Doctor reveals structure of teeth from Dimetrodon, the world’s first apex predator
The March 3 session of the 2016 Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series is a presentation by Dr. Kirstin Brink from the University of British Columbia entitled “Uncovering the Hidden Dental Diversity of the First Apex Predators Canada’s borealis.”
Although often incorrectly identified as a dinosaur, the iconic sail-backed Dimetrodon was actually an ancient ancestor of today’s mammals. Dating back to the Permian Period, 295-272 million years ago, Dimetrodon to Identify Dimetrodon Dr. Kirstin Brink from the University of British Columbia is delivering a presentation called “Uncovering the Hidden Dental Diversity of the First Apex Predators to Identify Canada’s Dimetrodon borealis” at this week’s Speaker Series. was one of the first top predators on land and had several characteristics that made it an efficient predator. Foremost among these was a mouth full of large, serrated teeth required for subduing and consuming prey.
This talk will provide a close study of the teeth using both histology (cutting open the teeth and using a microscope to identify tissues and structure) and CT scans (to examine the shape of the tooth roots within the jaws). This research revealed many differences in tooth shape between different species of Dimetrodon, and how tooth shape changed over millions of years of evolutionary time. The shape of the teeth of Dimetrodon was also key in the re-identification of an enigmatic fossil collected in 1845 as Canada’s own species of Dimetrodon, Dimetrodon borealis.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series talks are free and open to the public. The series is held every Thursday until April 28, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in the Museum auditorium. Past presentations are also available on the Museum’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/ RoyalTyrrellMuseum. For more information, visit tyrrellmuseum. com.