Herbivores

Plant-eating dinosaurs had to eat large amounts of plants every day to fuel their bodies. An herbivore's special diet needed special ways of eating and digesting food. Some herbivores' teeth were shaped for chopping, raking, or crushing. Other herbivores had sharp beaks for snipping leaves and twigs. Once swallowed, these tough plants may have taken days to digest.

Grinding gut Barosaurus did not chew its food -it swallowed tough leaves and twigs whole. In a part of its stomach, stones called gastroliths ground the food for digestion.

Smooth stones Gastroliths have been found near the skeletons of several dinosaurs.

Herbivore facts

• All ornithischian dinosaurs were herbivores.

• Some herbivores had up to 960 teeth.

• There were no flowers for dinosaurs to eat until about 125 million years ago.

• Herds of herbivores may have migrated during dry seasons to find fresh food supplies.

• Some of the plants the dinosaurs ate, such as pine trees, ferns, and cycads, still grow today.

Plant pulp

Edmontosaurus had hundreds of tough teeth packed together in its upper and lower jaws. The two sets of teeth worked together like a pair of coarse files, grinding leaves, fruits, and seeds.

Toothless front of jaw

Lever for muscle attachment

Lever for muscle attachment

Herbavores The See Teeth

Leaf cutters The teeth of sauropods such as Rebbachisaurus were designed for cutting rather than chewing.

tough to eat

We can see which plants were available to dinosaurs by studying plant fossils. Herbivores such as parasaurolophus had strong teeth for chewing tough plants such as ferns and conifers.

Monkey puzzle conifer

Leaf cutters The teeth of sauropods such as Rebbachisaurus were designed for cutting rather than chewing.

Herbivore Dinosaurs Eat

Dinosaur menu Many of the plants the dinosaurs ate can be seen in gardens and parks today.

Magnolia

Dinosaur menu Many of the plants the dinosaurs ate can be seen in gardens and parks today.

Magnolia

Senses

Tyrannosaurus rex brain cast

Well-developed sight, smell, and hearing were crucial to the dinosaurs' long-running success. Dinosaurs used these vital senses daily for survival in their hostile world. Dinosaurs that were active hunters tracked prey by following noises and scents. Many dinosaurs lived in groups, and protected their young by listening and watching for predators.

Barosaurus brain cast b!

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