Ancestors of 'veggie' dinosaurs actually feasted on meat
Researchers analyzed the teeth of the earliest dinosaurs to determine what they ate.
It's long been believed that Tyrannosaurus rex was a meat-eating maniac while long-necked dinosaurs serenely chomped away at leaves in the background. However, a new study suggests that dinosaurs' diets were far more diversified than previously thought.
To get a better idea of what different dinosaurs actually ate, paleobiologists from the University of Bristol in England examined CT (computed tomography) scans of the skulls of several dinosaur genera, including small bipedal Thecodontosaurus and long-necked Diplodocus, both considered herbivores, and created 3D models of their teeth.
"Teeth can give good clues about what an animal eats because they are our tools to break down food," Antonio Ballell Mayoral(opens in new tab), the study's lead author and a senior research associate in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol, told Live Science in an email. "As such, it's expected that different tooth shapes will be efficient at processing different kinds of food items....