The Nigersaurus became a popular internet meme after the Reddit meme “don’t google the internet with what dinosaur has 500 teeth” crashed the web. Google’s auto-suggestions can often spark a flurry of interest in a particular topic or issue among the general public. The same is true for the Nigersaurus. Although this carnivorous dinosaur, which lived about 110 million years ago, was not what you’d expect from the meme! Now that we know a little bit more about this rare dino, how did it look in its prime? How did it come to light? This famous “dinosaur with 500 teeth” is the subject of a brief discussion here.
In 1976, Phillippe Taquet wrote a research paper mentioning Nigersaurus for the first time. During an expedition to the Republic of Niger in the years 1965-1972, this French paleontologist discovered the remains for the first time. As a result, the discovery often went unnoticed because the skeleton was not complete.
Dr. Paul Sereno of the Chicago University paleontology department, led an expedition to the Elrahz Formation, Gadoyfaoua, in the Republic of Niger in 1999. He discovered this carnivorous dinosaur’s skeleton. In 2007, Sereno and his coworker Jeffrey A. Wilson published a second paper in which they described the skull and feeding habits of Nigersaurus in greater detail. He also gave the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., a complete plastic model of the dinosaur’s head.
Bringing Back Nigersaurus | Nat Geo Live
He wrote in his online journal on September 9, 2000, “We named Nigersaurus after bones collected on the last expedition here three years ago. This sauropod dinosaur has a unique skull with its long neck that contains more than 500 teeth. This expedition’s main objective is to find the rest of the dinosaur so that it can be described and reconstructed for the benefit of the general public.
A team of scientists discovered this unique dinosaur with 500 teeth, and he gave an in-depth explanation of how they found it. A new plant-eating dinosaur lay partially exposed at Gabe’s feet as she walked across an extremely flat area,” he explained. She wiped the sand from the top of his mouth. Part of the backbone and the hip bones were found nearby. A vengeful customer left behind bones from a 30-foot-long skeleton. As the field season progresses, we’re hoping to uncover more evidence of this vicious predator.
Brazilian paleontologists have also uncovered additional fossils from the same dinosaur, which had a total of 500 teeth. But, on the other hand, a complete fossil has yet to be discovered. In light of this, it was impossible to build the skeleton of the well-known Nigersaurus. Yet, in spite of this, paleontologists are doing everything they can to learn more about this extinct animal from millions of years ago.
What’s the significance of the name?
Because of its unusual name, Nigersaurus has become a frequent subject of internet parodies. You can see that this is actually a scientific term for dinosaurs. Under the genus “Nigersaurus,” this dinosaur is known as Nigersaurus taqueti, which translates as “Niger reptile” or “a reptile from Niger” (republic of niger).
For this reason, Phillippe Taqueti’s name has been included as a species name for this dinosaur.
Did it really have 500 teeth?
Well, technically, it worked. The Nigersaurus had a skull with 500 slender teeth. There were no permanent teeth in this set. Permanent and replacement teeth made up the majority of Nigersaurus’ 500 teeth.
What did this dinosaur with 500 teeth look like?
Briefly put, Nigersaurus is a Sauropod ancestor. Since then, it has grown into an enormous creature that bears more resemblance to a Tyrannosaurus than any other dinosaur. For an animal of its size, it only stood 9 meters tall. Physicists believe they weighed four tons. As a result, a Nigersaurus might have been about the same size and weight as a modern elephant. It has only thirteen cervical vertebrae in its neck because of its body structure.
Unlike other dinosaurs with longer necks, Nigersaurus has four openings in its skull, known as Fenestra, that are more important. However, the skull was strong enough to withstand the 500 teeth’s shearing. Also, its nostrils were long and bony.
They had shorter snouts. Despite this, Nigersaurus’ snout was noticeably smaller than that of other dinosaurs. Neither their tooth row nor their snot tip was prognathous. They were both in proportion to each other. Besides their long, elongated skulls, the Nigersaurus also had a distinct depression in the cerebral section. On top of that, their lower jaw was rotated in unison with their maxillary tooth. They were able to fit all of their teeth in their mouth because of this unique trait.
Carnivores benefit greatly from their teeth’s design. The lower teeth were about 20% to 30% smaller than the upper teeth. In addition, the teeth had asymmetrical enamels and curved tooth crowns (thicker on the outside). They were able to remove plants from the ground level because of it.
According to Paul Sereno, this dinosaur looked like a prehistoric crocodile. One foot of its back was covered in armor plates. The vertebral arches are heavily pierced, and the laminae between the pneumatic openings are thick and interesting. The tail vertebrae of this creature did not have any solid central pillars. A few millimeters separated its pelvic and pectoral progls. It had strong limbs, just like other sauropods and elongated dinosaurs. Diplodocus had two-thirds of its hind legs in the front, a unique feature.
The classification of the 500-toothed dinosaur
A dicraeosaurus was first proposed for Nigersaurus by Touquet. Sereno, on the other hand, reclassified it as a diplodocoid rebbachisaurid. According to him, it also had shorter necks, which was a characteristic of rebbachisaurid diplodocoid.
What did it eat?
Initially, Nigersaurus was thought to be a herbivore. Like all sauropods, it was thought to be a herbivore. A few small parallel tooth scratches and pits can be seen on it. Herbivores that eat ferns, weeds, and other low-level flora often exhibit this behavior. During this time, grass did not change. As a result, this 500-toothed dinosaur was able to survive by eating plants like horsetails, angiosperms, and ferns. However, because of their stiff neck and height, they were unable to eat cycads, aquatic vegetation, or conifers.
Modern flamingoes can be likened to these birds. Similar to these pink birds, it’s possible that Nigersaurus used its teeth to filter aquatic ferns and other plants from its diet. Nevertheless, according to Sereno, the nigersaurus may have also eaten small conifers and other ground-level plants.
It couldn’t chew plants very well because of the lateral orientation of its teeth. Instead, their teeth quickly decayed as a result of this. As a result, they required this enormous number of teeth in order to replace the damaged ones with a functioning set. Theirs have replaced more herbivore dinosaurs’ teeth than any other.
Where did it live?
The rebbachisaurid sauropod families of Nigersaurus form a ring around it. Around 115 to 100 million years ago, during the middle of the Cretaceous period, Nigersaurus lived. It was found in the Elrhaz Formation in the Gadoufaoua region of Niger, which is part of the Republic of Niger. In 1999, this dinosaur was given the name Nigersaurus taqueria after fossils were discovered in 1976. Closing elements were discovered afterward as well. The class is aware of the “Niger reptiles'” expertise. The name honors the scientist Philippe Taquet, who tracked down the entire corpse and gave it its exact name.
Nigersaurus, on the other hand, is a simple, harmless dinosaur that lived about 115 million years ago, according to the fossil record. So we need to learn more about this dinosaur so that we can better understand it!