Abstract

The experimental transport-induced abrasion of five fossil teeth from a crocodilian and the tyrannosaurid dinosaur Albertosaurus demonstrates that enamel-coated teeth are minimally affected by abrasion associated with sediment-transport processes. After the equivalent of 360–480 km of transport, two teeth showed slight loss of weight, scratches were developed on the surface of one tooth, there were slight enlargements of the areas between adjacent serrations of one tooth, and a pit in the exposed dentine of one tooth was abraded smooth. These changes would have been difficult to recognize if the teeth had not been examined before the start of the experiment. Our results suggest that dinosaur teeth are abraded so slowly by transport processes that they provide equivocal evidence for limited transport and reworking.

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