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  • Juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex Tooth




    T. rex

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Reptilia
    Order: Avetheropoda
    Family: Tyrannosauridae
    Genus: Tyrannosaurus
    Species: Tyrannosaurus rex
    Author Citation Osborn, 1905

    Geological Time Scale

    Eon: Phanerozoic
    Era: Mesozoic
    Period: Cretaceous
    Sub Period: None
    Epoch: Late
    International Age: Maastrichtian


    Hell Creek Formation


    Acquired by: Purchase/Trade


    Width: 8 mm
    Height: 12 mm
    Thickness: 4.5 mm


    Harding County
    South Dakota
    United States



    Though smaller than many imagine T. rex teeth to be, this is indisputably one. It is characteristically robust, and has chisel-shaped denticles with similar denticle densities on each carina.1 Those qualities support its identification as a Tyrannosaurid, and with the locality information confirming it originated from the Hell Creek formation, this must be T. rex.


    Like most isolated theropod teeth, this is a shed tooth, likely lost during feeding.This specimen has exquisite preservation with the enamel texture sharply retained as in life. It however has minor weathering with possible feeding wear at the tip, light root etching, and the base of the tooth has been lightly smoothed possibly by tumbling in an ancient river (enamel is harder so it wouldn't have weathered as much as other portions of the tooth). 


    1. Smith, Joshua B. “Heterodonty in Tyrannosaurus Rex: Implications for the Taxonomic and Systematic Utility of Theropod Dentitions.” Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, vol. 25, no. 4, 2005, pp. 865–87. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/4524513. 

    2. Fiorillo, Anthony R., and Philip J. Currie. “Theropod Teeth from the Judith River Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of South-Central Montana.” Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, vol. 14, no. 1, 1994, pp. 74–80. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/4523546. 

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