What dinosaur has 500 teeth?
Dinosaurs may have gone extinct millions of years ago, but their legacy still lives on. From small kids to adults, everyone is fascinated by these giant creatures that once walked the earth.
Speaking of dinosaurs, there’s a prank going viral on the internet that says, “Don’t Google which dinosaur has 500 teeth?” This prank came to existence after a racist joke made by some Reddit users went viral.
If you Google “what dinosaur has 500 teeth?” you will be shown the name Nigersaurus, which means “Niger Reptile” or “Niger’s Lizard.” Just so you know Nigersaurus is one of the oldest dinosaurs to ever live on this planet.
It is a 30-foot-long herbivorous dinosaur that existed during the middle Cretaceous period. To be precise it was during the Albian or Aptian age, about 119 to 105 million years ago. It is a genus of Diplodocus-like sauropod dinosaur, the fossils of which were discovered in Gadoufaoua, in the Republic of Niger.
The fossils of this dinosaur were first described in 1976. But it was not named before 1999 after complete remains were found. The genus contains a single species called, Nigersaurus taqueti. It was named after a French paleontologist, Philippe Taquet, who was the first person to discover its remains.
If you want to know more about a dinosaur with 500 teeth, you should give this article a read. We have many interesting facts about nigersaurus coming up later in this article.
Discovery of Nigersaurus
Remains of Nigersaurus were first discovered between 1965 and 1972 during the expedition to the Republic of Niger, which was led by Philippe Taquet, a well-known French paleontologist. Back then not much was known about the dinosaur. More complete remains were discovered during expeditions led by Paul Sereno, who was a famous American paleontologist. This expedition took place between 1997 and 2000.
A lot of skull fossils were found which showed that it was made of very thin bones that it was almost translucent. Due to this, no intact skulls could be found.
Nigersaurus was named and described by Sereno and his colleagues in 1999. The genus name Nigersaurus refers to the country where it was first found. The remains of Nigersaurus are displayed at the National Museum of Niger.
In 2005, the first detailed description of the dinosaur was provided by Sereno and Jeffrey A. Wilson. Later in 2007, a more detailed description of the skeleton was published by Sereno and his colleagues. This description was based on a specimen that was discovered ten years ago.
The skeleton was reconstructed for everyone to see what the dinosaur looked like. The reconstructed skeleton mount and a plastic model of the neck and head are housed in the National Geographic Society in Washington.
More similar fossils of Nigersaurus were discovered in Brazil as well.
About 500 Teeth Dinosaur – Nigersaurus
Nigersaurus is a dinosaur with 500 teeth which happens to be one of the remarkable discoveries made by paleontologists. It was a long-necked dinosaur with an unusual skull structure, containing about 500 slender teeth.
The remains of a nigersaurus were first discovered in 1976. The goal was to find more complete remains of this unusual dinosaur, which was fulfilled after 1999. The dinosaur was reconstructed for everyone to see.
One of the Nigersaurus bones that were found measured about 15 ft. It was the curve of the backbone. The skeleton was soon transported to the laboratory so that experts could study it.
Paleontologists also found the remains of a baby Nigersaurus. The discovery of these fossils helped experts to describe it and reconstruct the giant animal. This is how people come to know about the 500 teeth dinosaur.
Distinguishing Characteristics of Nigersaurus
Nigersaurus was also called “Mesozoic cow” by paleontologist Paul Sereno. In this section, we will discuss the distinguishing characteristics of the Nigersaurus.
- Nigersaurus teeth
The most important feature of the Nigersaurus is its teeth. It was a dinosaur with 500 teeth. It was a plant-eating dinosaur that was primarily found in the Sahara Desert.
It features an unusually wide and largemouth which helped it to collect food from ground level. It also had a wide nose behind the head. Due to this, paleontologist Paul Sereno compared its face with a vacuum cleaner. The reconstructed bone of this dinosaur shows that its mouth is very similar to the edges of a modern vacuum cleaner.
The wide mouth of a Nigersaurus had four large side holes and a skull opening. It had more than 500 slender teeth which are believed to be replaced every 2 weeks.
It is the only known quadruped with a wider and larger jaw than the skull. Not just that, but it is also the only quadruped to have horizontal teeth in front of the mouth.
For a sauropod, it had a very unique tooth structure. The upper jaw of the Nigersaurus featured 60 small needle-like pillars, while the lower jaw had about 68 pillars. Given the complete pillar, this dinosaur had 500 individual teeth, which means it had 9 sets of replacement teeth on the lower jaw alone.
The uniqueness of its teeth structure depends on its orientation. When pulling leaves from hanging branches, the horizontally grown teeth in the front is not very effective. This proves that Nigersaurus used its wide mouth as a foraging tool while grazing on the ground. This is why it is called a “Mesozoic cow.”
It also had a wide nose which is the perfect accomplice in foraging ground-level vegetation. Nigersaurus grazed in bunk beds, and therefore tooth batteries proved very useful. The new teeth are said to be replaced every 2 weeks or 14 days.
- Nigersaurus Weight
The 500 toothed dinosaur, Nigersaurus weighed around 4.4 short tons, which is almost the weight of a modern elephant. For a sauropod, it had a short neck, with thirteen cervical vertebrae. Almost all rebbachisaurids had short necks and were 33 ft. long or less. The only member that reached the size of larger sauropods was Rebbachisaurus.
- Nigersaurus Skull
Nigersaurus was a quadruped with thick hind legs, a prominent tail, and a small head. It had a small body of about 30 ft. long and a femur measuring only 3 ft. 3 in.
- Nigersaurus Size
As already mentioned above, Nigersaurus is a sauropod, which happens to be one of the largest dinosaurs on earth. Compared to other sauropods, Nigersaurus was much smaller in size. It was smaller than Ursocas and Brachiosaurus.
The 500 toothed dinosaurs were about 30 feet long, while the average sauropod is about 85 feet in length. Due to their small size, they weighed just as much as modern African elephants, which is about 4-5 tonnes, while the average weight of Diplodocus was about 25 tonnes. This is why a Nigersaurus was often called a “little giant”. It had a shorter neck and a lighter frame than its family.
Amazing Facts about Nigersaurus
Now that you know which dinosaur has 500 teeth, let’s learn a few amazing facts about it.
- “Nigersaurus” means “Niger Reptile” or “Niger lizard.” The remains of the dinosaur were first discovered in Niger.
- Nigersaurus is also known as “Mesozoic Cow”. It features a wide muzzle with 500 shredding teeth that were perfectly designed for chewing on ground-level vegetation.
- It was a “long-necked” short-neck dinosaur. Sauropods are usually associated with long necks. Nigersaurus and its closest relatives belonged to a sub-group called the “Rebbachisauridae.”
- Nigersaurus was a plant-eating dinosaur. It was a Sauropod, a member of a group of the related large quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaur.
- Nigersaurus was a member of the Saurischia group of dinosaurs.
- Nigersaurus lived about 119 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.
- Nigersaurus had a very odd-looking mouth, which looked similar to a present-day vacuum cleaner. It chewed its food with hundreds of sharp teeth.
- Nigersaurus was fairly light-headed. Its noggin featured thin cranial bones, many of which were almost translucent.
- Nigersaurus was first discovered in 1976 but was described after 1999.
Although Nigersaurus had elongated nostrils, it had very small olfactory lobes.
Which dinosaur has the most teeth?
If you thought Nigersaurus had the most teeth, then you are wrong. A Nigersaurus has 500 teeth, whereas a Hadrosaurid has 1,400 teeth. Their teeth are considered to be the most complex of all dinosaurs.
For those who wanted to know what type of dinosaur has 500 teeth, you know the answer now.
Final Words on Which Dinosaur has 500 Teeth
Nigersaurus is the 500 tooth dinosaur that everyone is talking about on the internet. It belongs to a group of sauropod dinosaurs, which were some of the largest dinosaurs on the planet. However, a Nigersaurus was different from its family as it had a smaller size and shorter neck. It was a herbivorous dinosaur that collected food from the ground.
FAQs about What Dinosaur has 500 Teeth
Who named the Nigersaurus?
The very first remains of Nigersaurus were found in the 1950s by French paleontologists. However, it was not named until 1999 after Paul Sereno’s team spotted skull bones in Niger in 1997. This dinosaur is named after Philippe Taquet, a French paleontologist who worked earlier on Nigersaurus.
What period was the Nigersaurus?
Nigersaurus lived 119 to 105 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.
How do you pronounce the dinosaur with 500 teeth?
The dinosaur with 500 teeth is pronounced as Nigersaurus, which means “Niger Reptile” or “Niger’s Lizard.”
What did Nigersaurus eat?
Nigersaurus was an herbivore dinosaur, which means it ate only plants.
What is the most unique feature of the Nigersaurus?
Nigersaurus’ most unique feature is the mouth, which was wide and large. It had 500 sharp teeth grown horizontally on the front of the mouth. The shape of this dinosaur’s face looks similar to a modern vacuum cleaner.