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Whose Tooth is That?

Smithsonian paleontologist Matthew Carrano explains how to identify dinosaurs from isolated teeth

Dinosaurs once roamed in the vicinity of Washington D.C. They did not leave very much behind. No one has found a beautifully articulated skeleton under the city streets—the city’s most famous dinosaur, “Capitalsaurus,” is known from only fragments—but paleontologists can use isolated teeth to take a census of which kinds of dinosaurs were present in the area. In the video posted above, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s dinosaur curator Matthew Carrano explains how paleontologists identify dinosaurs on the basis of teeth alone.

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About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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