How to find a Dinosaur Tooth
If you're looking to find an authentic dinosaur fossil, your first thought might be to check a history museum. While you certainly can find some great specimens there, getting a fossil of your own might be easier than you'd think. As it turns out, it's all about where you look.
The iconic Spinosaurus, a semiaquatic dinosaur named for its massive neural spines, first entered the fossil record 99 million years ago. Over the course of about 7 million years, the species thrived as the top predator in its aquatic hunting grounds. With long jaws full of sharp conical teeth, the Spinosaurus was built for ambushing fish and marine reptiles.
These specialized teeth are how we know so much about Spinosaurus today. While skeletal pieces of the animal are extremely rare, the teeth can be quite abundant in the fossil beds of its former habitat.
There are a few factors for this; first is how many teeth a single Spinosaurus would have in its lifetime. A full sized Spinosaurus is estimated to have carried 64 teeth between its crocodile-like jaws. Between fights and feeding, teeth were prone to breaking and falling out. Research suggests that these missing teeth would be regrown in periods as quick as 60 days, meaning the dinosaur was able to get a full set of chompers back in no time.
While a single Spinosaurus could supply plenty of teeth on its own, there were many members of the species alive at one time. Over the course of 7 million years on Earth (orders of magnitude longer than human civilization), there ends up being millions upon millions of teeth from this amazing dinosaur. Only a small percentage of these teeth would become properly fossilized, but even a sliver of such a prolific amount means there are likely hundreds of thousands of tooth fossils waiting to be discovered!
That's not to say that it's an easy task to find a dinosaur tooth. Paleontologists still have their work cut out for them. Even with a large amount of teeth in the fossil record, finding where they are and digging them out presents a challenge of its own. Even after, a fossil hunter must be careful to identify and clean the tooth without damaging it.
These teeth tell us so much about the amazing dinosaur. From the shape and placement of them, we've learned about the Spinosaurus' diet and hunting tactics. In fact, a 2020 find of over 1,200 teeth in Moroccan fossil river beds lead paleontologists to realize the Spinosaurus likely led an even more aquatic lifestyle than previously thought.
If you're looking to start your own collection of dinosaur fossils, a Spinosaurus tooth is the perfect place to start. These teeth are recognizable and affordable collectables from an iconic dinosaur and are fascinating to study in the palm of your hand! Check out Mini Museum's collection of teeth to learn more about the Spinosaurus and start your Dinosaur Museum today!