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Ancient herbivore's diet weakened teeth and lead to eventual starvation, suggests study

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

A team of researchers from the University of Bristol have shed light on the life of the ancient reptile Rhynchosaur, which walked the earth between 250-225 million years ago, before being replaced by the dinosaurs.

Rhynchosaurs are a little-understood group of roughly sheep-sized ancient reptiles that thrived during the Triassic Period, a time of generally warm climates and tough vegetation.

In the new study, the researchers studied specimens found in Devon and used CT scanning to see how the teeth wore down as they fed, and how new teeth were added at the backs of the tooth rows as the animals grew in size.


The findings, published today in Palaeontology, show that these early herbivores likely eventually starved to death in old age, the vegetation taking its toll on their teeth.


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