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Courtesy of Goldenbooks.com

Did T-rex have a plant-eating relative?
News story originally written on October 4, 2002

The scary meat-eating dinosaurs like Tyrannasaurus rex and raptors had a plant-eating relative! Scientists have found a new species of dinosaur in Chinese rocks that was related to the meat-eaters but ate plants instead of meat. The scientists named the new species of dinosaur Incisivosaurus.

Scientists can tell that Incisivosaurus ate plants by looking at its teeth. Meat-eaters like T-rex had sharp pointed teeth for ripping through meat, but Incisivosaurus had large front teeth and an overbite, like hamsters do today. The dinosaurís teeth are worn down, which happens when animals grind plants between their teeth.

This new species of dinosaur was discovered in sediments that were laid down 129 million years ago in China. Other fossils found in the area tell scientists what the environment was like a long time ago. Those fossils indicate that the Incisivosaurus lived in a forest filled with trees and shrubs.


Last modified October 9, 2002 by Lisa Gardiner.

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