Scientist at the University of Kansas is trying to figure out what a dinosaur ate. Katrina Gobetz says she hopes her research will provide another clue to what the Earth was like millions of years ago.
Gobetz studies tooth gunk from the dinosaur Camarasaurus.
She scrapes off hardened plaque, much like the dental hygienist does when you go for a cleaning. Then she dissolves the plaque in acid. The residue left behind includes preserved plant cells that became trapped in the plaque when the animal ate.
Using a pectrographic microscope, Gobetz can identify these cells and tell what the creature ate. She has already used her technique on two ancient hairy elephants--the mammoth and the mastodon--and a hippo-like rhinoceros, that once roamed North America.
Source Citation:Campbell, Michael. "Prehistoric plaque. (Science)." Boys' Life 93.1 (Jan 2003): 11(1). InfoTrac Tourism, Hospitality, and Leisure eCollection. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 17 Aug. 2009
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