Couldn't find element LayerAd

Error finding content

Did T-rex have a plant-eating relative? - Windows to the Universe

Shop Windows to the Universe

Dig into Montana Before History: 11K Years of Hunter-Gatherers in the Rockies and Plains by D. H. MacDonald, Ph.D. See our online store book collection.

Courtesy of Goldenbooks.com

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

It looks like the dinosaur family that included monstrous meat-eaters like Tyrannasaurus rex and raptors also contained a plant-eating dinosaur! Scientists have found evidence that a newly discovered species of dinosaur ate plants even though it had meat-eating relatives. The scientists named the new species of dinosaur that was discovered in Chinese rocks Incisivosaurus, because it has large front teeth called incisors.

Scientists can tell that Incisivosaurus ate plants by looking at its teeth. While its relatives had sharp dagger-like teeth for ripping through meat, Incisivosaurus had large front teeth and an overbite, like hamsters do today. Large areas of the dinosaurís teeth have been worn down which indicates that the upper and lower teeth made contact as the animal chewed, just like teeth do for plant-eating animals today. Also, Incisivosaurusí teeth donít have jagged serrations like those on the pointed teeth of its meat-eating relatives.

This new species of dinosaur was discovered in sediments that were laid down 129 million years ago in an area that is now northeast China. Other fossils found in the surrounding sediments indicate that the dinosaur lived in a forest environment filled with conifer trees and shrubs.


Last modified October 9, 2002 by Lisa Gardiner.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes books on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist, mineral and fossil specimens, and educational games!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Temperate Forests

The temperate forest biome is found in regions where winters are cold and summers are warm. Regions with this climate are common in the mid-latitudes, far from both the equator and the poles. Tropical...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service called forests the "heart and lungs of the world." This is because forests filter air and water pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and maintain...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF