ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "teeth"

Anthropology in Practice

What can teeth tell us about our prehistoric ancestors?

Photo by Justin Mclean.

Our distant past is just that: the distant past. It’s this murky place that science is slowly filling in but the landscape still largely exists just on the periphery of our imagination, and it’s dominated by raw, somewhat violent natures. And in this distant past, we’ve cast our ancestors with personalities and traits to match [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Ancient Armored Fish Had First Bad Bite

early armored fish first jaws teeth evolution

The ancient ocean was a frightening place. But the emergence of the armored placoderm fish would have made it even more terrifying. These fish were no great whites—some weren’t much bigger than a goldfish. But they were some of the first vertebrates to have jaws, and new research shows that they were probably the first [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Diminutive Dinosaur Bore Beak, Bristles and Fangs [Video]

fanged, quilled dinosaur

Move over platypus, a recently discovered dinosaur may have bested you for the strangest combination of physical features. Two hundred million years ago, a two-foot- long, beaked biped covered in quills scampered about an area that is now part of South Africa. The dinosaur’s discoverer is paleontologist Paul Sereno, of the University of Chicago. Sereno [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

What was a South American herbivore doing with saber teeth?

saber-toothed herbivore from south america

Some extinct animals have anatomical oddities that seem destined to be confined to the marginalia of history. Questionable characters, such as the single-fingered dinosaur and the flightless, club-winged bird, ultimately died off despite—if not because of—their idiosyncratic adaptations. Now, researchers have described a perplexing, long-extinct creature, this time with some dubious dental assets: large saber [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Fossilized food stuck in Neandertal teeth indicates plant-rich diet

plant food found in neanderthal teeth

Ancient humans’ lax dental hygiene has been a boon for researchers looking for clues about early diets. Traces of fossilized foodstuffs wedged between Neandertal teeth have revealed plentiful traces of grains and other plants, supporting the theory that these heavy-browed humans were not just meat-eaters. "Many researchers have proposed biologically or technologically mediated dietary differences" [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Crocodile relative might have chewed like a mammal

crocodile relative that might have chewed like a mammal

Modern crocodiles might have sharp, flesh-tearing teeth, but they cannot chew like us humans. In fact, mammals have cornered the market on mastication, leaving other life-forms to simply shred their food before ingesting it. But a newly described Cretaceous crocodile relative (Pakasuchus kapilimai) seems to have been trying out a little chewing itself. Whereas surviving [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Dinosaurs

Get Total Access to our Digital Anthology

1,200 Articles

Order Now - Just $39! >

X

Email this Article

X