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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Dinosaurs had teeth to spare -- lots of them

•, By Brad Balukjian
 Dinosaurs almost bankrupted the tooth fairy. New research shows that the lumbering plant-eaters called sauropods produced new teeth as often as twice per month and had up to nine backup teeth in a single tooth socket.

While the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex is known as the king of the dinosaurs, the sauropods were the real royalty. These creatures, including the childhood favorite Apatosaurus (previously known as Brontosaurus), were the largest animals that ever lived on land.

"A big T. rex is maybe 40 or 45 feet tall, but a big sauropod pushes 100 feet long or more," said Michael D'Emic, a vertebrate paleontologist at Stony Brook University in New York and lead author of the teeth study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One.

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