Triceratops had complex teeth, according to a report in ScienceDaily 5 June 2015 and Science Advances doi:10.1126/sciadv.1500055. A team of palaeontologists and engineers have studied the teeth of Triceratops and found they are more complex than living reptiles and mammals. Living reptiles have fairly simple teeth that are useful for grasping, and then coarsely slicing and crushing their food, but their teeth do not come together in a way that enables the modern reptile to chew its food. Furthermore, reptile teeth have only two layers, consisting of a hard enamel layer surrounding a softer orthodentine core.

The most complex mammal teeth are those of herbivorous mammals. These have four layers, (enamel, orthodentine, secondary dentine, and coronal cementum), and the teeth self-wear as they grind on one another as the animal chews, producing complex cutting and shredding surfaces. The research team found Triceratops teeth are even more complex, being made up of five layers (enamel, hard mantle dentine, orthodentine, vasodentine, and coronalcementum).

The researchers then studied the way Triceratops teeth wore and developed a 3D wear model to work out how such teeth would respond to chewing. They concluded that Triceratops teeth would wear in way that produced a complex surface with a recessed area in the middle, which served to reduce friction during biting and make chewing more efficient. This enabled the animal to eat lots of different fibrous plants.

One of the scientists Gregory Erickson, commented: “It’s just been assumed that dinosaurs didn’t do things like mammals, but in some ways, they’re actually more complex”.

Link: ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: Finding complex teeth in a reptile goes against the usual evolutionary story of reptiles with simple teeth evolving into mammals with complex teeth. It also is great evidence that Triceratops is unrelated to other Dino Kinds. After all, evolution by chance cannot explain how Triceratops came to have five-layered teeth, when other reptiles only have two. Trying to eat fibrous plant material will not produce the extra tooth tissues needed to build the complex teeth, nor reshape and realign them so that they grind on one another.

These complex teeth really show us that Triceratops was well designed for a steady diet of fibrous plants that needed a lot of chewing. This makes perfect sense if both Triceratops and the plants were designed and made by the same Creator, who made animals and plants fully functional, designed to work from the beginning of creation, and certainly supports the thesis that the big horny triceratops used its massive horns to push down trees for food and its heavy duty beak to tear them up before quietly chewing them up with its well-designed teeth. (Ref. dinosaurs, diet, histology)

Evidence News vol.15, No. 10
26 June 2015
Creation Research Australia