Rodolfo A. García and Virginia Zurriaguz

            Dental histology of periodontal tissues (cementum, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone) has been studied in mammals, crocodylians and some basal tetrapods, but these structures have never been studied in titanosaur sauropods. The goal of this work was to study the structures of dental insertion in Titanosaurs. Like many physiological processes, histological analysis of titanosaur teeth shows hard tissue formation, characterized by a circadian rhythm. From thin sections it was possible to observe microstructures such as incremental lines of von Ebner, dentinal tubules and cross striations, all key to the understanding of developmental tooth dynamics. The structural and histological analyses carried out here on teeth of Late Cretaceous titanosaurs reveals the presence of acellular and cellular cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone, all structures necessary for a truly thecodont dentition. This is the first time documented for a dinosaur via histological tissue, and is an important finding that will help elucidate aspects of dinosaurian dentition, tooth replacement rate, feeding strategy, metabolism, and general biology.

García, R. A. and Zurriaguz, V. 2016. Histology of teeth and tooth attachment in titanosaurs (Dinosauria; Sauropoda) Cretaceous Research 57: 248-256. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2015.09.006