Abstract

The dental structure of basal ceratopsians is described. Evolutionary trends in maxillary and dentary teeth of basal ceratopsians include decrease and possible loss of enamel on the occluding side of tooth crowns, increase in the angle of wear facet, development of a prominent primary ridge and deep indentations on mesial and distal sides of the primary ridge, and increase in tooth size in neoceratopsians. Premaxillary teeth in the basalmost ceratopsian Yinlong and basal neoceratopsian Archaeoceratops oshimai exhibit wear facets and denticles along the carina, which imply use for feeding. Maxillary and dentary teeth of basal ceratopsians were probably not as effective in feeding as those in ceratopsids because of the relatively less prominent primary ridges. Some dental characters can be used to identify taxon and tooth position of isolated basal ceratopsian teeth.

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