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What to Know About Dinosaur Teeth

Did all dinosaurs have teeth? How many did they have? Whose were the sharpest? Common questions, answered. 

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

Q: Do dinosaurs have long teeth? How many does a dinosaur have?
A: That depends on the dinosaur. Most dinosaurs had grinding teeth or nipping teeth for eating plants. Duckbills had the most, up to hundreds in rows that were like grinding machines. Meat-eaters had steak knife-like teeth with grooves to help them cut their meat. T. rex had the biggest teeth — the size of bananas. Unlike you and me who only get two sets in our life, all dinosaurs could replace their teeth anytime they lost them.

Q: How did dinosaurs without teeth eat plants? Or did all dinosaurs have teeth?
A: There were toothless dinosaurs, like the ornithomimids. They probably ate meat, perhaps insects, or even fruit. If you have hard gums you can grind things, or just digest in your stomach.

Q: Does any dinosaur have sharper teeth than a Tyrannosaurus Rex?
A: Most meat-eaters had steak knife grooved teeth to help them saw meat. T. rex had the biggest and so sturdy they could crush bone too, but it's hard to say if they were the sharpest.

Q: How much could a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth weigh?
A: T. rex teeth now weigh about a pound or two, but they've been fossilized — filled in with rock — so in life they probably weighed less. Teeth aren't so heavy.

Q: How many teeth does stegosaurus have?
A: As for dinosaur teeth, I'm not a dinosaur dentist so I never counted stegosaurus'. It did have lots of little leaf-like teeth and it was good at slicing weeds that lived close to the ground.

Q: How many teeth does diplosaurus have?
A: I never counted dilophosaurus's teeth if that's the dinosaur you mean. He was the first big meat-eater — about 20 feet long, though in the movie Jurassic Park they made him a little poison spitter (We don't know any poison-spitting dinosaurs). I'd guess it had about 50 teeth, like T. rex, but smaller, with grooves for slicing meat. If you mean diplodocus, that was a giant plant-eater with little pencil-shaped teeth, and not very many of them either.

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  • Subjects:
    Archaeology, Dinosaurs
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