Article Geology

Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 58, Issue 16, pp 1931-1935

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Tooth loss and alveolar remodeling in Sinosaurus triassicus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the lower jurassic strata of the Lufeng Basin, China

  • LiDa XingAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of AlbertaSchool of the Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences Email author 
  • , Phil R. BellAffiliated withPipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative
  • , Bruce M. RothschildAffiliated withDivision of Vertebrate Paleontology, Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Institute, University of Kansas
  • , Hao RanAffiliated withMinistry of Education, Key Laboratory of Ecology of Rare and Endangered Species and Environmental Protection (Guangxi Normal University)
  • , JianPing ZhangAffiliated withSchool of the Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences
  • , ZhiMing DongAffiliated withInstitute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • , Wei ZhangAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Engineering, Chengdu Electromechanical College
  • , Philip J. CurrieAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta


Pathological or traumatic loss of teeth often results in the resorption and remodeling of the affected alveoli in mammals. However, instances of alveolar remodeling in reptiles are rare. A remodeled alveolus in the maxilla of the Chinese theropod Sinosaurus (Lower Jurassic Lower Lufeng Formation) is the first confirmed example of such dental pathology in a dinosaur. Given the known relationship between feeding behavior and tooth damage in theropods (teeth with spalled enamel, tooth crowns embedded in bone) and the absence of dentary, maxillary, and premaxillary osteomyelitis, traumatic loss of a tooth is most likely the cause of alveolar remodeling. Based on the extent of remodeling, the injury and subsequent tooth loss were non-fatal in this individual.


alveolar remodeling paleopathology Sinosaurus Lufeng Basin China