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Home > True Science > Theropod Teeth

The Tooth is Out There! Theropod teeth found at the digsite include specimens from species like Allosaurus, Torvosaurus, Ceratosaurus and Coelurus.

Here are some examples – from past seasons and now available – of teeth excavated and prepped.

Allosaurus. (Teeth 2”- 4” long) Allosaurus constantly grew, shed and replaced its long, serrated teeth and had a wide, gaping bite enabled by special musculature in its double-hinged skull. Seen in cross-section, Allosaurus teeth are thin and D-shaped.

Attacking smaller Ornithopod dinosaurs like Camptosaurus, it is thought that Allosaurus first used its sharp premaxillary teeth to latch onto the easiest targets: bulging areas of the body like the thigh muscle or neck.

Then, using its powerful jaw muscles and back teeth, the predator bore down hard to secure its struggling meal.

(left) Allosaurus Premaxillary Tooth PGA1401

Torvosaurus tooth 3.38 inches long Torvosaurus. (Teeth 2”- 5+” long) The crown of a Torvosaurus tooth is not only longer, the teeth themselves are also thicker and ‘meatier’…which is why Torvosaurus was able to cause horrific tissue damage and blood loss as it bit down repeatedly on its prey, typically large Sauropods like Diplodocus and Camarasaurus. 

It is thought that his massive predator, which grew up to 36’ long, rarely passed up an opportunity to feed on smaller, younger meat-eating dinosaurs as well.                                        Torvosaurus Tooth PGT1390

(left) Torvosaurus Tooth PGT1486      

 Ceratosaurus Tooth Not Available Ceratosaurus. (Teeth 2”-4” long) Like its main competitor, Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus also had a deep, double-hinged skull that enables a wide, gaping bite for maximum damage. Its maxillary and dentary teeth were large and blade-like, able to slash through the flesh of small Ornithopods like Dryosaurus and larger dinosaurs as well. Ceratosaurus may also have hunted aquatic prey like crocodiles and large fish. Ceratosaurus Tooth Not Available

 Ceratosaurus teeth appear to be more 'conical'  and somewhat straighter along both serrated edges. Allosaurus teeth tend to be more flat and asymmetrical - one edge relatively straight and other edge more curved. (Pictured teeth not available)


 Coelurus Teeth Not Available Coelurus. (Teeth about 1” long, plus root) Coming in at about 6 ft. long and definitely built for speed, Coelurus was one of many small, agile Theropods of the Late Jurassic. Formerly - and inaccurately - lumped in with the species Ornitholestes, Coelurus was terrestrial hunter and likely a carrion eater as well.

Coelurus Teeth Not AvailableScientists believe this predator had a small, narrow skull bearing many small, sharp and recurved teeth. Named in 1879 by famed paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh, Coelurus remains a taxonomic mystery even today. (Pictured teeth not available)


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