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Are Y shaped serrations on teeth normal?

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I noticed this on a online listing, and I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s a T.rex tooth for sale, but it’s serrations are Y shaped on the front side. I was wondering if this is a type of a pathological tooth. I’ve noticed sellers listing misshaped shark teeth as pathological, and I wasn’t sure If the term applied here too or not. I was also wondering  if it’s rare or not and if it only happens to T.rex teeth. Just something I noticed and though was out of the ordinary. 


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In a 1995 study looking at Tyrannosaurid teeth from Hell Creek and other Campanian deposits 11% of the lateral teeth exhibited this trait, 8% were T rex.  Only seen on Tyrannosaurids and genetic condition has the most support.


From the paper

"Of the hypotheses which were considered as possible causes of the split carinae trait: trauma, aberrant replacement of teeth, and genetic polymorphism, the latter seems to find the most support. However, the data is certainly not conclusive and as noted above, there are other causes of tooth abnormalities that are currently untestable on dinosaur taxa (e.g., nutritionally induced anomalies). Furthertesting of the genetic polymorphism hypothesis seems warranted"





I just found this Nanotyrannus tooth last week




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Thanks for that! It’s interesting to see this on other teeth. In the nanno picture you posted, the split serrations looked more like a true Y shape than the one I posted. Does the more even Y split indicate nanno over rex? The one I posted seemed to be more slanted. I’m sorry if that was part of the article, I was only able to read the abstract. Thanks again for the information.

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The split carina has nothing to do with identification of species.  I have one with a detached leg and off to the side.  Most are true Y

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This is very interesting. I never knew this was something that’s possible, and I have to say it looks quite cool to me. Again, thank you for explaining this, it’s good to have a place to ask people. I tried to find an answer online and nothing really came up. This forum is awesome for learning more about all sorts of fossils.

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