Ever since I can remember, evolutionary scientists have been classifying dinosaurs and other animals as carnivores if they have sharp or serrated teeth and herbivores if they have flattened grinding type teeth. Repeatedly, creationists have challenged this concept and used a number of modern animals as examples.
Among the examples used by creationists are the panda, sun bear, fruit bat, various monkeys including the black-headed uakari and the lion that wouldn’t eat meat that was featured in Creation magazine. Some black bears and grizzly bear’s diets consist of over half to three quarters vegetation. I recall watching a program on piranha on one of the science channels and they showed 2 species of piranhas that were vegetarian, even though they had the same sharp teeth that other piranhas have.
I have often used the experiences from my past to demonstrate that sharp teeth and serrations don’t necessarily mean meat eaters. When I worked in a butcher shop, I never saw any knife with a serrated blade being used to cut meat in that butcher shop. I asked the head butcher and he told me that serrated blades do not keep a sharp edge and do not cut meat as easily and cleanly as a non-serrated blade does. Also in my early year I worked in the kitchens of several restaurants. Interestingly, all of the knives we used to cut and prepare meat were straight bladed knives. When we were cutting and preparing vegetables and fruit, we often used both straight and serrated blades. The serrated knives often cut through some of the tougher raw vegetables more easily than a non-serrated knife.
In lieu of all of this, I was excited when I first saw the title of an article that said that meat eating dinosaurs were not so carnivorous after ll. After reading through the article, I found it to be as disappointing as usual. It seems that scientists working at the Field Museum in Chicago which is a fortified bastion of evolutionary beliefs, have determined that a number of theropod dinosaurs were not the vicious meat eaters that they once thought there were. Up to this point, all theropod dinosaurs were considered to be predatory meat eaters.
The scientists examined the remains of nearly 100 theropod dinosaurs belonging to the group known as coelurosaurs. A number of coelurosaurs have varying tooth structure ranging from sharp pointed to peg-like to no teeth. They also looked at fossilized dino dung and stomach remains, teeth marks and the presence of stomach grinding stones (gastroliths) in the stomach.
Inserting all of their data into a statistical analysis program, they identified a number of traits that lead them to believe that about 44 theropod species were herbivores to some degree. According to one of the scientists: Once we linked certain adaptations with direct evidence of diet, we looked to see which other theropod species had the same traits, then we could say who was likely a plant eater and who was not
After they had conducted some good science, even though some of their data fields were based upon their evolutionary assumptions that sharp teeth still equate to meat eaters, they lost all credibility and fell back into their evolutionary make believe world. Taking their new found dietary results, they applied them to the evolutionary lineages of a number of the coelurosaur dinosaurs. They believe that some of the coelurosaurs lost some or all of their teeth over time and evolved beak-like structures eventually giving rise to birds. As one of the scientists put it: This is a clear-cut indication that the repeated evolution of a toothless beak in theropod dinosaurs is linked to plant eating, “once a beak appeared on the scene, it continued to evolve. Theropods would have used their beaks in a myriad of ways; they still do.
But wait, the evolutionary conjecture goes further. They also claim that in addition to losing teeth and evolving a beak, that some of the coelurosaurs began evolving longer necks which probably helped them to expand their reach and browsing range.
Like I said earlier, I really had my hopes up when I saw the title of the article. As a trained wildlife biologist, I don’t believe that sharp teeth necessarily mean the animal is a predatory meat eater. The most famous theropod, T. rex is always portrayed as a vicious predatory monster that roamed the countryside hunting down anything that moved. They base this portrait on the long sharp serrated teeth and massive jaws.
However, I’m not so sure that this accurately sums up the habit and diet of the T. rex. I’ve had the occasion to examine the jaw of a T. rex up close and look at several teeth of varying lengths. One thing I readily noticed was that the larger teeth that reached lengths of 4 inches or more had shallower roots on them. The shallowness of the roots would have made them vulnerable to loss when trying to bite into and hold onto another dinosaur that was fighting for its life. If you examine the teeth of most top predators, they have sufficiently long and strong roots to firmly anchor their teeth. But the teeth of the T. rex would be strong enough to rip the flesh off of a dead rotting corpse making it more of a scavenger than a predator.
As for the jaws of the T. rex, they show the indications of having massive jaw muscles. While many predators also have strong jaw muscles, so do many scavengers. One of the strongest sets of jaws on the African continent belongs to the hyena. Hyenas rarely hunt and kill their own food, but feed mainly on the kills of other animals and carrion they find left behind by others. Their jaw muscles are so strong that they readily bite right through the bones of larger animals.
Lastly on the T. rex, I have had a number of people ask me what those teeth and jaws would have been used for before death entered God’s perfect creation. The answer is easy – large fruits and vegetables. Have you ever cut open a large pumpkin or gourd? It takes a sharp knife and strong hand. The teeth of the T. rex would have been perfect for biting into and breaking up something like a pumpkin or large gourd or melon. After the Curse when death entered the world, a number of animals would have started to die from old age, disease or accidental injury. The smell of the rotting meat would have attracted various animals that began to eat some of the decaying meat. Developing a taste for meat, the urge to find more would have started to build up, driving some of them to start hunting other animals. Can I prove this? No! Am I married to this interpretation? No! At least I am honest enough to admit it, unlike many evolutionists like the ones that are staking their reputations that certain dinosaurs evolved into birds because they started losing their teeth and evolved a beak and longer neck.
When will they open their eyes and see the truth about the origin of animals and how they have changed over the brief history of our planet Earth? In reality, they have it all backwards. God created birds on Day 5 and land animals on Day 6. Birds actually appeared before the dinosaurs that are supposed to be their ancestors, not the other way around.
Catchpoole, David, The lion that wouldn’t eat meat, Creation, Vol. 22(2), March 2000.
Ireland, Jasmine, Teething problems, Creation, Vol. 27(1), Dec. 2004.
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Not So Carnivorous After All, Science Daily News, Dec. 21, 2010.
Weston, Paula, and Wieland, Carl, Bears across the world…, Creation, Vol. 22(4), Sept, 1998.