Why do some dinosaur fossil bones have missing pieces?

Growing Bones Read more from
Chapter Dinosaurs Inside and Out

For quite some time, paleontologists have noted certain dinosaur fossil bones have missing pieces—for example, a set of teeth without a jaw bone—and others seem pitted and grooved. Recently, scientists may have discovered the answer: ancient insects that gnawed on the dinosaur bones.

The study of the 148-million-year-old remains of a Camptosaurus, a plant-eating sauropod, found traces of insects that were probably a form of beetle from the family Dermestidae. Scientists speculate that after other insects ate their way through the flesh, horns, or the various soft parts of the dinosaur, the beetles, whose descendents still exist today, munched on the bones.


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