Science briefs: Some dinosaurs chewed through new teeth twice per month

  • July 27, 2013 - 5:15 PM

my, how many teeth you have

Dinosaurs almost bankrupted the tooth fairy. 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 Tyrannosaurus rex is known as the king of the dinosaurs, the sauropods were the real royalty — pushing 100 feet long compared with T. rex’s height of 40 or 50 feet. “It was sort of a disposable battery strategy,” said Michael D. D’Emic, a paleontologist at Stony Brook University and one of the study’s authors. “They didn’t create high-quality teeth.”

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rhino poaching continues to soar

Efforts to save South Africa’s rhinoceros are failing, an independent expert said. The report to the government calls for radical solutions: drones to track rhino poachers, dehorning all its rhinos, rhino farms and legal trade in stockpiled and farmed rhino horn that could be auctioned or traded through a South African-based bourse. Since the beginning of the year, 515 rhinos in the country have been killed, compared with 668 for all of 2012. That leaves about 20,000 rhinos in South Africa, which account for 90 percent of the continent’s rhinos.

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