Newly Discovered ‘Duck’ Dinosaur Had Over 400 Teeth

Even after millions of years, the diversity of dinosaurs continues to astound.

A new dinosaur species discovered in Germany had more than 400 teeth, which it likely used to fish for shrimp, according to a research paper published on Jan. 21.

Part of the pterosaur family, the dino is called Balaenognathus maeseri. A team from the University of Portsmouth discovered the fossils by accident while looking at crocodile bones in a quarry.

So far, researchers think the pterosaur ate prey similar to modern-day ducks or flamingos — waddling through small ponds and pools and searching for food.

“The nearly complete skeleton was found in a very finely layered limestone that preserves fossils beautifully,” said David Martill of the University of Portsmouth, Hampshire, who led the research.

duck dino

The fossils suggest that the duck dino used its hooked teeth to fish for shrimp and other small prey. Photo: University of Portsmouth


Many flying dinosaurs have turned up in limestone in Germany’s Bavaria region in the past. The quarries have become famous for Jurassic Period discoveries.

The newly found duck dino had hooks at the end of its many teeth. Paleontologists have posited that the dinosaur waded through lagoons, filtering tiny shrimp and creatures through its teeth.

“The jaws of this pterosaur are really long and lined with small, fine, hooked teeth, with tiny spaces between them like a nit comb,” Prof Martill said. “The long jaw is curved upwards like an avocet and at the end, it flares out like a spoonbill. There are no teeth at the end of its mouth, but there are teeth all the way along both jaws right to the back of its smile.”

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.