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Swiss J Palaeontol ; 143(1): 4, 2024.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38328031


Placodonts were durophagous reptiles of the Triassic seas with robust skulls, jaws, and enlarged, flat, pebble-like teeth. During their evolution, they underwent gradual craniodental changes from the Early Anisian to the Rhaetian, such as a reduction in the number of teeth, an increase in the size of the posterior palatal teeth, an elongation of the premaxilla/rostrum, and a widening of the temporal region. These changes are presumably related to changes in dietary habits, which, we hypothesise, are due to changes in the type and quality of food they consumed. In the present study, the dental wear pattern of a total of nine European Middle to Late Triassic placodont species were investigated using 2D and 3D microwear analyses to demonstrate whether there could have been a dietary shift or grouping among the different species and, whether the possible changes could be correlated with environmental changes affecting their habitats. The 3D analysis shows overlap between species with high variance between values and there is no distinct separation. The 2D analysis has distinguished two main groups. The first is characterised by low number of wear features and high percentage of large pits. The other group have a high feature number, but low percentage of small pits. The 2D analysis showed a correlation between the wear data and the size of the enlarged posterior crushing teeth. Teeth with larger sizes showed less wear feature (with higher pit ratio) but larger individual features. In contrast, the dental wear facet of smaller crushing teeth shows more but smaller wear features (with higher scratch number). This observation may be related to the size of the food consumed, i.e., the wider the crown, the larger food it could crush, producing larger features. Comparison with marine mammals suggests that the dietary preference of Placochelys, Psephoderma and Paraplacodus was not exclusively hard, thick-shelled food. They may have had a more mixed diet, similar to that of modern sea otters. The diet of Henodus may have included plant food, similar to the modern herbivore marine mammals and lizards. Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13358-024-00304-x.

Sci Rep ; 12(1): 20813, 2022 12 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36460688


Dentitions of the sympatric herbivorous dinosaurs Hungarosaurus (Ankylosauria, Nodosauridae) and Mochlodon (Ornithopoda, Rhabdodontidae) (Santonian, Hungary) were analysed to investigate their dietary ecology, using several complementary methods-orientation patch count, tooth replacement rate, macrowear, tooth wear rate, traditional microwear, and dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA). Tooth formation time is similar in Hungarosaurus and Mochlodon, and traditional and DMTA microwear features suggest low-browsing habits for both taxa, consistent with their inferred stances and body sizes. However, Mochlodon possesses a novel adaptation for increasing dental durability: the dentine on the working side of the crown is double the thickness of that on the balancing side. Moreover, crown morphology, enamel thickness, macrowear orientation, and wear rate differ greatly between the two taxa. Consequently, these sympatric herbivores probably exploited plants of different toughness, implying dietary selectivity and niche partitioning. Hungarosaurus is inferred to have eaten softer vegetation, whereas Mochlodon likely fed on tougher material. Compared to the much heavier, quadrupedal Hungarosaurus, the bipedal Mochlodon wore down more than twice as much of its crown volume during the functional life of the tooth. This heavy tooth wear might correlate with more intensive food processing and, in turn, could reflect differences in the metabolic requirements of these animals.

Dinossauros , Desgaste dos Dentes , Animais , Herbivoria , Dentição , Simpatria