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Data from: Computed tomographic analysis of dental system of three Jurassic ceratopsians: implications for the evolution of the tooth replacement pattern and diet in early-diverging ceratopsians

Citation

Hu, Jinfeng et al. (2022), Data from: Computed tomographic analysis of dental system of three Jurassic ceratopsians: implications for the evolution of the tooth replacement pattern and diet in early-diverging ceratopsians, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9ghx3ffk0

Abstract

The dental system of ceratopsids is among the most specialized structure in Dinosauria, and includes high angled wear surfaces, split tooth roots, and multiple teeth in each tooth family. However, the early evolution of this unique dental system is generally poorly understood due to a lack of knowledge of the dental morphology and development in early-diverging ceratopsians. Here we study the dental system of three of the earliest-diverging Chinese ceratopsians: Yinlong and Hualianceratops from the early Late Jurassic of Xinjiang, and Chaoyangsaurus from the Late Jurassic of Liaoning. By using micro-computed tomographic analyses, our study has revealed significant new information regarding the dental system of these early ceratopsians, including no more than five replacement teeth in each jaw quadrant; at most one generation of replacement teeth in each alveolus; nearly full resorption of the functional tooth root during tooth replacement; and occlusion with low-angled, concave wear facets that differs significantly from the shearing occlusal system seen in ceratopsids. Yinlong displays an increase in the number of maxillary tooth alveoli and a decrease in the number of replacement teeth during ontogeny as well as the retention of remnants of functional teeth in the largest individual. Early-diverging ceratopsians thus display a relatively slow tooth replacement rate compared to late-diverging ceratopsians. Combined with paleobotany and palaeoenvironment data, Yinlong likely uses gastroliths to triturate foodstuffs, and the difference in diet strategy might have influenced the pattern of tooth replacement in later-diverging ceratopsians.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 41972021

International Partnership Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Award: 132311KYSB20180016

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 41688103