Some young dinosaurs shed teeth, say experts
Some dinosaurs lost their teeth as they grew up, according to fossil evidence.
The hatchlings ate meat with their teeth, then used beaks to peck at plants as adults, say scientists.
The discovery is a surprise and has not been seen in any other reptile.
Limusaurus inextricabilis lived in China around 150 million years ago. The first fossilised remains of the animal were discovered about a decade ago.
"Initially, we believed that we found two different ceratosaurian dinosaurs from the Wucaiwan area, one toothed and the other toothless, and we even started to describe them separately," said Shuo Wang of Capital Normal University in Beijing, China, who led the research.
The palaeontologists then realised that the dinosaurs looked remarkably similar, except for the presence of teeth.
They found that the dinosaur lost its teeth over time, making it the first known reptile to do this.
Life cycle change
Dr Stephen Brusatte, of the University of Edinburgh, who was not part of the research team, said it was a stunning discovery.
"Up until now, who would have thought that there were dinosaurs that had teeth as babies, started to lose them as they grew up and then ended up as toothless adults with beaks?" he told BBC News.
"Nothing like this is seen in any other fossil vertebrate and the platypus is the only modern land-living vertebrate that does anything similar."
The dinosaurs were switching from one sort of feeding type that required teeth to one in which teeth were a disadvantage, and a beak was better, said Dr Stig Walsh of National Museums Scotland.
"Other theropod dinosaurs in the group to which Limusaurus belongs are carnivores and I can't help wondering whether the driver for such a life cycle change was to allow Limusaurus to capitalise on a more abundant food source as they became larger," he added.
Limusaurus (mud lizard) was a fairly old and primitive theropod dinosaur.
It belongs to the same group as well-known carnivores like T. rex and Velociraptor.
The researchers think the toothed juveniles were probably omnivorous meat-eaters. The adults, which had beaks, moved on to a plant-based diet.
The discovery will help explain how the beak, which is so important in the bird kingdom, evolved.
Tooth loss is more common in modern animals.
Some fish and amphibians lose teeth as they grow, as do platypuses.
The research is published in the journal Current Biology.
- Since taking over from Avant Garde Navy’s OBST earns Rs 3 B for Govt 3831
- Schools big match season 22 vehicles in custody 3797
- President hints at Cabinet reshuffle 3841
- Three Lankan pilgrims die Extremely cold weather in Dambadiva 3798
- 2,484 dengue patients in Trinco 3788
- Wimal taken to prison hospital Hunger strike enters fifth day 3804
- President misled on Wilpattu issue – ECT Gazette provides zero relief for destruction 3813
- R’kanth’s Jaffna visit dropped 3780
- Rajinikanth’s SL tour cancellation Welcomed by Parties barring BJP 3786
- IUSF in 65 anti-SAITM protests Demand scrapping of Institute 3791
- JVPer claims paddy sold to distillery at Rs 28 3869
- Maligawa Road will remain closed – Kiriella 3825
- Suspect arrested with revolver 3784
- Soma Agnes Maduragoda dies George Perera’s Mother-in-law 3785
- Strike in Afghanistan US confirms al-Qaida figure killed 3782
- Soaring dengue cases 3771
- Visit My Mosque Open day for everyone 3768
- 25 held in pre-dawn Police swoop Illicit liquor, narcotics seized 3767
- Kalkudah distillery runs into snag PS approval in limbo 3774
- South Eastern University shuns ragging 3770
- From Russia with friendship: ‘Kandyan Kastane’ 3292
- Is the Government attempting to STIFLE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO PROTEST? 3289
- Protests, fisticuffs and fast unto death 3241
- Richmond emerge champions 2715
- SL in deep slump 2728
- Lyon claims four key wickets 2713
- Joes beat Antonians 2708
- Muthuthanthri set for captaincy ? 2749
- Vettel wins Australian Grand Prix 2718
- Arrogate wins Dubai World Cup thriller 2718
- Federer, Wawrinka advance in Miami 2718
- Latham shines in New Zealand gloom 2708
- Dutch suffer World Cup shock 2712
- Diverse Flying Backgrounds Fuel Competition at Red Bull Air Race 2705
- Southern and Central secure titles 2701
- Sri Lanka new minnows in World Cricket 2717
- Tamim century guides Bangla to 324 2582
- Only SLC opposes Manohar at ICC 3085
- The roles people play Prioritizing Sex & Gender 3171
- Typical double standards & hypocrisy 3032
- Main cause of kidney diseases 3079
- Rewarded for sensitizing rights of the disabled 3122
- Foreign Judges can hear cases – Niran Anketell 3096
- We await President’s response – Gemunu 3233
- G20 drops pledge to fight protectionism Bows down to US opposition in spite of China 3323
- Chinawood: The merging of ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Made in China’ 3302
- Facebook to challenge YouTube and Spotify 3301
- Revised IMF deal expected by April Disbursement by June – Central Bank 3308
- Sri Lankan to maintain fleet position 3453
- High production costs hurting shipbuilding industry 3307
- Pak PM keen to fully utilize SL FTA 3308
- Flemingo to open new BIA duty free on 1 July 3306
- NTB arranges $20M syndicated loan for Maldivian firm 3308
- Banker award recognizes our financial discipline – Ravi K 3315
- HYUNDAI LANKA CONDUCTS FREE TUCSON CAR CLINIC 3301
- Asia-Pacific Economic Preview: 27-31 March 3306
- Remittances and exporter conversions to boost rupee 3305
- OPPO launches Selfie Expert F3 plus with Dual Selfie Camera 3320
- LAUGFS Group Chairman receives ‘Deshabandu’ national honour 3305
- The crisis in Parliament: Twilight of a functioning democracy 3499
- Mispriced Risk of Infectious Diseases 2442
- Limelight on Sri Lanka again 2446
- Musicalisation of Narrative 3894
- The Many Faces of Galle -Part 2 3925
- Footpaths Towards Deconstruction- Part 14 3903
- Afternoon Shadows 3913
- Living up to ideals 4061
- Clash of the Titans in Nuwara Eliya 3947
- The plight of our corals 1727
- India’s largest international décor mall launched in Bangalore 1707
- The games gods and politicians play 1704
- A challenged life 1695
- The Threshold: Patching up our privileged defeats 1763
- Animal assisted therapy 1699