Dinosaur Teeth

Written By Chelsea Haines from the

University of Kansas 

  • Meet the Coaches

  • Dinosaurs Long Ago

  • Carnivore Teeth

  • Herbivore Teeth 

  • Omnivore Teeth

  • Conclusion


The coaches at the bottom of the page are there to guide your understanding of Dinosaur Teeth

Click on the coaches to find out more about how they will help you gain knowledge! 

This photo is from Dinosaur World, a theme park in Kentucky.

Dinosaurs Long Ago

Dinosaurs have been extinct for around 65 million years. 

Fossils are real remains of dinosaurs that have been preserved for millions of years.

Paleontologists  study fossils of dinosaur teeth to learn about dinosaurs. Fossils are the remains of plants and bones that have turned into rock! 

Tyrannosaurus Rex teeth could be as long as a banana!

The shape of a dinosaur's teeth reveals the type of food the dinosaur ate! Teeth shape show if a dinosaur ate meat, plants, or both. 

Carnivore Teeth

Meat-eating dinosaurs are called carnivores . Carnivores have teeth made to tear into prey.

These teeth show how carnivores had sharp, serrated teeth.

Carnivore teeth are sharp with serrated edges used for slicing! Some meat-eaters used their sharp teeth to kill prey. Others used the grooves in their teeth to tear food that was already dead. These teeth could slice through skin and muscle. They could also crunch bones! 

Notice how worn this dinosaur's teeth were. They have been used a lot! Soon they will fall out and replacements will grow.

Sometimes carnivore teeth would get worn out and dull. But don't worry! When this happened, new teeth could grow in as replacements. 

The Allosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex are two dinosaurs with razor sharp teeth.

Not all dinosaurs were meat-eaters, though.

These dinosaurs were herbivores and found their food in tall trees.

Herbivore Teeth

Some dinosaurs were herbivores . Herbivores survive by eating plants. 

Herbivore teeth were mostly flat. Many were spoon or leaf shaped.

A dinosaur that was a plant-eater had a variety of teeth. They had some teeth that were shaped like spoons or pencils. They also had a mouth full of flat teeth used for grinding plants into a pulp.

The Brachiosaurus used its spoon shaped teeth to tear leaves off of tall trees. Anklosaurs had flat teeth used to chomp and grind on plants low to the ground. 

An Oviraptor used its beak to tear food.

Omnivore Teeth

Some dinosaurs eat both plants and meat. These dinosaurs are omnivores.

Omnivores could have both sharp, meat-eating teeth and flat, plant grinding teeth. But some omnivores had no teeth at all! Instead, some had beaks to tear food and used their jaws to crush food. 

Oviraptors would eat other dinosaur eggs.

Dinosaurs that were omnivores would use their specially shaped teeth to eat plants, eggs, smaller reptiles and even insects! The Oviraptor mostly ate eggs. 


The shape of a dinosaur's teeth tell what types of food it ate. Dinosaurs who ate meat had sharp, razor teeth they used to slice their prey. Dinosaurs who ate plants had flat teeth for grinding and chewing. Dinosaurs who ate meat and plants had both sharp and flat teeth, or no teeth at all! 

Study the shape of this dinosaur tooth. What type of food did this dinosaur eat? 

Works Cited


Holtz, T., & Rey, L. (2007). Dinosaurs: The most complete, up-to-date encyclopedia for dinosaur lovers of all ages. New York, New York: Random House.

Lambert, D. (2010). Dinosaur. New York, New York: DK Pub.

Lessem, D., & Bindon, J. (2005). Giant meat-eating dinosaurs. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications.

Lessem, D., & Tempesta, F. (2010). The ultimate dinopedia: The most complete dinosaur reference ever. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.


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