What Dinosaur Has 500 Teeth? +10 Facts

which dinosaur has 500 teeth

Question: What dinosaur has 500 teeth?

Answer: Nigersaurus (Niger’s Lizard). Pronounced NYE-jer-SORE-us. Lived during the middle Cretaceous period. It was discovered in the Elrhaz Formation in an area called Gadoufaoua, in the Republic of Niger

Picture of Nigersaurus

Skeletal diagram showing known elements of NigerSaurus and size comparison to an adult human.

Also Read: Which statement concerning rare threatened or endangered species is true?

About Nigersaurus

Scientific classification

Sereno et al.1999

Nigersaurus is a genus of sauropod dinosaurs that lived in what is now Niger during the Early Cretaceous period. The only known species is Nigersaurus taqueti, first described by French paleontologist Paul Sereno in 1993.

Like most sauropods, Nigersaurus was a quadrupedal herbivore. It shared features with both theropods and basal sauropodomorphs.

Nigersaurus is known from front limb bones and isolated teeth found in Cretaceous-age rocks from Niger. In 1993, Sereno announced the name Nigersaurus in a popular press article. The name was derived from the Niger Republic, where this dinosaur was discovered.

Nigersaurus Height and Weight

Nigersaurus was a relatively small sauropod, measuring around 30 feet (9 meters) in length and femur only 3 ft 3 in (1 meter). Weighing in around 4 tons, this small size may have been a factor in its eventual extinction. Nigersaurus differs from other sauropods by having shorter forelimbs and stouter hindlimbs.

The forelimb bones are slender and compressed sideways, similar to basal sauropodomorphs such as Vulcanodon and Barapasaurus. Meanwhile, the femur (thigh bone) is short and straight, like in theropods.

The ankle bones are much more robust than other sauropods, including well-developed “processes” that extend downward from the lower end of the tibia (shinbone). Nigersaurus also has small bumps on its teeth, similar to diplodocids.

Some scientists have suggested that Nigersaurus’ distinct morphology was a sign of evolution toward a different way of life. Nigersaurus may have been specialized to feed on low-growing plants, perhaps using its forelimbs for support as it leaned over the ground.

This feeding adaptation may have helped Nigersaurus survive in marginal habitats that other sauropods could no longer exploit.

Nigersaurus fossils were found in the Elrhaz Formation, which also contains fossils of other sauropods. This sauropod diversity suggests that Nigersaurus was not alone in its marginal habitat, and may have been able to coexist with similarly adapted species.

Other animals from this formation include fish, turtles, lizards, crocodiles, birds, a pterosaur, and some small dinosaurs (including theropods like Rahonavis).

These animals suggest that Nigersaurus inhabited a forested environment, with abundant low vegetation. Its broad muzzle might indicate that it browsed near ground level for food.

History of discovery

In 1965–1972, a large neck vertebra was discovered in the Republic of Niger in Africa by a French paleontologist named Paul Sereno. The fossilized skeleton remained in storage for several years until it was rediscovered and excavated in 1997-2000.

The bones were originally thought to belong to a species of dinosaur that had been previously unknown to science, so the new dinosaur was given the name Nigersaurus taqueti.

Nigersaurus was later found to be a coelophysoid , or a prosauropod ancestor. Long-necked features are seen in advanced sauropods, which are members of the group that includes most dinosaurs commonly known as “lizard-hipped” or “long-necked”.

10 Nigersaurus Facts

Nigersaurus Fact #1. Niger, which is the country that Nigersaurus was discovered in its name comes from, is actually derived from niger, which is Latin for “black.”

Nigersaurus Fact #2. Nigersaurus was an herbivore, as were other sauropods. A Sauropod was a member of a family of big quadrupedal herbivorous (plant-eating) dinosaurs with long necks that lived during the Jurassic period.

Nigersaurus Fact #3. Many paleontologist have nicknamed Nigersaurus a “Mesozoic cow“. Its love of chewing on the ground-level vegetation was so great that it inspired lawn-mower impersonations. Its huge muzzle and shredding teeth were clearly created for munching on earth-level plants (for the record, grass-guzzling would not have been an option because the first grasses hadn’t yet evolved in its day

Nigersaurus Fact #4. Nigerosaurus was a long-necked, short-necked dinosaur. Sauropods are known for having lengthy necks; a few species had neck lengths of more than 35 feet. Even though Nigersaurus and its relatives (which made up a sub-group known as the “Rebbachisauridae”) had little to boast about in this regard.

Nigersaurus Fact #5. Nigersaurus was Fairly Light-Headed. The noggin is much thinner than normal, with bones that are abnormally thin. In fact, many of them are nearly transparent.

Nigersaurus Fact #6. It took decades for scientists to realize just how strange this creature was. The scientific name of nigerosaurus was given in 1976, but paleontologists didn’t have a decent sense of the animal’s appearance until towards the end of the 2000s.

Why? Nigersaurus’ skeleton was hollow in many places, making it susceptible to shattering and deformation. However, specimens were previously uncommon, and no decent ones had been discovered for years—so few people believed that Nigersaurus was anything more than a typical Plain Jane sauropod.

Nigersaurus Fact #7. Nigersaurus was a saurischian dinosaur, which means it shared some of the same pelvic bones as lizards.

Nigersaurus Fact #8. The snout of Nigersaurus was unusual for a Sauropod – it had a wide intake like a vacuum cleaner, and chewed the meal with hundreds small sharp teeth after sucking it in.

Nigersaurus Fact #9. Tiny rhabdodontids, nigerosaurs and other dinosaurs were discovered. Adults were about 30 feet long, but the tiny fossilized jawbone of a hatchling Nigersaurus was said to be as small as a silver dollar by paleontologist Paul Sereno.

Nigersaurus Fact #10. Its Sense of Smell Wasn’t Something to Be Envy Of. It’s possible that Nigersaurus didn’t spend too much time smelling with its nose. Despite having extended nostrils, this herbivore’s olfactory lobes (which assist the brain in detecting odor) were significantly limited.

Nigersaurus Videos

Bringing Back Nigersaurus

Nigersaurus – Animation Posture of Head

Nigersaurus Death Animations VS All Large Carnivores

Nigersaurus FAQ

Final Words

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