.49" Triceratops Shed Tooth - Montana

Here's a real tooth from one of the most iconic dinosaurs, Triceratops. It was collected in the 66 million year old, Hell Creek Formation of Montana. Triceratops had a massive battery of teeth in their mouth for chewing the rough vegetation that made up their diet. They shed these teeth during their lifetime and collectors often refer to these teeth as "spitters".

This tooth is a shed tooth or "spitter" and has a polished upper surface indicative of a lot of wear from grinding food. It comes in an acrylic display case.

Triceratops

Triceratops skeleton Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Photo: Allie Caulfield
is one of the most recognized and intriguing of the North American, ceratopsid dinosaurs. They stomped around the Late Cretaceous (around 68-66 mya), brandishing their three pronged and bony frilled skull, chewing on fibrous plants. They struggled against large predators and stood their ground, and tried not to be devoured by the ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex.

The head on a Triceratops may have been an intimidating show, rather than a stabbing, defensive trident and imposing shield for inter-species jousting. Researchers have given close scrutiny to the holes, or fenestrae, of other ceratopsid crests. In the past, the holes within the shield were used to confirm separate species.

Individual Triceratops are estimated to have reached up to 9 meters (29.5 ft) in length, 3 meters (9.8 ft) in height, and weighed up to 26,000 lbs. The largest known skull is estimated to have been 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in length and would have extended almost a third of the length of the mature individual. The pointed horns were approximately 1 meter (3ft) long. With its sturdy build and powerful legs, Triceratops could have ripped open the predator that wanted this herbivore for dinner.

One

Closup of jaws and teeth. Photo: Bradypus
of the most abundant of the large Cretaceous fauna, Triceratops plucked low growth with its beak-tipped jaws. Triceratops teeth were arranged in groups called batteries, of 36 to 40 tooth columns, in each side of each jaw with 3 to 5 stacked teeth per column, depending on the individual’s size. This produces a range of 432 to 800 teeth, of which only a fraction were in use at any given time (due to tooth replacement). The great size and quantity of teeth suggests that they ate large volumes of fibrous plants. These were possibly palms, cycads, and ferns. (Wikipedia).

Triceratops may have herded or wandered alone, though recent discovery of a possible family group suggests otherwise.



DETAILS
SPECIES
Triceratops horridus
LOCATION
Powder River County, Montana
FORMATION
Hell Creek Formation
SIZE
.49" long
CATEGORY
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#41274
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