If you’ve ever wondered what dinosaur has 500 teeth, the answer may surprise you. Yes, many dinosaurs had a lot of teeth – perhaps more than any other animal on earth – but their record-holding number of teeth is not quite 500! Let’s take a look at some notable contenders and how many teeth they had. For comparison purposes, we’ll be using the average human being as our point of reference, who has 32 permanent teeth in his or her mouth at any given time.
Dinosaurs had more than 1000 teeth
While popular films and cartoons often depict dinosaurs with hundreds of needle-like, pointy teeth in their mouths, they probably didn’t actually have that many. Scientists estimate that non-avian dinosaurs had between 20 and 30 tooth positions (or columns) containing anywhere from three to about 10 teeth each. They also grew a new set of these baby or replacement teeth each time their current ones wore out. That means some had fewer than 500 total dinosaurian dentitions over their lifetimes!
Different types of dinosaurs
Dinosaur types are varied and dinosaurs are a diverse bunch. Here is how I broadly categorize dinosaurs: herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. Herbivores were plant eaters, like Stegosaurus or Triceratops. Carnivores were meat eaters like Tyrannosaurus Rex or Velociraptor. And omnivores ate both plants and meat—like T-Rex!
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This enormous dinosaur, which lived around 66 to 68 million years ago, had up to 60 teeth at any one time. The number of teeth varied according to Tyrannosaurus’ age and food requirements. In most dinosaurs there are no more than four sets of replacement teeth in each jaw at any one time, but in Tyrannosaurus rex these numbers were often doubled – or even tripled – resulting in as many as 500 teeth at any one time!
The Velociraptor is known for its distinct head crest, its unusually long and low snout, and its brightly colored skull. The main purpose of their heads was to help detect prey. Their 500 teeth are used for tearing flesh from their victims in order to eat them. It also has strong limbs that allow it to run at high speeds up to 18 miles per hour. Its front legs were relatively short compared to its hind legs.
The largest land animal on earth was an herbivore dinosaur with more what dinosaur has 500 teeth. For most of its life, it used these teeth to chew leaves off trees and branches. The Brachiosaurus had dozens of small conical (pointed) teeth in its mouth at any given time. It shed these chompers constantly throughout its lifetime, replacing them with new ones that grew in behind them.