Triceratops Tooth - SOLD 0.73"
Triceratops Tooth - SOLD 0.73"
The Triceratops’ jaws came together to form a sharp curved beak. This feature was built not for biting, but for grasping and pulling at plants. Behind this beak sat the dinosaur’s teeth, which were arranged in a tight structure called a dental battery. This specimen is a fossil Triceratops tooth, which is over 66,000,000 years old.
The specimen measures 0.73" and is quite a bit larger from the normal teeth we offer. It was recovered on private land in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana.
The Mighty Triceratops
Triceratops was one of the last dinosaurs to appear in the Late Cretaceous. Like other members of the Ceratopsid family, these large quadrupeds sported bony frills, horns, and beak-like mouths.
Their teeth were tight structures called "dental batteries," which could grow on top of one another. This positioning allowed them to constantly renew teeth that were damaged in the wear and tear of crushing plant fibers.
This specimen is a complete fossilized Triceratops tooth which includes the root material. It is a one of a kind fossil that is a must have for any collector!
📸 A triceratops tooth in hand
The discovery of crowns and root material is not unheard of, but they are quite rare and exciting finds. These fossils are priced individually by size and each is a completely unique specimen.
This singular tooth will ship in a sturdy carton with a certificate of authenticity as well as a small informational photo card.
If you're looking for even more Triceratops, you can find all our current specimens from the dinosaur below, including more showcase-sized fossils and our classic riker display case sized teeth, as well as frill and bone segments.
Mega Triceratops Tooth 2.2" - SOLD
Triceratops Frill - SOLD 13.25" Showcase
TEMPORAL RANGE: 68,000,000 to 66,000,000 years ago
MORE ABOUT TRICERATOPS
Triceratops was one of the last dinosaurs to appear in the Late Cretaceous. Like other members of the Certatopsid family, these large quadrupeds sported bony frills, horns, and beak-like mouths.
As you might expect, there is evidence that the frill and horns were used as defensive weapons against predators such as Tyrannosaurus Rex, including partially-healed frills and brow horns with Tyrannosaurid tooth marks. However, this is far from settled science.
Assessments of progressive changes in horn orientation and shape during adolescence also indicate the possible visual identification of juveniles, and eventually the onset of sexual maturity. Furthermore, the horns may have been important for mating displays (sexual dimorphism) or even species recognition amid large herds.
📸 Triceratops tooth eruption demonstrated. (Source: Erickson, Gregory M., et al. "Wear biomechanics in the slicing dentition of the giant horned dinosaur Triceratops." Science Advances 1.5 (2015): e1500055.)
As noted above, the Triceratops’ jaws came together to form a sharp curved beak. This feature was built not for biting, but for grasping and pulling at plants. Behind this beak sat the dinosaur’s teeth, which were arranged in a tight structure called a dental battery. These batteries consisted of columns of teeth that would grow and erupt, replacing the worn and broken teeth at the top of the stack.
While this was a somewhat common adaptation for herbivorous dinosaurs, the Triceratops’ teeth were nestled inside one another, meaning their teeth were constantly being replaced. This gave their batteries stability and prevented gaps from appearing in their jaws. With five teeth in a battery and nearly 40 tooth positions, Triceratops had hundreds of teeth in its jaws at one time.
The shape of these teeth were highly specialized, acting exclusively as tools to cut with rather than grind or crush. This is unusual in herbivores, with shearing teeth being of only secondary importance.
The structure of the jaw indicates that Triceratops had an extremely powerful bite, capable of tearing tough plants. Its heavy skull kept its head held low and it likely subsisted off cycads, a plant with large, fleshy seeds full of sugar and starches. With such a large body size, (over 29 feet long in adulthood!) Triceratops was able to consume a high amount of low quality food, similar to modern day browsers.
Front of the Specimen Card
Back of the Specimen Card
Erickson, Gregory M., et al. "Wear biomechanics in the slicing dentition of the giant horned dinosaur Triceratops." Science Advances 1.5 (2015): e1500055.
Farke, Andrew A., Ewan DS Wolff, and Darren H. Tanke. "Evidence of combat in Triceratops." PLoS One 4.1 (2009): e4252.
Farke, Andrew A. "Evaluating combat in ornithischian dinosaurs." Journal of Zoology 292.4 (2014): 242-249.
Farke, Andrew A. "Horn use in Triceratops (Dinosauria: Ceratopsidae): testing behavioral hypotheses using scale models." Palaeontologia Electronica 7.1 (2004): 10p.
Fastovsky, David E., and David B. Weishampel. Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History. 2009. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2009. eBook.
Hone, David WE, Darren H. Tanke, and Caleb M. Brown. "Bite marks on the frill of a juvenile Centrosaurus from the Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Provincial Park Formation, Alberta, Canada." PeerJ 6 (2018): e5748.
Horner, John R., and Mark B. Goodwin. "Major cranial changes during Triceratops ontogeny." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 273.1602 (2006): 2757-2761.
Kanavy, Sarah. "An Overview of the Triceratops." The Compass. Vol. 1. No. 1. 2014.