4.20" Rooted Dinosaur (Camarasaurus) Tooth With Skull - Colorado

This is an 4.20" long rooted tooth of Camarasaurus, a giant sauropod dinosaur from the Morrison Formation in Colorado. Camarasaurus had very distinctive teeth that were designed for eating coarse vegetation. It is associated with the root of another Camarasaurus tooth and some skull bone fragments. Rooted teeth like this don't become available very often.

There is some minor feeding wear visible at the apical end of the tooth. Crack repair and minor gap fill restoration can be found throughout the root, with some crack repair and gap fill restoration through the crown as well. The majority of restoration through the crown is located about 1/2" from the tip.

Comes with an acrylic display stand.

Camarasaurus was a medium-sized sauropod dinosaur whose fossils are found in the Morrison Formation of the Southest United States. It is estimated to have reached lengths of up to 75 feet long and had an estimated maximum weight of around 50 tons. Compared to the contemporary Diplodocids it had a shorter tail, longer forelimbs and much larger and more robust skull.

An artists rendering of Camarasaurus.  By Jesus Gamarra.  Creative Commons License
An artists rendering of Camarasaurus. By Jesus Gamarra. Creative Commons License

The skull of Camarasaurus was quite distinctive, having a blunt snout and looking quite square in shape. It had large, spoon-shaped teeth unlike many sauropod dinosaurs that have small, peg-like teeth. This likely indicates that it ate coarser vegetation, allowing it to share the same environment as other sauropods without competing for food. It has been estimated that it replaced it’s teeth approximately every 60 days as they became worn from chewing. It’s cervical vertebrae had hollow chambers to reduce weight on the neck which led to its name, meaning “chambered lizard”

A Camarasaurus skull cast showing the spoon-shaped teeth.
A Camarasaurus skull cast showing the spoon-shaped teeth.

Camarasaurus is considered the most abundant of the sauropod dinosaurs found in North America. Its fossils have been found in almost every major Morrison Formation dinosaur locality, with fossils found in localities from across many states including New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Montana and Oklahoma.

Located in the midwestern United States, the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation is an incredibly large and fossiliferous formation that dates back to about 156 to 147 million years ago. Named after the small town of Morrison, Colorado, the formation was discovered in 1877, and quickly became the center of one of the biggest rivalries in historical paleontology.

19th century paleontologists Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope spent 15 years making outstanding strides in the discovery of fossils all throughout the American Midwest, but also resorted to unsavory methods in attempts to discredit or ruin the other's work and reputation, including destruction of specimens.

The total area of the formation is roughly 600000 square miles, however much of that is inaccessible; deeply buried under prairie land and eroded during the formation of the Rocky Mountains. Even so, many outcroppings across the midwest allow paleontologists access to a wealth of information from Late Jurassic North America.

Dinosaurs from the region include large allosaurid dinosaurs, such as the eponymous Allosaurus and its larger relative, Saurophaganax, both exceeding 30 feet in length, making them some of the largest carnivores of their time. They competed with the similarly large megalosaurid Torvosaurus, and the somewhat smaller horned ceratosaurid Ceratosaurus. On the smaller end of the theropod family tree was the raptor-like Ornitholestes.

For herbivores, Stegosaurus guarded their herds with huge, intimidating backplates and formidable tail spikes. Small, early ankylosaurs like gargoyleosaurus would have fed on the forested understory, smaller in size than the 30+ foot giant Stegosaurids.

The main attraction of the Morrison however, were the giant Sauropod dinosaurs. Some of the most colossal of dinosaurs and largest land animals of all time were the massive sauropods. Diplodocus, Camarasaurus, Apatosaurus, Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Barosaurus, and Supersaurus all count themselves among these long-necked titans. None of these herbivores would have been less than 50 feet in length at adult size, and the largest of their number would have exceeded 100-115 feet in length, and over 40 tons. For this many sauropods to have lived in roughly the same place and time, it is presumed that they all developed different feeding and living strategies, to minimize competition. Their massive size and herds would have made them well defended from any of the numerous predators of the Morrison.
Camarasaurus grandis
Moffat County, Colorado
Morrison Formation
Tooth: 4.20" long, Entire Specimen: 5.15 x 4.2"
We guarantee the authenticity of all of our
specimens. Read more about our
Authenticity Guarantee.