Long-Necked Dinosaur Grazed Like a Cow

Study finds plant-eater munched on ferns
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2007 2:44 AM CST
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and paleontologist Paul Sereno, gestures during a news conference at the National Geographic Society in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007, where he unveiled...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The long-necked plant-eating dinosaur Nigersaurus ate its meals off the ground rather than reaching into trees, National Geographic reports. Fossils of the 30-foot-long creature reveal that the animal probably nibbled on plants such as ferns and horsetails. “We have seen nothing like this dinosaur,” said a paleontologist at the University of Chicago.

The 110-million-year-old Nigersaurus was as heavy as an elephant but had a “featherweight” skull, researchers found. Its mouth was packed with as many as 600 teeth, with every front tooth followed by 10 replacements lined up behind it. The dinosaur, which grazed much like modern cows, most likely never lifted its head above horizontal level.