Dinosaur Plant-Eaters and Meat-Eaters

By | November 14th, 2008|Dinosaur Fans, Teaching|0 Comments

What Proportion of the Dinosauria were Meat-Eaters?

By studying the fossilised teeth associated with any dinosaur skull material, palaeontologists can have a good idea of the potential diet of that particular dinosaur.  Occasionally, stomach contents are preserved and this evidence too, can assist in determining whether the dinosaur was a carnivore or herbivore.  The boundaries become a little blurred when a potential omnivorous diet is considered but to date, with around 1,200 dinosaur genera known approximately sixty-five percent are plant-eaters.

The Proportion of Plant-eating Dinosaurs to Meat-Eating Dinosaurs

Proportion of plant-eaters to meat-eaters in the Dinosauria.

Proportion of plant-eaters to meat-eaters in the Dinosauria.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Scientists believe that if they were able to identify and describe every type of dinosaur that has ever existed, the proportion of herbivorous dinosaurs to carnivorous dinosaurs would be even greater, upwards of perhaps eighty percent or more.