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Tooth Replacement of Euhelopus zdanskyi (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) and the Evolution of Titanosaurian Tooth Morphology
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Sauropod tooth morphologies and tooth replacement patterns bear important information on feeding habits and sauropod evolution. Euhelopus zdanskyi is an Early Cretaceous neosauropod, and belongs to the group Euhelopodidae, which is the sister group of Titanosauria. Euhelopus is a key taxon in the evolution of sauropod teeth, because it displays a very conservative tooth morphology compared to that seen in Titanosauria, despite being a close relative. The teeth of Euhelopus resemble those of Camarasaurus, as well as many basal sauropods that are not closely related to Euhelopus. The teeth of Euhelopus are spoon-shaped, and they have approximately two replacement teeth for each functional tooth. Their robust morphology and low number of replacement teeth suggest that they were worn down a lot more slowly than the pencil-shaped teeth of Titanosauria and Diplodocoidea. Diplodocoids, whose teeth have been studied widely, especially show very rapid tooth replacement rates, and the tooth morphology of titanosaurs suggests that they might have had similar replacement rates. On the contrary, Euhelopus was likely to have replacement rates similar to the relatively low rates of Camarasaurus, whose tooth battery is much like that of Euhelopus. Furthermore, some euhelopodids are known to have had pencil-shaped teeth, which indicates that there was a strong evolutionary pressure towards the development of narrow teeth during the Late Cretaceous. This pressure may have been caused by a change in vegetation or may merely represent somphospondylans occupying the niches vacated by the diplodocoids, which appear to have gone extinct before the end of the Cretaceous. This study uses 3D modelling for inspecting tooth replacement of Euhelopus and evolution of sauropod teeth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 36 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 295
Keyword [en]
Euhelopus, Sauropoda, tooth replacement, tooth morphology, evolution, Titanosauria
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Evolutionary Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-232847OAI: diva2:749987
Educational program
Master Programme in Earth Science
2014-06-04, Norrland 1, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 14:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-09-26 Created: 2014-09-25 Last updated: 2014-09-26Bibliographically approved

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