Free Lecture Series: Dr. Aaron LeBlanc

Date(s) - 11/02/2017
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Topic: The better to eat you with: taking a look inside the teeth of dinosaurs

Despite being extinct, non-avian dinosaurs are among our favourite reptiles. Studying their fossilized remains tells us a great deal about what dinosaurs would have looked like, how they lived, and what they ate. My interest has been on their teeth. Whereas we only replace our teeth once in our lives, dinosaurs replaced their teeth constantly, meaning that there are lots of them to be found in the field. More importantly, studying the anatomy of their teeth informs us about their presumed diets. But what else can we learn from studying their teeth? Although the study of dinosaur teeth is very old, some more recent work by palaeontologists from around the world has started to paint a much larger picture of what we can learn from looking inside the teeth of these prehistoric giants. For this talk, I will present some of the recent research on the tooth and jaw tissues in dinosaurs and what these new findings can tell us about the evolution and development of meat- and plant-eating dinosaur teeth. In addition, I will present some of the new ways that palaeontologists study the teeth of modern animals to better understand the biology of extinct dinosaurs. These new approaches can tell us some remarkable things about dinosaurs, including how fast they replaced their teeth, how they dealt with the problems of tooth wear, and how they were able to grind tough plant material or slice through meat.

Location: Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Aykroyd Family Theatre

Time: 3:00pm

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