientists have unveiled that some species of dinosaurs used to shed their teeth. They argued that this discovery may help them establish more about the evolution of birds. After they had eaten meat using their teeth when they were babies, their development brought them to the point where they developed beaks to pick up plants when reaching adulthood.
- Scientists have revealed a species of dinosaur which shed its teeth.
- At first, paleontologists believed that the two fossils unearthed pertained to two different species.
- Later, they have realized that the fossils were similar, except the teeth.
This finding was not proved to occur in any other species of reptile. The one who did undergo this change was Limusaurus inextricabilis which lived in China approximately 150 million years back. The first fossils which pertained to this animal were unearthed nearly ten years ago. Shuo Wang, the lead author of the study of Capital Normal University in Beijing, China, claimed that at first, he together with his team thought that they had unveiled two distinct ceratosaurian dinosaurs in the area known as Wucaiwan.
One of them had teeth, and the other one hadn’t any. What is more, researchers have started characterizing them separately, even comparing them. After a while, paleontologists have discovered that these two species were, in fact, one, looking remarkably similar. The only exception regarded the lack of teeth.
After several analyses, they have unveiled that this species of dinosaur has shed its teeth over time, being the only known reptile which did this. Dr. Stephen Brusatte, who was a member of the research team, coming from the University of Edinburgh, argued that this was a spectacular discovery.
He also noted that up until this moment people were not aware that such a species would exist. Who would have thought that there were dinosaurs which were born having teeth and they began to lose them once they grew old, transforming into beaks which helped them eat vegetation.
Nothing similar was ever discovered in any other type of fossil vertebrate. The platypus was considered the only vertebrate which lived on land and had undergone such changes. Dr. Stig Walsh at the National Museums Scotland has stated that this species of dinosaurs switched from eating meat to eating plants, a beak being their best equipment, while teeth were considered a disadvantage.
Other dinosaurs related to the group of Limusaurus were carnivores. Scientists still debate the idea that this switch might have favored the species since there were numerous plants and they needed an abundant food source.
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