Paleontologists have recently identified a new reptile that they say had advanced teeth and jaws that were remarkably similar to mammalian jaws, even though it is 80 million years older than our oldest mammalian ancestors. Like humans, it couldn’t regrow teeth when they were lost, and its teeth and jaws had to adapt to the problem.
A Primitive Reptile with a Hard-Knock Life
Researchers recently described the species Opisthodontosaurus carrolli, which in some ways is so primitive that it was initially confused with amphibians that shared its environment. The lizard had a large, flat head. It crawled along the ground and into the water where it fed on hard-shelled arthropods, probably crabs, but also possibly large insects which were, in the words of researchers, “tougher than those normally subdued by simple piercing dentition.”
By Didier Descouens (Own work)