The Nigersaurus Taqueti, named for American paleontologist Paul Sereno, is a 30-foot-long dinosaur with more than five hundred teeth. Those teeth would have acted as a comb, and were used for browsing plants. Though the dinosaur has long since been extinct, a few bones remain from its skeleton. It is the only known dinosaur that had over five hundred teeth. Despite its hulking size, the Nigersaurus remains as a mystery.
The name Nigersaurus is a little unusual, as it sounds like a tiger. But it translates into “Niger reptile.” And indeed, the dinosaur was named for the scientist who first discovered it, Phillippe Taqueti. Although the name Nigersaurus sounds like a pun, it was meant to raise awareness. Interestingly, the dinosaur has over 500 teeth, including replacement ones. Its large size allows it to chew food very efficiently.
The Nigersaurus skull is so sturdy that it could withstand its massive mouthful of teeth. The skull’s bone structure was strong enough to withstand the weight of its 500 teeth. The Nigersaurus’ skull has four openings and was elongated, allowing it to fit all those teeth in its mouth without breaking. However, scientists have yet to find the rest of the Nigersaurus’ remains. So what were its eating habits?
Nigersaurus was a Sauropod ancestor, but it evolved into an enormous creature resembling a Tyrannosaurus. It stood 9 meters tall and weighed four tons and may have been as large as an elephant today. Its 13 cervical vertebrae suggest it was about the size of an elephant, and had 500 teeth. When individuals typed in the name of the dinosaur, the result was a Google search with the word “dinosaurus” instead of its original name.
The “what dinosaur has five hundred teeth” meme began in a Reddit discussion and quickly spread through the internet. The original joke, which began with a racial slur, soon gained popularity with over six thousand views and has become a popular web meme. The internet is flooded with weird content. Whether you want to make a funny video or create a serious piece of work, the 500-toothed dinosaur is likely to be in the news.
Nigersaurus was an excellent example of a sauropod with more teeth than its head. The jaws were longer than the skull, and the teeth extended horizontally across the front of the skull. The Nigersaurus’ teeth might have been twenty to thirty percent larger than its lower counterpart. The Nigersaurus had five hundred dynamic teeth spread over its wide jaw, possibly bearing a keratinous covering. The Nigersaurus had a femur length of one metre, and weighed four or five tons. However, the Nigersaurus was much smaller than other sauropods. It had a short neck and thirteen cervical vertebrae, which might explain the lack of a tail.
Nigersaurus was a bizarre dinosaur that was discovered in 1976. Moreno and his team were funded by the National Geographic Society of Washington, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the University of Chicago. The Nigersaurus will be featured in a National Geographic article in the December edition. Its asymmetrical teeth made it difficult to recognize and a giant mouth that worked like a vacuum. It was called Nigersaurus Taqueti and was named after Philippe Taquet, who had nicknamed it Nigel.