GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 84-42
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


KUO, Pei-Chen1, WANG, Chun-Chieh2, CHIANG, Cheng-Cheng2, SONG, Sheng-Rong1, LĂ–WEMARK, Ludvig1 and SONG, Yen-Fang2, (1)Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Geosciences, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 106, Taiwan, (2)X-ray & IR Imaging Group, National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, 101 Hsin-Ann Road, Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu, 30076, Taiwan,

Previous paleontological studies on the morphology of fossil teeth have focused on feeding habits and identification for phylogenetic purposes. Our recent study investigates the internal structures in teeth of two genera of Mosasauridae from Morocco by Nano-Transmission X-ray Microscopy, Mosasaurus and Globidens, which were living at the end of the Cretaceous.

Based on the previous studies, Globidens were believed to be durophagous, feeding primarily on hard-shelled organisms, while Mosasaurus prey on fish, turtles, ammonites, and possibly smaller mosasaurs. Our study reveals clear images of mircostructures in the teeth of Globidens and Mosasaurus. In the enamel of Globidens, we found enamel tufts which would effectively help to release stress from the occlusal surfaces. In comparison, Mosasaurus genus shows three layers, enamel, dentin and interglobular porous spaces in the teeth. We do not yet understand the relationship between interglobular porous spaces and the feeding habits of the Mosasaurus, but it is possible that this structure enhances the tolerance of the Mosasauruss teeth and protects the internal part of the teeth from sudden impacts. We also use a series of 2D images to produce the 3D tomographic image revealing, the dentinals tubules in Globidens and the interglobular porous spaces in Mosasaurus.

The results of our study demonstrate that even within the same family of organisms, different genera have different eating habits that may exert a strong influence on the development of the external and internal tooth microstructure.