WorldWideScience

Sample records for great dinosaur feud

  1. The Great Dinosaur Feud: Science against All Odds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James; Carpinelli, Amy

    2008-01-01

    In the 19th century, the race to uncover dinosaur fossils and name new dinosaur species inspired two rival scientists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, to behave in ways that were the antithesis of scientific methods. Subterfuge, theft, and espionage were the ingredients of the Great Dinosaur Feud. Because students often enjoy…

  2. Criminal Homicide Because of Blood Feud

    OpenAIRE

    Leyla Cak›c› Gercek; Jale Bafra

    2005-01-01

    Although so much progress going on in every field, the crimes of killing man impelled by blood feud carry on their existance. All jurisprudences and the decisions of the Court of Appeal about the criminal homicides connected with this type of crimes ha- ve been carefully examined. The required measures to prevent that, the criticisms againist the decisions of the Court of Appeal and the factors explained in the decisions of that Co- urt have been determined.

  3. The Oldest Jurassic Dinosaur: A Basal Neotheropod from the Hettangian of Great Britain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martill, David M; Vidovic, Steven U; Howells, Cindy; Nudds, John R

    2016-01-01

    Approximately 40% of a skeleton including cranial and postcranial remains representing a new genus and species of basal neotheropod dinosaur is described. It was collected from fallen blocks from a sea cliff that exposes Late Triassic and Early Jurassic marine and quasi marine strata on the south Wales coast near the city of Cardiff. Matrix comparisons indicate that the specimen is from the lithological Jurassic part of the sequence, below the first occurrence of the index ammonite Psiloceras planorbis and above the last occurrence of the Rhaetian conodont Chirodella verecunda. Associated fauna of echinoderms and bivalves indicate that the specimen had drifted out to sea, presumably from the nearby Welsh Massif and associated islands (St David's Archipelago). Its occurrence close to the base of the Blue Lias Formation (Lower Jurassic, Hettangian) makes it the oldest known Jurassic dinosaur and it represents the first dinosaur skeleton from the Jurassic of Wales. A cladistic analysis indicates basal neotheropodan affinities, but the specimen retains plesiomorphic characters which it shares with Tawa and Daemonosaurus.

  4. Marketing Feud: An Active Learning Game of (Mis)Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schee, Brian A. Vander

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the results of implementing an active learning activity in the principles of marketing course adapted from the television show "Family Feud". The objectives of the Marketing Feud game include increasing awareness of marketing misperceptions, clarifying marketing misunderstandings, encouraging class participation, and building…

  5. Dinosaur Day!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Sandra; Baptiste, H. Prentice

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe how they capitalized on their first-grade students' love of dinosaurs by hosting a fun-filled Dinosaur Day in their classroom. On Dinosaur Day, students rotated through four dinosaur-related learning stations that integrated science content with art, language arts, math, and history in a fun and time-efficient…

  6. Destructive Leadership: The Hatfield and McCoy Feud

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, George; Wolf, Patricia; Zurick, Andryce M.

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the phenomenon of destructive leadership using the historical case study of the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. The characteristics of destructive leadership as well as the consequences of this leadership style are reviewed, examined and analyzed. Utilizing a case from history to shine light on a contemporary problem,…

  7. Dinosaur tectonics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graversen, Ole; Milàn, Jesper; B. Loope, David

    2007-01-01

    A dinosaur trackway in the Middle Jurassic eolian Entrada Sandstone of southern Utah, USA, exposes three undertracks that we have modeled as isolated tectonic regimes showing the development of fold-thrust ramp systems induced by the dinosaur's feet. The faulted and folded sequence is comparable...... to crustal scale tectonics associated with plate tectonics and foreland fold-thrust belts. A structural analysis of the dinosaur tracks shows the timing and direction of the forces exercised on the substrate by the animal's foot during the stride. Based on the structural analysis, we establish a scenario...... the back. As the body accelerated, the foot was forced backward. The rotated disc was forced backward along a detachment fault that was bounded by lateral ramps. The interramp segment matches the width of the dinosaur's foot which created an imbricate fan thrust system that extended to the far end...

  8. Dinosaur lactation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Else, Paul L

    2013-02-01

    Lactation is a process associated with mammals, yet a number of birds feed their newly hatched young on secretions analogous to the milk of mammals. These secretions are produced from various sections (crop organ, oesophageal lining and proventriculus) of the upper digestive tract and possess similar levels of fat and protein, as well as added carotenoids, antibodies and, in the case of pigeons and doves, epidermal growth factor. Parental care in avian species has been proposed to originate from dinosaurs. This study examines the possibility that some dinosaurs used secretory feeding to increase the rate of growth of their young, estimated to be similar to that of present day birds and mammals. Dinosaur 'lactation' could also have facilitated immune responses as well as extending parental protection as a result of feeding newly hatched young in nest environments. While the arguments for dinosaur lactation are somewhat generic, a case study for lactation in herbivorous site-nesting dinosaurs is presented. It is proposes that secretory feeding could have been used to bridge the gap between hatching and establishment of the normal diet in some dinosaurs.

  9. Dinosaur Impressions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taquet, Philippe

    1998-09-01

    Perhaps you are a paleontologist or have always wondered what it is like to be one. Or you are fascinated by fossils and like to read about the origins and natural history of dinosaurs. Or maybe you are an avid traveler and reader of travelogues. If you are any of these things, then this book is for you. Originally published in 1994 in French, Dinosaur Impressions is the engaging account of thirty years of travel and paleontological exploration by Philippe Taquet, one of the world's most noted paleontologists. Dr. Taquet takes the reader on a surprisingly far-flung tour ranging from the Provence countryside to the Niger desert, from the Brazilian bush to the Mongolian Steppes, and from the Laos jungle to the Moroccan mountains in search of dinosaur bones and what they have to tell us about a vanished world. With wry humor and lively anecdotes, Dr. Taquet retraces the history of paleontological research, along the way discussing the latest theories of dinosaur existence and extinction. Elegantly translated by Kevin Padian, Dinosaur Impressions provides a unique, thoughtful perspective not often encountered in American- and English-language works. This insightful, first-hand account of an exceptional career is also a travelogue par excellence that will enthrall enthusiasts and general readers alike. Philippe Taquet is the Director of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and is a member of the French Academy of Sciences. Kevin Padian is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Curator of the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the editor of The Beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs (Cambridge, 1986) and The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs (1997).

  10. Collective Memory and Blood Feud: The Case of Mountainous Crete

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aris Tsantiropoulos

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Drawing upon ethnographic data from mountainous central Crete, a feuding society up to the present moment, this article will focus on cases of retaliatory crimes where men avenge a relative who was killed before they were born. In these cases, what is interesting is that there do not seem to be any factors in the present to fuel the fire of a past animosity between the two kinship groups. Instead, these men seek revenge looking either for the murderer himself or for one of his male relatives in the places where they were forced to emigrate after the commitment of crime in order to avoid the perpetuation of violent actions. Reflecting upon crime in a feuding society as a ‘cultural trauma’ for the identity of the victim’s kinship group, and elaborating upon the ideas that Freud has exposed in his article ‘Mourning and Melancholia’, the ways by which a memory of a past crime triggers another crime are explored here.

  11. Film-Reinduced Tourism. The Hatfield-McCoy Feud Case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Betti

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In places like those of the Hatfield and McCoy feud, where blood, legend, myth and film-making have shaped images over the years, tourists come visiting with a state of mind that searches for answers to several sensorial stirrings, mostly visual. These stirrings reveal the desire to identify with the visited places, which change and palpitate like living beings.Parts of Southern Appalachia, where Ellen Churchill Semple went on a field research in the late 1890s, were the location of this feud. From then on these sites have been connected with their images. Representations of the feud that, according to their aims, have often highlighted the horror, the romance, the violence over and above the reality of the feud.Here touristic places and spaces have been established hand in hand with the creation of the myth, by telling and retelling the legend of a blood feud. Nowadays, also thanks to the contribution of the 2012 miniseries starring Kevin Costner, the Hatfield-McCoy feud is part of the folklore and known to every American. However, what visitors and tourists traveling to this area get to know are many myths and legends but only few actual facts. Yet these myths and legends, endorsed by the development of tourism, contribute to redefining the image that local residents have of their own territory.

  12. Dinosaur biomechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, R. McNeill

    2006-01-01

    Biomechanics has made large contributions to dinosaur biology. It has enabled us to estimate both the speeds at which dinosaurs generally moved and the maximum speeds of which they may have been capable. It has told us about the range of postures they could have adopted, for locomotion and for feeding, and about the problems of blood circulation in sauropods with very long necks. It has made it possible to calculate the bite forces of predators such as Tyrannosaurus, and the stresses they imposed on its skull; and to work out the remarkable chewing mechanism of hadrosaurs. It has shown us how some dinosaurs may have produced sounds. It has enabled us to estimate the effectiveness of weapons such as the tail spines of Stegosaurus. In recent years, techniques such as computational tomography and finite element analysis, and advances in computer modelling, have brought new opportunities. Biomechanists should, however, be especially cautious in their work on animals known only as fossils. The lack of living specimens and even soft tissues oblige us to make many assumptions. It is important to be aware of the often wide ranges of uncertainty that result. PMID:16822743

  13. Brushing up on Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisburd, Stefi

    1986-01-01

    Describes new methods of reconstruction of dinosaurs using skeletons, mummified skin, and muscle scars, along with clay and paint. Examines some inaccuracies in dinosaur's physical characteristics and behaviors suggested by recent findings. (TW)

  14. What's New, Dinosaur?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prime, Carol Spirkoff; Cox, Judy

    1987-01-01

    Activities and information relating to dinosaurs are presented, including: study of warm- and cold-blooded animals; research about recent dinosaur discoveries; track-making; studying and making fossils; and extinction theories. (CB)

  15. Mesozoic plants and dinosaur herbivory

    OpenAIRE

    Sander, P M; Gee, C T; Hummel, J; Clauss, Marcus

    2010-01-01

    For most of their existence, herbivorous dinosaurs fed on a gymnospermdominated flora. Starting from a simple reptilian herbivory, ornithischian dinosaurs evolved complex chewing dentitions and mechanisms, while sauropodomorph dinosaurs retained the primitive condition of not chewing. Some advanced theropod dinosaurs evolved a bird-type herbivory with a toothless beak and a gastric mill. Dinosaur digestive tract remains, coprolites, and other trace fossils offer little evidence for dinosaur f...

  16. New insights into dinosaur jaw muscle anatomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holliday, Casey M

    2009-09-01

    Jaw muscles are key components of the head and critical to testing hypotheses of soft-tissue homology, skull function, and evolution. Dinosaurs evolved an extraordinary diversity of cranial forms adapted to a variety of feeding behaviors. However, disparate evolutionary transformations in head shape and function among dinosaurs and their living relatives, birds and crocodylians, impair straightforward reconstructions of muscles, and other important cephalic soft tissues. This study presents the osteological correlates and inferred soft tissue anatomy of the jaw muscles and relevant neurovasculature in the temporal region of the dinosaur head. Hypotheses of jaw muscle homology were tested across a broad range archosaur and sauropsid taxa to more accurately infer muscle attachments in the adductor chambers of non-avian dinosaurs. Many dinosaurs likely possessed m. levator pterygoideus, a trait shared with lepidosaurs but not extant archosaurs. Several major clades of dinosaurs (e.g., Ornithopoda, Ceratopsidae, Sauropoda) eliminated the epipterygoid, thus impacting interpretations of m. pseudotemporalis profundus. M. pseudotemporalis superficialis most likely attached to the caudoventral surface of the laterosphenoid, a trait shared with extant archosaurs. Although mm. adductor mandibulae externus profundus and medialis likely attached to the caudal half of the dorsotemporal fossa and coronoid process, clear osteological correlates separating the individual bellies are rare. Most dinosaur clades possess osteological correlates indicative of a pterygoideus ventralis muscle that attaches to the lateral surface of the mandible, although the muscle may have extended as far as the jugal in some taxa (e.g., hadrosaurs, tyrannosaurs). The cranial and mandibular attachments of mm adductor mandibulae externus superficialis and adductor mandibulae posterior were consistent across all taxa studied. These new data greatly increase the interpretive resolution of head anatomy in

  17. Dinosaur Extinction, Early Childhood Style

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Mary; Valentine-Anand, Lesley

    2008-01-01

    Do dinosaurs have bellybuttons? This intriguing question launched a journey into inquiry science that captivated a class of four-year-olds for eight months. As students enjoyed dinosaur books, examined dinosaur artifacts, drew pictures, watched videos, and generally immersed themselves in all things dinosaur, the authors built a culture of…

  18. Dinosaur physiology. Evidence for mesothermy in dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grady, John M; Enquist, Brian J; Dettweiler-Robinson, Eva; Wright, Natalie A; Smith, Felisa A

    2014-06-13

    Were dinosaurs ectotherms or fast-metabolizing endotherms whose activities were unconstrained by temperature? To date, some of the strongest evidence for endothermy comes from the rapid growth rates derived from the analysis of fossil bones. However, these studies are constrained by a lack of comparative data and an appropriate energetic framework. Here we compile data on ontogenetic growth for extant and fossil vertebrates, including all major dinosaur clades. Using a metabolic scaling approach, we find that growth and metabolic rates follow theoretical predictions across clades, although some groups deviate. Moreover, when the effects of size and temperature are considered, dinosaur metabolic rates were intermediate to those of endotherms and ectotherms and closest to those of extant mesotherms. Our results suggest that the modern dichotomy of endothermic versus ectothermic is overly simplistic. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  19. Warm and Cool Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannlein, Sally

    2001-01-01

    Presents an art activity in which first grade students draw dinosaurs in order to learn about the concept of warm and cool colors. Explains how the activity also helped the students learn about the concept of distance when drawing. (CMK)

  20. Dinosaur Reproduction and Parenting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horner, John R.

    Non-avian dinosaur reproductive and parenting behaviors were mostly similar to those of extant archosaurs. Non-avian dinosaurs were probably sexually dimorphic and some may have engaged in hierarchical rituals. Non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodontidae, Oviraptorosauria) had two active oviducts, each of which produced single eggs on a daily or greater time scale. The eggs of non-coelurosaurian dinosaurs (e.g. Ornithischia, Sauropoda) were incubated in soils, whereas the eggs of non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodon, Oviraptor) were incubated with a combination of soil and direct parental contact. Parental attention to the young was variable, ranging from protection from predators to possible parental feeding of nest-bound hatchlings. Semi-altricial hadrosaur hatchlings exited their respective nests near the time of their first linear doubling. Some reproductive behaviors, once thought exclusive to Aves, arose first in non-avian dinosaurs. The success of the Dinosauria may be related to reproductive strategies.

  1. The evolution of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sereno, P C

    1999-06-25

    The ascendancy of dinosaurs on land near the close of the Triassic now appears to have been as accidental and opportunistic as their demise and replacement by therian mammals at the end of the Cretaceous. The dinosaurian radiation, launched by 1-meter-long bipeds, was slower in tempo and more restricted in adaptive scope than that of therian mammals. A notable exception was the evolution of birds from small-bodied predatory dinosaurs, which involved a dramatic decrease in body size. Recurring phylogenetic trends among dinosaurs include, to the contrary, increase in body size. There is no evidence for co-evolution between predators and prey or between herbivores and flowering plants. As the major land masses drifted apart, dinosaurian biogeography was molded more by regional extinction and intercontinental dispersal than by the breakup sequence of Pangaea.

  2. Cardiovascular Physiology of Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Roger S

    2016-11-01

    Cardiovascular function in dinosaurs can be inferred from fossil evidence with knowledge of how metabolic rate, blood flow rate, blood pressure, and heart size are related to body size in living animals. Skeletal stature and nutrient foramen size in fossil femora provide direct evidence of a high arterial blood pressure, a large four-chambered heart, a high aerobic metabolic rate, and intense locomotion. But was the heart of a huge, long-necked sauropod dinosaur able to pump blood up 9 m to its head? ©2016 Int. Union Physiol. Sci./Am. Physiol. Soc.

  3. A Child Centered Approach to Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strader, William H.; Rinker, Catherine A.

    1989-01-01

    Describes a curriculum for teaching young children about dinosaurs. Activity topics included Diplodocus eggs, sorting dinosaurs, creating terrariums, and extinction. Describes the incorporation of dinosaur activities into other subject areas and resource materials. (RJC)

  4. Tracking dinosaurs in Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil D.L. Clark

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Book review: Félix Pérez-Lorente 2015. Dinosaur Footprints and Trackways of La Rioja. 376 pp. Indiana University Press. Hardcover. ISBN: 978-0-253-01515-0. Price $85.00/£61.00; e-book $84.99.

  5. Kindergartners Love Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stollon, Marcy

    2005-01-01

    In this article, the author relates how she uses an art lesson that integrates art, language arts, and science in an enjoyable, creative project about dinosaurs in her kindergarten class. She relates how the children enjoy being illustrators and becoming familiar with well-known children's illustrators. She also relates that she starts her classes…

  6. Biomechanics of running indicates endothermy in bipedal dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontzer, Herman; Allen, Vivian; Hutchinson, John R

    2009-11-11

    One of the great unresolved controversies in paleobiology is whether extinct dinosaurs were endothermic, ectothermic, or some combination thereof, and when endothermy first evolved in the lineage leading to birds. Although it is well established that high, sustained growth rates and, presumably, high activity levels are ancestral for dinosaurs and pterosaurs (clade Ornithodira), other independent lines of evidence for high metabolic rates, locomotor costs, or endothermy are needed. For example, some studies have suggested that, because large dinosaurs may have been homeothermic due to their size alone and could have had heat loss problems, ectothermy would be a more plausible metabolic strategy for such animals. Here we describe two new biomechanical approaches for reconstructing the metabolic rate of 14 extinct bipedal dinosauriforms during walking and running. These methods, well validated for extant animals, indicate that during walking and slow running the metabolic rate of at least the larger extinct dinosaurs exceeded the maximum aerobic capabilities of modern ectotherms, falling instead within the range of modern birds and mammals. Estimated metabolic rates for smaller dinosaurs are more ambiguous, but generally approach or exceed the ectotherm boundary. Our results support the hypothesis that endothermy was widespread in at least larger non-avian dinosaurs. It was plausibly ancestral for all dinosauriforms (perhaps Ornithodira), but this is perhaps more strongly indicated by high growth rates than by locomotor costs. The polarity of the evolution of endothermy indicates that rapid growth, insulation, erect postures, and perhaps aerobic power predated advanced "avian" lung structure and high locomotor costs.

  7. Evolution of dinosaur epidermal structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Paul M; Evans, David C; Campione, Nicolás E

    2015-06-01

    Spectacularly preserved non-avian dinosaurs with integumentary filaments/feathers have revolutionized dinosaur studies and fostered the suggestion that the dinosaur common ancestor possessed complex integumentary structures homologous to feathers. This hypothesis has major implications for interpreting dinosaur biology, but has not been tested rigorously. Using a comprehensive database of dinosaur skin traces, we apply maximum-likelihood methods to reconstruct the phylogenetic distribution of epidermal structures and interpret their evolutionary history. Most of these analyses find no compelling evidence for the appearance of protofeathers in the dinosaur common ancestor and scales are usually recovered as the plesiomorphic state, but results are sensitive to the outgroup condition in pterosaurs. Rare occurrences of ornithischian filamentous integument might represent independent acquisitions of novel epidermal structures that are not homologous with theropod feathers. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  8. Dinosaur fossils predict body temperatures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James F Gillooly

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding dinosaurs concerns whether they were endotherms, ectotherms, or some unique intermediate form. Here we present a model that yields estimates of dinosaur body temperature based on ontogenetic growth trajectories obtained from fossil bones. The model predicts that dinosaur body temperatures increased with body mass from approximately 25 degrees C at 12 kg to approximately 41 degrees C at 13,000 kg. The model also successfully predicts observed increases in body temperature with body mass for extant crocodiles. These results provide direct evidence that dinosaurs were reptiles that exhibited inertial homeothermy.

  9. A dark day for dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Pete

    2015-11-01

    On average, 91 people are killed by asteroids each year. In her book Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, theoretical physicist Lisa Randall focuses on a novel question: how did a dinosaur-killing asteroid end up on its collision course with Earth in the first place?

  10. If You Were a Dinosaur...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashbrook, Peggy

    2010-01-01

    Dinosaurs are one of those science topics that draw children in and teach them about concepts like measuring and using descriptive language. Learning about dinosaurs, although not hands-on like observing and recording caterpillar growth, develops critical thinking and introduces animal diversity and the relations between body form and function.…

  11. Making Sense of Dinosaur Tracks

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKenzie, Ann Haley; McDowell, Brian

    2012-01-01

    What do paleontologists, dinosaur tracks, and the nature of science have in common? They're combined here in an inquiry activity where students use methods of observation and inference to devise evidence-based explanations for the data they collect about dinosaur tracks, much like the methods used by paleontologists. Students then debate the…

  12. Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fucheng; Kearns, Stuart L; Orr, Patrick J; Benton, Michael J; Zhou, Zhonghe; Johnson, Diane; Xu, Xing; Wang, Xiaolin

    2010-02-25

    Spectacular fossils from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China have greatly expanded our knowledge of the diversity and palaeobiology of dinosaurs and early birds, and contributed to our understanding of the origin of birds, of flight, and of feathers. Pennaceous (vaned) feathers and integumentary filaments are preserved in birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs, but little is known of their microstructure. Here we report that melanosomes (colour-bearing organelles) are not only preserved in the pennaceous feathers of early birds, but also in an identical manner in integumentary filaments of non-avian dinosaurs, thus refuting recent claims that the filaments are partially decayed dermal collagen fibres. Examples of both eumelanosomes and phaeomelanosomes have been identified, and they are often preserved in life position within the structure of partially degraded feathers and filaments. Furthermore, the data here provide empirical evidence for reconstructing the colours and colour patterning of these extinct birds and theropod dinosaurs: for example, the dark-coloured stripes on the tail of the theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx can reasonably be inferred to have exhibited chestnut to reddish-brown tones.

  13. Misty – museets nye dinosaur

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindow, Bent Erik Kramer

    2014-01-01

    I november 2013 fi k Statens Naturhistoriske Museum en 16 meter lang julegave – det meget velbevarede skelet af en langhalset dinosaur med kælenavnet ’Misty’. Købet af det enorme skelet var muligt takket være en meget generøs gave fra Det Obelske Familiefond. Denne artikel ser nærmere på Misty......, hvad man ved om langhalsede dinosaurer, og hendes fremtidige betydning for museets forskning og formidling....

  14. Counting dinosaurs: how many kinds were there?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodson, P

    1990-01-01

    Dinosaurs figure prominently in discussions of mass extinctions and evolutionary metrics, but their usefulness is hampered by archaic taxonomy, imprecise biostratigraphy, and imperfect preservation that bias our understanding of dinosaur diversity. A critical evaluation shows that of 540 genera and 800 species of dinosaurs proposed since 1824, 285 genera and 336 species are probably valid. Nearly half of all genera are based on a single specimen, and complete skulls and skeletons are known for only 20% of all dinosaurs. Dinosaurs are known from every continent. Countries with the greatest known diversity of dinosaurs are (in descending order) the United States, Mongolia, China, Canada, England, and Argentina; the greatest future increases may be expected from Argentina and China. Nearly half of all dinosaur genera are of latest Cretaceous age (Campanian or Maastrichtian). Estimates of the average duration of a dinosaur genus range from 5 million to 10.5 million years, with the most likely value about 7.7 million years. Dinosaurs evolved as rapidly as Cenozoic mammals. Global dinosaur diversity during the Campanian and Maastrichtian is estimated at 100 genera per stage, using a logistic model to estimate future discoveries. A model of increasing diversity and a bottleneck model compensate for the biasis in the preserved fossil record. The number of dinosaurs that have ever lived is estimated at 900-1200 genera. The fossil record of dinosaurs is presently about 25% complete. Dinosaurs disappeared in the Maastrichtian near the peak of their historic diversity. PMID:2217192

  15. The extinction of the dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Barrett, Paul M; Carrano, Matthew T; Evans, David C; Lloyd, Graeme T; Mannion, Philip D; Norell, Mark A; Peppe, Daniel J; Upchurch, Paul; Williamson, Thomas E

    2015-05-01

    Non-avian dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago, geologically coincident with the impact of a large bolide (comet or asteroid) during an interval of massive volcanic eruptions and changes in temperature and sea level. There has long been fervent debate about how these events affected dinosaurs. We review a wealth of new data accumulated over the past two decades, provide updated and novel analyses of long-term dinosaur diversity trends during the latest Cretaceous, and discuss an emerging consensus on the extinction's tempo and causes. Little support exists for a global, long-term decline across non-avian dinosaur diversity prior to their extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. However, restructuring of latest Cretaceous dinosaur faunas in North America led to reduced diversity of large-bodied herbivores, perhaps making communities more susceptible to cascading extinctions. The abruptness of the dinosaur extinction suggests a key role for the bolide impact, although the coarseness of the fossil record makes testing the effects of Deccan volcanism difficult. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  16. Biomechanics of running indicates endothermy in bipedal dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herman Pontzer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: One of the great unresolved controversies in paleobiology is whether extinct dinosaurs were endothermic, ectothermic, or some combination thereof, and when endothermy first evolved in the lineage leading to birds. Although it is well established that high, sustained growth rates and, presumably, high activity levels are ancestral for dinosaurs and pterosaurs (clade Ornithodira, other independent lines of evidence for high metabolic rates, locomotor costs, or endothermy are needed. For example, some studies have suggested that, because large dinosaurs may have been homeothermic due to their size alone and could have had heat loss problems, ectothermy would be a more plausible metabolic strategy for such animals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we describe two new biomechanical approaches for reconstructing the metabolic rate of 14 extinct bipedal dinosauriforms during walking and running. These methods, well validated for extant animals, indicate that during walking and slow running the metabolic rate of at least the larger extinct dinosaurs exceeded the maximum aerobic capabilities of modern ectotherms, falling instead within the range of modern birds and mammals. Estimated metabolic rates for smaller dinosaurs are more ambiguous, but generally approach or exceed the ectotherm boundary. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results support the hypothesis that endothermy was widespread in at least larger non-avian dinosaurs. It was plausibly ancestral for all dinosauriforms (perhaps Ornithodira, but this is perhaps more strongly indicated by high growth rates than by locomotor costs. The polarity of the evolution of endothermy indicates that rapid growth, insulation, erect postures, and perhaps aerobic power predated advanced "avian" lung structure and high locomotor costs.

  17. Evolution: When Dinosaurs Bested Their Early Rivals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L

    2016-11-21

    A sublime fossil discovery in Brazil shows that dinosaurs and their immediate evolutionary precursors lived together for tens of millions of years before dinosaurs ultimately rose to the top. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The history of dinosaur footprint discoveries in Wyoming with emphasis on the Bighorn Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvale, Erik P.; Mickelson, Debra L.; Hasiotis, Stephen T; Johnson, Gary D.

    2003-01-01

    Dinosaur traces are well known from the western United States in the Colorado Plateau region (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona). Utah contains the greatest abundance of known and documented dinosaur footprints and trackways. Far less well known, however, is the occurrence and distribution of dinosaur footprint-bearing horizons in Wyoming. Scientific studies over the past 10 years have shown that three of the four Middle and Upper Jurassic formations in northern Wyoming contain dinosaur footprints. Two of the footprint-bearing horizons are located in geologic intervals that were once thought to have been deposited in offshore to nearshore marine settings and represent rare North American examples of Middle Jurassic (Bajocian and Bathonian) dinosaur remains. Some of these new Wyoming sites can be correlated to known dinosaur footprint-bearing horizons or intervals in Utah. Wyoming has a great potential for additional discoveries of new dinosaur footprint-bearing horizons, and further prospecting and study is warranted and will ultimately lead to a much better understanding of the geographic distribution and behavior of the potential footprint-makers.

  19. Dinosaurs of India: Dead but Alive

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Table of contents. Dinosaurs of India: Dead but Alive · Fossils · Evolution and O2 PAL · The Science in Dinosaurs · Origin/ Extinction of Dinosaurs · PowerPoint Presentation · India –94my + 50my · Icehouse /Greenhouse through time · Global Mean Annual Temperature Distributions at 100 my · Global Mean Annual ...

  20. Comment on "Evidence for mesothermy in dinosaurs".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myhrvold, Nathan P

    2015-05-29

    Grady et al. (Reports, 13 June 2014, p. 1268) studied dinosaur metabolism by comparison of maximum somatic growth rate allometry with groups of known metabolism. They concluded that dinosaurs exhibited mesothermy, a metabolic rate intermediate between endothermy and ectothermy. Multiple statistical and methodological issues call into question the evidence for dinosaur mesothermy. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. The Development of a Virtual Dinosaur Museum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarng, Wernhuar; Liou, Hsin-Hun

    2007-01-01

    The objective of this article is to study the network and virtual reality technologies for developing a virtual dinosaur museum, which provides a Web-learning environment for students of all ages and the general public to know more about dinosaurs. We first investigate the method for building the 3D dynamic models of dinosaurs, and then describe…

  2. Simulating Dinosaur Digestion in the Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peczkis, Jan

    1992-01-01

    Describes an activity for use with a chapter on dinosaurs, prehistoric life, or digestion in which children make simulated dinosaur stomachs to gain hands-on experience about the theory of gastroliths, or stomach stones. Presents teacher information about the digestive processes in birds and dinosaurs. Discusses materials needed, objectives,…

  3. A new hypothesis of dinosaur relationships and early dinosaur evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Matthew G; Norman, David B; Barrett, Paul M

    2017-03-22

    For 130 years, dinosaurs have been divided into two distinct clades-Ornithischia and Saurischia. Here we present a hypothesis for the phylogenetic relationships of the major dinosaurian groups that challenges the current consensus concerning early dinosaur evolution and highlights problematic aspects of current cladistic definitions. Our study has found a sister-group relationship between Ornithischia and Theropoda (united in the new clade Ornithoscelida), with Sauropodomorpha and Herrerasauridae (as the redefined Saurischia) forming its monophyletic outgroup. This new tree topology requires redefinition and rediagnosis of Dinosauria and the subsidiary dinosaurian clades. In addition, it forces re-evaluations of early dinosaur cladogenesis and character evolution, suggests that hypercarnivory was acquired independently in herrerasaurids and theropods, and offers an explanation for many of the anatomical features previously regarded as notable convergences between theropods and early ornithischians.

  4. First dinosaurs from Saudi Arabia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin P Kear

    Full Text Available Dinosaur remains from the Arabian subcontinent are exceedingly rare, and those that have been documented manifest indeterminate affinities. Consequently the discovery of a small, but diagnostic, accumulation of elements from Campanian-Maastrichtian (~ 75 Ma deposits in northwestern Saudi Arabia is significant because it constitutes the first taxonomically identifiable dinosaur material described from the Arabian Peninsula. The fossils include a series of possible lithostrotian titanosaur caudal vertebrae, and some isolated theropod marginal teeth that share unique character states and metric parameters (analyzed using multivariate statistical methods with derived abelisaurids - this is the first justifiable example of a non-avian carnivorous dinosaur clade from Arabia. The recognition of titanosaurians and abelisaurids from Saudi Arabia extends the palaeogeographical range of these groups along the entire northern Gondwanan margin during the latest Cretaceous. Moreover, given the extreme paucity of coeval occurrences elsewhere, the Saudi Arabian fossils provide a tantalizing glimpse into dinosaurian assemblage diversity within the region.

  5. Feeding height stratification among the herbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Herbivore coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has been a topic of great interest, stemming from the paradoxically high diversity and biomass of these animals in relation to the relatively small landmass available to them. Various hypotheses have been advanced to account for these facts, of which niche partitioning is among the most frequently invoked. However, despite its wide acceptance, this hypothesis has not been rigorously tested. This study uses the fossil assemblage from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta as a model to investigate whether niche partitioning facilitated herbivorous dinosaur coexistence on Laramidia. Specifically, the question of feeding height stratification is examined in light of the role it plays in facilitating modern ungulate coexistence. Results Most herbivorous dinosaur species from the Dinosaur Park Formation were restricted to feeding no higher than approximately 1 m above the ground. There is minimal evidence for feeding height partitioning at this level, with ceratopsids capable of feeding slightly higher than ankylosaurs, but the ecological significance of this is ambiguous. Hadrosaurids were uniquely capable of feeding up to 2 m quadrupedally, or up to 5 m bipedally. There is no evidence for either feeding height stratification within any of these clades, or for change in these ecological relationships through the approximately 1.5 Ma record of the Dinosaur Park Formation. Conclusions Although we cannot reject the possibility, we find no good evidence that feeding height stratification, as revealed by reconstructed maximum feeding heights, played an important role in facilitating niche partitioning among the herbivorous dinosaurs of Laramidia. Most browsing pressure was concentrated in the herb layer, although hadrosaurids were capable of reaching shrubs and low-growing trees that were out of reach from ceratopsids, ankylosaurs, and other small herbivores, effectively dividing the

  6. Feeding height stratification among the herbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, Jordan C; Evans, David C; Ryan, Michael J; Anderson, Jason S

    2013-04-04

    Herbivore coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has been a topic of great interest, stemming from the paradoxically high diversity and biomass of these animals in relation to the relatively small landmass available to them. Various hypotheses have been advanced to account for these facts, of which niche partitioning is among the most frequently invoked. However, despite its wide acceptance, this hypothesis has not been rigorously tested. This study uses the fossil assemblage from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta as a model to investigate whether niche partitioning facilitated herbivorous dinosaur coexistence on Laramidia. Specifically, the question of feeding height stratification is examined in light of the role it plays in facilitating modern ungulate coexistence. Most herbivorous dinosaur species from the Dinosaur Park Formation were restricted to feeding no higher than approximately 1 m above the ground. There is minimal evidence for feeding height partitioning at this level, with ceratopsids capable of feeding slightly higher than ankylosaurs, but the ecological significance of this is ambiguous. Hadrosaurids were uniquely capable of feeding up to 2 m quadrupedally, or up to 5 m bipedally. There is no evidence for either feeding height stratification within any of these clades, or for change in these ecological relationships through the approximately 1.5 Ma record of the Dinosaur Park Formation. Although we cannot reject the possibility, we find no good evidence that feeding height stratification, as revealed by reconstructed maximum feeding heights, played an important role in facilitating niche partitioning among the herbivorous dinosaurs of Laramidia. Most browsing pressure was concentrated in the herb layer, although hadrosaurids were capable of reaching shrubs and low-growing trees that were out of reach from ceratopsids, ankylosaurs, and other small herbivores, effectively dividing the herbivores in terms of relative

  7. Allometry in dinosaurs and mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-03-01

    The proportions of the leg bones change as the size of an animal becomes larger since the mass of the animal increases at a faster rate than the cross-sectional area of its leg bones. For the case of elastic similarity (in which the longitudinal stress in the legs remains constant in animals of all sizes), the diameter d and length L of the femur should be related as d = A L3/2. For geometric similarity (in which all dimensions are scaled by the same factor), d = A L. For animals with femora longer than 20 cm, we find the power law relationship to be d = A Lb with b = 1.13 +/- 0.06 for extant mammals (the largest mammal being Loxodonta africana with a 1.00-m-long femur) and b = 1.18 +/- 0.02 for dinosaurs (the largest dinosaur being Brachiosaurus brancai with a 2.03-m-long femur). These data show that extinct dinosaurs and extant animals scale in the same basic manner. The large sauropods (with femora twice as long as found in elephants) scale in a manner consistent with extrapolation of the scaling shown by extant mammals. These results argue that extinct dinosaurs moved in a manner very similar to extant mammals.

  8. The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fastovsky, David E.; Weishampel, David B.

    2005-02-01

    Written for non-specialists, this detailed survey of dinosaur origins, diversity, and extinction is designed as a series of successive essays covering important and timely topics in dinosaur paleobiology, such as "warm-bloodedness," birds as living dinosaurs, the new, non-flying feathered dinosaurs, dinosaur functional morphology, and cladistic methods in systematics. Its explicitly phylogenetic approach to the group is that taken by dinosaur specialists. The book is not an edited compilation of the works of many individuals, but a unique, cohesive perspective on Dinosauria. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of new, specially commissioned illustrations by John Sibbick, world-famous illustrator of dinosaurs, the volume includes multi-page drawings as well as sketches and diagrams. First edition Hb (1996): 0-521-44496-9 David E. Fastovsky is Professor of Geosciences at the University of Rhode Island. Fastovsky, the author of numerous scientific publications dealing with Mesozoic vertebrate faunas and their ancient environments, is also scientific co-Editor of Geology. He has undertaken extensive fieldwork studying dinosaurs and their environments in Montana, North Dakota, Arizona, Mexico, and Mongolia. David B. Weishampel is a professor at the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution at Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. Weishampel is best known for discovering, researching, and naming several rare European dinosaur species. During the 1980s Weishampel gained fame for his work with American paleontologist Jack Horner and later named the famous plant-eating, egg-laying Orodromeus, Horner. Now, a decade after his pioneering studies with Horner, Weishampel is most widely known for his current work on the Romanian dinosaur fauna. He is the author and co-author of many titles, including The Dinosaur Papers, 1676-1906 (Norton, 2003); The Dinosauria, (University of California, 1990); and Dinosaurs of the East Coast, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

  9. Body size distribution of the dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eoin J O'Gorman

    Full Text Available The distribution of species body size is critically important for determining resource use within a group or clade. It is widely known that non-avian dinosaurs were the largest creatures to roam the Earth. There is, however, little understanding of how maximum species body size was distributed among the dinosaurs. Do they share a similar distribution to modern day vertebrate groups in spite of their large size, or did they exhibit fundamentally different distributions due to unique evolutionary pressures and adaptations? Here, we address this question by comparing the distribution of maximum species body size for dinosaurs to an extensive set of extant and extinct vertebrate groups. We also examine the body size distribution of dinosaurs by various sub-groups, time periods and formations. We find that dinosaurs exhibit a strong skew towards larger species, in direct contrast to modern day vertebrates. This pattern is not solely an artefact of bias in the fossil record, as demonstrated by contrasting distributions in two major extinct groups and supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs exhibited a fundamentally different life history strategy to other terrestrial vertebrates. A disparity in the size distribution of the herbivorous Ornithischia and Sauropodomorpha and the largely carnivorous Theropoda suggests that this pattern may have been a product of a divergence in evolutionary strategies: herbivorous dinosaurs rapidly evolved large size to escape predation by carnivores and maximise digestive efficiency; carnivores had sufficient resources among juvenile dinosaurs and non-dinosaurian prey to achieve optimal success at smaller body size.

  10. Body size distribution of the dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Gorman, Eoin J; Hone, David W E

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of species body size is critically important for determining resource use within a group or clade. It is widely known that non-avian dinosaurs were the largest creatures to roam the Earth. There is, however, little understanding of how maximum species body size was distributed among the dinosaurs. Do they share a similar distribution to modern day vertebrate groups in spite of their large size, or did they exhibit fundamentally different distributions due to unique evolutionary pressures and adaptations? Here, we address this question by comparing the distribution of maximum species body size for dinosaurs to an extensive set of extant and extinct vertebrate groups. We also examine the body size distribution of dinosaurs by various sub-groups, time periods and formations. We find that dinosaurs exhibit a strong skew towards larger species, in direct contrast to modern day vertebrates. This pattern is not solely an artefact of bias in the fossil record, as demonstrated by contrasting distributions in two major extinct groups and supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs exhibited a fundamentally different life history strategy to other terrestrial vertebrates. A disparity in the size distribution of the herbivorous Ornithischia and Sauropodomorpha and the largely carnivorous Theropoda suggests that this pattern may have been a product of a divergence in evolutionary strategies: herbivorous dinosaurs rapidly evolved large size to escape predation by carnivores and maximise digestive efficiency; carnivores had sufficient resources among juvenile dinosaurs and non-dinosaurian prey to achieve optimal success at smaller body size.

  11. Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T; Davis, Katie E; Pisani, Davide; Tarver, James E; Ruta, Marcello; Sakamoto, Manabu; Hone, David W.E; Jennings, Rachel; Benton, Michael J

    2008-01-01

    The observed diversity of dinosaurs reached its highest peak during the mid- and Late Cretaceous, the 50 Myr that preceded their extinction, and yet this explosion of dinosaur diversity may be explained largely by sampling bias. It has long been debated whether dinosaurs were part of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (KTR), from 125–80 Myr ago, when flowering plants, herbivorous and social insects, squamates, birds and mammals all underwent a rapid expansion. Although an apparent explosion of dinosaur diversity occurred in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the emergence of new groups (e.g. neoceratopsians, ankylosaurid ankylosaurs, hadrosaurids and pachycephalosaurs), results from the first quantitative study of diversification applied to a new supertree of dinosaurs show that this apparent burst in dinosaurian diversity in the last 18 Myr of the Cretaceous is a sampling artefact. Indeed, major diversification shifts occurred largely in the first one-third of the group's history. Despite the appearance of new clades of medium to large herbivores and carnivores later in dinosaur history, these new originations do not correspond to significant diversification shifts. Instead, the overall geometry of the Cretaceous part of the dinosaur tree does not depart from the null hypothesis of an equal rates model of lineage branching. Furthermore, we conclude that dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the KTR. PMID:18647715

  12. Body Size Distribution of the Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Gorman, Eoin J.; Hone, David W. E.

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of species body size is critically important for determining resource use within a group or clade. It is widely known that non-avian dinosaurs were the largest creatures to roam the Earth. There is, however, little understanding of how maximum species body size was distributed among the dinosaurs. Do they share a similar distribution to modern day vertebrate groups in spite of their large size, or did they exhibit fundamentally different distributions due to unique evolutionary pressures and adaptations? Here, we address this question by comparing the distribution of maximum species body size for dinosaurs to an extensive set of extant and extinct vertebrate groups. We also examine the body size distribution of dinosaurs by various sub-groups, time periods and formations. We find that dinosaurs exhibit a strong skew towards larger species, in direct contrast to modern day vertebrates. This pattern is not solely an artefact of bias in the fossil record, as demonstrated by contrasting distributions in two major extinct groups and supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs exhibited a fundamentally different life history strategy to other terrestrial vertebrates. A disparity in the size distribution of the herbivorous Ornithischia and Sauropodomorpha and the largely carnivorous Theropoda suggests that this pattern may have been a product of a divergence in evolutionary strategies: herbivorous dinosaurs rapidly evolved large size to escape predation by carnivores and maximise digestive efficiency; carnivores had sufficient resources among juvenile dinosaurs and non-dinosaurian prey to achieve optimal success at smaller body size. PMID:23284818

  13. The precise temporal calibration of dinosaur origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsicano, Claudia A; Irmis, Randall B; Mancuso, Adriana C; Mundil, Roland; Chemale, Farid

    2016-01-19

    Dinosaurs have been major components of ecosystems for over 200 million years. Although different macroevolutionary scenarios exist to explain the Triassic origin and subsequent rise to dominance of dinosaurs and their closest relatives (dinosauromorphs), all lack critical support from a precise biostratigraphically independent temporal framework. The absence of robust geochronologic age control for comparing alternative scenarios makes it impossible to determine if observed faunal differences vary across time, space, or a combination of both. To better constrain the origin of dinosaurs, we produced radioisotopic ages for the Argentinian Chañares Formation, which preserves a quintessential assemblage of dinosaurian precursors (early dinosauromorphs) just before the first dinosaurs. Our new high-precision chemical abrasion thermal ionization mass spectrometry (CA-TIMS) U-Pb zircon ages reveal that the assemblage is early Carnian (early Late Triassic), 5- to 10-Ma younger than previously thought. Combined with other geochronologic data from the same basin, we constrain the rate of dinosaur origins, demonstrating their relatively rapid origin in a less than 5-Ma interval, thus halving the temporal gap between assemblages containing only dinosaur precursors and those with early dinosaurs. After their origin, dinosaurs only gradually dominated mid- to high-latitude terrestrial ecosystems millions of years later, closer to the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

  14. Dinosaur Metabolism and the Allometry of Maximum Growth Rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myhrvold, Nathan P

    2016-01-01

    The allometry of maximum somatic growth rate has been used in prior studies to classify the metabolic state of both extant vertebrates and dinosaurs. The most recent such studies are reviewed, and their data is reanalyzed. The results of allometric regressions on growth rate are shown to depend on the choice of independent variable; the typical choice used in prior studies introduces a geometric shear transformation that exaggerates the statistical power of the regressions. The maximum growth rates of extant groups are found to have a great deal of overlap, including between groups with endothermic and ectothermic metabolism. Dinosaur growth rates show similar overlap, matching the rates found for mammals, reptiles and fish. The allometric scaling of growth rate with mass is found to have curvature (on a log-log scale) for many groups, contradicting the prevailing view that growth rate allometry follows a simple power law. Reanalysis shows that no correlation between growth rate and basal metabolic rate (BMR) has been demonstrated. These findings drive a conclusion that growth rate allometry studies to date cannot be used to determine dinosaur metabolism as has been previously argued.

  15. Dinosaur Metabolism and the Allometry of Maximum Growth Rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myhrvold, Nathan P.

    2016-01-01

    The allometry of maximum somatic growth rate has been used in prior studies to classify the metabolic state of both extant vertebrates and dinosaurs. The most recent such studies are reviewed, and their data is reanalyzed. The results of allometric regressions on growth rate are shown to depend on the choice of independent variable; the typical choice used in prior studies introduces a geometric shear transformation that exaggerates the statistical power of the regressions. The maximum growth rates of extant groups are found to have a great deal of overlap, including between groups with endothermic and ectothermic metabolism. Dinosaur growth rates show similar overlap, matching the rates found for mammals, reptiles and fish. The allometric scaling of growth rate with mass is found to have curvature (on a log-log scale) for many groups, contradicting the prevailing view that growth rate allometry follows a simple power law. Reanalysis shows that no correlation between growth rate and basal metabolic rate (BMR) has been demonstrated. These findings drive a conclusion that growth rate allometry studies to date cannot be used to determine dinosaur metabolism as has been previously argued. PMID:27828977

  16. Consumption of crustaceans by megaherbivorous dinosaurs: dietary flexibility and dinosaur life history strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Chin, Karen; Feldmann, Rodney M.; Tashman, Jessica N.

    2017-01-01

    Large plant-eating dinosaurs are usually presumed to have been strictly herbivorous, because their derived teeth and jaws were capable of processing fibrous plant foods. This inferred feeding behavior offers a generalized view of dinosaur food habits, but rare direct fossil evidence of diet provides more nuanced insights into feeding behavior. Here we describe fossilized feces (coprolites) that demonstrate recurring consumption of crustaceans and rotted wood by large Late Cretaceous dinosaurs...

  17. Did You Know? New Data on Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverberg, Robert

    1981-01-01

    New information reveals that dinosaurs have a pelvic structure similar to that of animals that walk upright. Science teachers should remember that theories and assumptions are always provisional and tentative. (JN)

  18. Dinosaurs in the year of Darwin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodson, Peter

    2009-09-01

    This special issue of The Anatomical Record explores the recent advances in the functional morphology and paleobiology of dinosaurs. Although Darwin did not study dinosaurs because paleontology was in its infancy a century and half ago, he considered both paleontology and anatomy as essential subjects for establishing the validity of evolution. The study of dinosaurs constitutes a vigorous subdiscipline within vertebrate paleontology, and anatomists and evolutionary functional morphologists constitute an especially creative subgroup within dinosaur paleontology. The collection of 17 papers presented in this issue encompass cranial anatomy, postcranial anatomy, and paleobiology of dinosaurs and other archosaurs. Soft tissue subjects include studies of brain structure, jaw adductor muscles, and keratinous appendages of the skull. Taxonomically, it includes four papers with a focus on theropods, including Tyrannosaurus, five papers dealing with ceratopsians, three papers on hadrosaurs, and one on ankylosaurs. Modern anatomical techniques such as CT scanning, finite element analysis, and high resolution histology are emphasized. The visual presentation of results of these studies is spectacular. Results include the first-ever life history table of a plant-eating dinosaur; a determination of the head orientation of Tyrannosaurus and its relatives based on interpretation of the semicircular canals. The claws of Velociraptor appear to best adapted for tree climbing, but not for horrific predatory activities. Pachyrhinosaurus evidently used its massive head for head butting. The tail club of the armored dinosaur Euoplocephalus had the structural integrity to be used as a weapon. The pages abound with insights such as these. Dinosaurs once dead for millions of years live again! (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Comment on "Evidence for mesothermy in dinosaurs".

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Emic, M D

    2015-05-29

    Grady et al. (Reports, 13 June 2014, p. 1268) suggested that nonavian dinosaur metabolism was neither endothermic nor ectothermic but an intermediate physiology termed "mesothermic." However, rates were improperly scaled and phylogenetic, physiological, and temporal categories of animals were conflated during analyses. Accounting for these issues suggests that nonavian dinosaurs were on average as endothermic as extant placental mammals. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Body Size Distribution of the Dinosaurs

    OpenAIRE

    O?Gorman, Eoin J.; Hone, David W. E.

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of species body size is critically important for determining resource use within a group or clade. It is widely known that non-avian dinosaurs were the largest creatures to roam the Earth. There is, however, little understanding of how maximum species body size was distributed among the dinosaurs. Do they share a similar distribution to modern day vertebrate groups in spite of their large size, or did they exhibit fundamentally different distributions due to unique evolutiona...

  1. Dinosaur extinction: closing the '3 m gap'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bercovici, Antoine; Chester, Stephen G B; Sargis, Eric J; Pearson, Dean; Joyce, Walter G

    2011-12-23

    Modern debate regarding the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs was ignited by the publication of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) asteroid impact theory and has seen 30 years of dispute over the position of the stratigraphically youngest in situ dinosaur. A zone devoid of dinosaur fossils reported from the last 3 m of the Upper Cretaceous, coined the '3 m gap', has helped drive controversy. Here, we report the discovery of the stratigraphically youngest in situ dinosaur specimen: a ceratopsian brow horn found in a poorly rooted, silty, mudstone floodplain deposit located no more than 13 cm below the palynologically defined boundary. The K-T boundary is identified using three criteria: (i) decrease in Cretaceous palynomorphs without subsequent recovery, (ii) the existence of a 'fern spike', and (iii) correlation to a nearby stratigraphic section where primary extraterrestrial impact markers are present (e.g. iridium anomaly, spherules, shocked quartz). The in situ specimen demonstrates that a gap devoid of non-avian dinosaur fossils does not exist and is inconsistent with the hypothesis that non-avian dinosaurs were extinct prior to the K-T boundary impact event.

  2. Dinosaur evolution. A Jurassic ornithischian dinosaur from Siberia with both feathers and scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godefroit, Pascal; Sinitsa, Sofia M; Dhouailly, Danielle; Bolotsky, Yuri L; Sizov, Alexander V; McNamara, Maria E; Benton, Michael J; Spagna, Paul

    2014-07-25

    Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous deposits from northeastern China have yielded varied theropod dinosaurs bearing feathers. Filamentous integumentary structures have also been described in ornithischian dinosaurs, but whether these filaments can be regarded as part of the evolutionary lineage toward feathers remains controversial. Here we describe a new basal neornithischian dinosaur from the Jurassic of Siberia with small scales around the distal hindlimb, larger imbricated scales around the tail, monofilaments around the head and the thorax, and more complex featherlike structures around the humerus, the femur, and the tibia. The discovery of these branched integumentary structures outside theropods suggests that featherlike structures coexisted with scales and were potentially widespread among the entire dinosaur clade; feathers may thus have been present in the earliest dinosaurs. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  3. Dinosaur energetics: setting the bounds on feasible physiologies and ecologies

    OpenAIRE

    Clarke, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    The metabolic status of dinosaurs has long been debated but remains unresolved as no consistent picture has emerged from a range of anatomical and isotopic evidence. Quantitative analysis of dinosaur energetics, based on general principles applicable to all vertebrates, shows that many features of dinosaur lifestyle are compatible with a physiology similar to that of extant lizards, scaled up to dinosaur body masses and temperatures. The analysis suggests that sufficient metabolic scope would...

  4. Nonplantigrade Foot Posture: A Constraint on Dinosaur Body Size

    OpenAIRE

    Kubo, Tai; Kubo, Mugino O.

    2016-01-01

    Dinosaurs had functionally digitigrade or sub-unguligrade foot postures. With their immediate ancestors, dinosaurs were the only terrestrial nonplantigrades during the Mesozoic. Extant terrestrial mammals have different optimal body sizes according to their foot posture (plantigrade, digitigrade, and unguligrade), yet the relationship of nonplantigrade foot posture with dinosaur body size has never been investigated, even though the body size of dinosaurs has been studied intensively. Accordi...

  5. Luis Alvarez, the Hydrogen Bubble Chamber, Tritium, and Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinosaurs Resources with Additional Information * Patents Luis Alvarez Courtesy Lawrence Berkeley National JFK Assassination, and the End of the Dinosaurs Memorial Tribute for Luis W. Alvarez The Fruitful and Luis Alvarez (1911 - 1988) Why Dinosaurs Are Extinct Berkeley Scientists Report First Evidence that

  6. All about Dinosaurs. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000

    Dinosaurs were the rulers of the land 65 million years ago. In this videotape, children learn more about the different kinds of dinosaurs by viewing vivid illustrations and fossil discoveries. Students compare the dinosaurs to their modern kin--snakes, lizards, and crocodiles. Students also listen to different theories to try to answer the big…

  7. Polar and K/Pg nonavian dinosaurs were low-metabolic rate reptiles vulnerable to cold-induced extinction, rather than more survivable tachyenergetic bird relatives: comment on an obsolete hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Gregory

    2017-06-01

    The great majority of researchers concur that the presence of dinosaurs near the poles of their time are part of a large body of evidence that all Cretaceous dinosaurs had elevated metabolic rates more like their avian subbranch and mammals than low-energy reptiles. Yet a few still propose that nonavian dinosaurs were bradyenergetic ectothermic reptiles, and migrated away from the polar winters. The latter is not biologically possible because land animals cannot and never undertake very long seasonal migrations because the cost of ground locomotion is too high even for long limbed, tachyenergetic mammals to do so, much less low-energy reptiles. Nor was it geographically possible because marine barriers barred some polar dinosaurs from moving towards the winter sun. The presence of external insulation on some dinosaurs both strongly supports their being tachyenergetic endotherms and helps explain their ability to survive polar winters that included extended dark, chilling rains, sharp frosts, and blizzards so antagonistic to reptiles that the latter are absent from some locations that preserve dinosaurs including birds and mammals. The hypothesis that nonavian dinosaurs failed to survive the K/Pg crisis because they had reptilian energetics is illogical not only because they did not have such metabolisms, but because many low-energy reptiles did survive the crisis. The global super chill that apparently plagued K/Pg dinosaurs should have seriously impacted dinosaurs at all latitudes, but does not entirely readily explain their loss because some avian dinosaurs and other land tetrapods did survive. High- as well as low-latitude dinosaurs add to the growing evidence that high-energy endothermy has been a common adaptation in a wide variety of vertebrates and flying insects since the late Paleozoic.

  8. Biomechanical comments about Triassic dinosaurs from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Delcourt

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Triassic dinosaurs of Brazil are found in Santa Maria and Caturrita formations, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. There are three species known from the Santa Maria Formation (Staurikosaurus pricei, Saturnalia tupiniquim and Pampadromaeus barberenai, and two from Caturrita Formation (Guaibasaurus candelariensis and Unaysaurus tolentinoi. These dinosaur materials are, for the most part, well preserved and allow for descriptions of musculature and biomechanical studies. The lateral rotation of the Saturnalia femur is corroborated through calculations of muscle moment arms. The enhanced supracetabular crest of Saturnalia, Guaibasaurus, Staurikosaurus, Herrerasaurus ischigualastensis, Efraasia minor and Chormogisaurus novasi suggests that basal dinosaurs may have maintained an inclination of the trunk at least 20º on the horizontal axis. The pectoral girdle articulation of basal sauropodomorphs (Saturnalia and Unaysaurus was established using a new method, the Clavicular Ring, and the scapular blade remains near 60º on the horizontal axis. This is a plesiomorphic condition among sauropodomorphs and is also seen in the articulated plateosauridae Seitaad ruessi. The Brazilian basal dinosaurs were lightweight with a body mass estimated around 18.5 kg for Staurikosaurus, 6.5 kg for Saturnalia, and 17 kg for Guaibasaurus. Pampadromaeus probably weighed 2.5 kg, but measures of its femur are necessary to confirm this hypothesis. The Triassic dinosaurs from Brazil were diversified but shared some functional aspects that were important in an evolutionary context.

  9. Forearm posture and mobility in quadrupedal dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanBuren, Collin S; Bonnan, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    Quadrupedality evolved four independent times in dinosaurs; however, the constraints associated with these transitions in limb anatomy and function remain poorly understood, in particular the evolution of forearm posture and rotational ability (i.e., active pronation and supination). Results of previous qualitative studies are inconsistent, likely due to an inability to quantitatively assess the likelihood of their conclusions. We attempt to quantify antebrachial posture and mobility using the radius bone because its morphology is distinct between extant sprawled taxa with a limited active pronation ability and parasagittal taxa that have an enhanced ability to actively pronate the manus. We used a sliding semi-landmark, outline-based geometric morphometric approach of the proximal radial head and a measurement of the angle of curvature of the radius in a sample of 189 mammals, 49 dinosaurs, 35 squamates, 16 birds, and 5 crocodilians. Our results of radial head morphology showed that quadrupedal ceratopsians, bipedal non-hadrosaurid ornithopods, and theropods had limited pronation/supination ability, and sauropodomorphs have unique radial head morphology that likely allowed limited rotational ability. However, the curvature of the radius showed that no dinosaurian clade had the ability to cross the radius about the ulna, suggesting parallel antebrachial elements for all quadrupedal dinosaurs. We conclude that the bipedal origins of all quadrupedal dinosaur clades could have allowed for greater disparity in forelimb posture than previously appreciated, and future studies on dinosaur posture should not limit their classifications to the overly simplistic extant dichotomy.

  10. Forearm posture and mobility in quadrupedal dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collin S VanBuren

    Full Text Available Quadrupedality evolved four independent times in dinosaurs; however, the constraints associated with these transitions in limb anatomy and function remain poorly understood, in particular the evolution of forearm posture and rotational ability (i.e., active pronation and supination. Results of previous qualitative studies are inconsistent, likely due to an inability to quantitatively assess the likelihood of their conclusions. We attempt to quantify antebrachial posture and mobility using the radius bone because its morphology is distinct between extant sprawled taxa with a limited active pronation ability and parasagittal taxa that have an enhanced ability to actively pronate the manus. We used a sliding semi-landmark, outline-based geometric morphometric approach of the proximal radial head and a measurement of the angle of curvature of the radius in a sample of 189 mammals, 49 dinosaurs, 35 squamates, 16 birds, and 5 crocodilians. Our results of radial head morphology showed that quadrupedal ceratopsians, bipedal non-hadrosaurid ornithopods, and theropods had limited pronation/supination ability, and sauropodomorphs have unique radial head morphology that likely allowed limited rotational ability. However, the curvature of the radius showed that no dinosaurian clade had the ability to cross the radius about the ulna, suggesting parallel antebrachial elements for all quadrupedal dinosaurs. We conclude that the bipedal origins of all quadrupedal dinosaur clades could have allowed for greater disparity in forelimb posture than previously appreciated, and future studies on dinosaur posture should not limit their classifications to the overly simplistic extant dichotomy.

  11. Rates of dinosaur body mass evolution indicate 170 million years of sustained ecological innovation on the avian stem lineage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger B J Benson

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Large-scale adaptive radiations might explain the runaway success of a minority of extant vertebrate clades. This hypothesis predicts, among other things, rapid rates of morphological evolution during the early history of major groups, as lineages invade disparate ecological niches. However, few studies of adaptive radiation have included deep time data, so the links between extant diversity and major extinct radiations are unclear. The intensively studied Mesozoic dinosaur record provides a model system for such investigation, representing an ecologically diverse group that dominated terrestrial ecosystems for 170 million years. Furthermore, with 10,000 species, extant dinosaurs (birds are the most speciose living tetrapod clade. We assembled composite trees of 614-622 Mesozoic dinosaurs/birds, and a comprehensive body mass dataset using the scaling relationship of limb bone robustness. Maximum-likelihood modelling and the node height test reveal rapid evolutionary rates and a predominance of rapid shifts among size classes in early (Triassic dinosaurs. This indicates an early burst niche-filling pattern and contrasts with previous studies that favoured gradualistic rates. Subsequently, rates declined in most lineages, which rarely exploited new ecological niches. However, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including Mesozoic birds sustained rapid evolution from at least the Middle Jurassic, suggesting that these taxa evaded the effects of niche saturation. This indicates that a long evolutionary history of continuing ecological innovation paved the way for a second great radiation of dinosaurs, in birds. We therefore demonstrate links between the predominantly extinct deep time adaptive radiation of non-avian dinosaurs and the phenomenal diversification of birds, via continuing rapid rates of evolution along the phylogenetic stem lineage. This raises the possibility that the uneven distribution of biodiversity results not just from large

  12. Rates of dinosaur body mass evolution indicate 170 million years of sustained ecological innovation on the avian stem lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Campione, Nicolás E; Carrano, Matthew T; Mannion, Philip D; Sullivan, Corwin; Upchurch, Paul; Evans, David C

    2014-05-01

    Large-scale adaptive radiations might explain the runaway success of a minority of extant vertebrate clades. This hypothesis predicts, among other things, rapid rates of morphological evolution during the early history of major groups, as lineages invade disparate ecological niches. However, few studies of adaptive radiation have included deep time data, so the links between extant diversity and major extinct radiations are unclear. The intensively studied Mesozoic dinosaur record provides a model system for such investigation, representing an ecologically diverse group that dominated terrestrial ecosystems for 170 million years. Furthermore, with 10,000 species, extant dinosaurs (birds) are the most speciose living tetrapod clade. We assembled composite trees of 614-622 Mesozoic dinosaurs/birds, and a comprehensive body mass dataset using the scaling relationship of limb bone robustness. Maximum-likelihood modelling and the node height test reveal rapid evolutionary rates and a predominance of rapid shifts among size classes in early (Triassic) dinosaurs. This indicates an early burst niche-filling pattern and contrasts with previous studies that favoured gradualistic rates. Subsequently, rates declined in most lineages, which rarely exploited new ecological niches. However, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including Mesozoic birds) sustained rapid evolution from at least the Middle Jurassic, suggesting that these taxa evaded the effects of niche saturation. This indicates that a long evolutionary history of continuing ecological innovation paved the way for a second great radiation of dinosaurs, in birds. We therefore demonstrate links between the predominantly extinct deep time adaptive radiation of non-avian dinosaurs and the phenomenal diversification of birds, via continuing rapid rates of evolution along the phylogenetic stem lineage. This raises the possibility that the uneven distribution of biodiversity results not just from large-scale extrapolation of

  13. Metabolism of dinosaurs as determined from their growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2015-09-01

    A model based on cellular properties is used to analyze the mass growth curves of 20 dinosaurs. This analysis yields the first measurement of the average cellular metabolism of dinosaurs. The organismal metabolism is also determined. The cellular metabolism of dinosaurs is found to decrease with mass at a slower rate than is observed in extant animals. The organismal metabolism increases with the mass of the dinosaur. These results come from both the Saurischia and Ornithischia branches of Dinosauria, suggesting that the observed metabolic features were common to all dinosaurs. The results from dinosaurs are compared to data from extant placental and marsupial mammals, a monotreme, and altricial and precocial birds, reptiles, and fish. Dinosaurs had cellular and organismal metabolisms in the range observed in extant mesotherms.

  14. Metabolism of dinosaurs as determined from their growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott A

    2015-09-01

    A model based on cellular properties is used to analyze the mass growth curves of 20 dinosaurs. This analysis yields the first measurement of the average cellular metabolism of dinosaurs. The organismal metabolism is also determined. The cellular metabolism of dinosaurs is found to decrease with mass at a slower rate than is observed in extant animals. The organismal metabolism increases with the mass of the dinosaur. These results come from both the Saurischia and Ornithischia branches of Dinosauria, suggesting that the observed metabolic features were common to all dinosaurs. The results from dinosaurs are compared to data from extant placental and marsupial mammals, a monotreme, and altricial and precocial birds, reptiles, and fish. Dinosaurs had cellular and organismal metabolisms in the range observed in extant mesotherms.

  15. Growth dynamics of Australia's polar dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly N Woodward

    Full Text Available Analysis of bone microstructure in ornithopod and theropod dinosaurs from Victoria, Australia, documents ontogenetic changes, providing insight into the dinosaurs' successful habitation of Cretaceous Antarctic environments. Woven-fibered bone tissue in the smallest specimens indicates rapid growth rates during early ontogeny. Later ontogeny is marked by parallel-fibered tissue, suggesting reduced growth rates approaching skeletal maturity. Bone microstructure similarities between the ornithopods and theropods, including the presence of LAGs in each group, suggest there is no osteohistologic evidence supporting the hypothesis that polar theropods hibernated seasonally. Results instead suggest high-latitude dinosaurs had growth trajectories similar to their lower-latitude relatives and thus, rapid early ontogenetic growth and the cyclical suspensions of growth inherent in the theropod and ornithopod lineages enabled them to successfully exploit polar regions.

  16. Gideon Mantell and the Discovery of Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Dennis R.

    1999-01-01

    Gideon Mantell and the Discovery of Dinosaurs is a scholarly yet accessible biography--the first in a generation--of a pioneering dinosaur hunter and scholar. Gideon Mantell discovered the Iguanodon (a famous tale set right in this book) and several other dinosaur species, spent over twenty-five years restoring Iguanodon fossils, and helped establish the idea of an Age of Reptiles that ended with their extinction at the conclusion of the Mesozoic Era. He had significant interaction with such well-known figures as James Parkinson, Georges Cuvier, Charles Lyell, Roderick Murchison, Charles Darwin, and Richard Owen. Dennis Dean, a well-known scholar of geology and the Victorian era, here places Mantell's career in its cultural context, employing original research in archives throughout the world, including the previously unexamined Mantell family papers in New Zealand.

  17. Growth dynamics of Australia's polar dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Holly N; Rich, Thomas H; Chinsamy, Anusuya; Vickers-Rich, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Analysis of bone microstructure in ornithopod and theropod dinosaurs from Victoria, Australia, documents ontogenetic changes, providing insight into the dinosaurs' successful habitation of Cretaceous Antarctic environments. Woven-fibered bone tissue in the smallest specimens indicates rapid growth rates during early ontogeny. Later ontogeny is marked by parallel-fibered tissue, suggesting reduced growth rates approaching skeletal maturity. Bone microstructure similarities between the ornithopods and theropods, including the presence of LAGs in each group, suggest there is no osteohistologic evidence supporting the hypothesis that polar theropods hibernated seasonally. Results instead suggest high-latitude dinosaurs had growth trajectories similar to their lower-latitude relatives and thus, rapid early ontogenetic growth and the cyclical suspensions of growth inherent in the theropod and ornithopod lineages enabled them to successfully exploit polar regions.

  18. Geochemical and mineralogical studies of dinosaur bone from the Morrison Formation at Dinosaur Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modreski, P.J.

    2001-01-01

    The dinosaur bones first discovered in 1877 in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation at Morrison, Colorado were the first major find of dinosaur skeletons in the western U.S. and led to the recognition of four new dinosaur genera (Apatosaurus, Allosaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus). Eight articles dealing with these bones which appeared as research reports in the annual reports of the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge from 1990-1999 are condensed and summarized with some additional comments. Two of the articles are about the mineralogy and preservation of the bones; two are about the physical description of the bone occurrence; two are about the history of the site, and two are about use of novel instrumental methods (ground-penetrating radar and a directional scintillometer) to search for new bones.

  19. New Horned Dinosaurs from Utah Provide Evidence for Intracontinental Dinosaur Endemism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampson, Scott D.; Loewen, Mark A.; Farke, Andrew A.; Roberts, Eric M.; Forster, Catherine A.; Smith, Joshua A.; Titus, Alan L.

    2010-01-01

    Background During much of the Late Cretaceous, a shallow, epeiric sea divided North America into eastern and western landmasses. The western landmass, known as Laramidia, although diminutive in size, witnessed a major evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs. Other than hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs), the most common dinosaurs were ceratopsids (large-bodied horned dinosaurs), currently known only from Laramidia and Asia. Remarkably, previous studies have postulated the occurrence of latitudinally arrayed dinosaur “provinces,” or “biomes,” on Laramidia. Yet this hypothesis has been challenged on multiple fronts and has remained poorly tested. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we describe two new, co-occurring ceratopsids from the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation of Utah that provide the strongest support to date for the dinosaur provincialism hypothesis. Both pertain to the clade of ceratopsids known as Chasmosaurinae, dramatically increasing representation of this group from the southern portion of the Western Interior Basin of North America. Utahceratops gettyi gen. et sp. nov.—characterized by short, rounded, laterally projecting supraorbital horncores and an elongate frill with a deep median embayment—is recovered as the sister taxon to Pentaceratops sternbergii from the late Campanian of New Mexico. Kosmoceratops richardsoni gen. et sp. nov.—characterized by elongate, laterally projecting supraorbital horncores and a short, broad frill adorned with ten well developed hooks—has the most ornate skull of any known dinosaur and is closely allied to Chasmosaurus irvinensis from the late Campanian of Alberta. Conclusions/Significance Considered in unison, the phylogenetic, stratigraphic, and biogeographic evidence documents distinct, co-occurring chasmosaurine taxa north and south on the diminutive landmass of Laramidia. The famous Triceratops and all other, more nested chasmosaurines are postulated as descendants of forms previously restricted

  20. New horned dinosaurs from Utah provide evidence for intracontinental dinosaur endemism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott D Sampson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: During much of the Late Cretaceous, a shallow, epeiric sea divided North America into eastern and western landmasses. The western landmass, known as Laramidia, although diminutive in size, witnessed a major evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs. Other than hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs, the most common dinosaurs were ceratopsids (large-bodied horned dinosaurs, currently known only from Laramidia and Asia. Remarkably, previous studies have postulated the occurrence of latitudinally arrayed dinosaur "provinces," or "biomes," on Laramidia. Yet this hypothesis has been challenged on multiple fronts and has remained poorly tested. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we describe two new, co-occurring ceratopsids from the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation of Utah that provide the strongest support to date for the dinosaur provincialism hypothesis. Both pertain to the clade of ceratopsids known as Chasmosaurinae, dramatically increasing representation of this group from the southern portion of the Western Interior Basin of North America. Utahceratops gettyi gen. et sp. nov.-characterized by short, rounded, laterally projecting supraorbital horncores and an elongate frill with a deep median embayment-is recovered as the sister taxon to Pentaceratops sternbergii from the late Campanian of New Mexico. Kosmoceratops richardsoni gen. et sp. nov.-characterized by elongate, laterally projecting supraorbital horncores and a short, broad frill adorned with ten well developed hooks-has the most ornate skull of any known dinosaur and is closely allied to Chasmosaurus irvinensis from the late Campanian of Alberta. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Considered in unison, the phylogenetic, stratigraphic, and biogeographic evidence documents distinct, co-occurring chasmosaurine taxa north and south on the diminutive landmass of Laramidia. The famous Triceratops and all other, more nested chasmosaurines are postulated as descendants of forms previously

  1. New horned dinosaurs from Utah provide evidence for intracontinental dinosaur endemism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampson, Scott D; Loewen, Mark A; Farke, Andrew A; Roberts, Eric M; Forster, Catherine A; Smith, Joshua A; Titus, Alan L

    2010-09-22

    During much of the Late Cretaceous, a shallow, epeiric sea divided North America into eastern and western landmasses. The western landmass, known as Laramidia, although diminutive in size, witnessed a major evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs. Other than hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs), the most common dinosaurs were ceratopsids (large-bodied horned dinosaurs), currently known only from Laramidia and Asia. Remarkably, previous studies have postulated the occurrence of latitudinally arrayed dinosaur "provinces," or "biomes," on Laramidia. Yet this hypothesis has been challenged on multiple fronts and has remained poorly tested. Here we describe two new, co-occurring ceratopsids from the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation of Utah that provide the strongest support to date for the dinosaur provincialism hypothesis. Both pertain to the clade of ceratopsids known as Chasmosaurinae, dramatically increasing representation of this group from the southern portion of the Western Interior Basin of North America. Utahceratops gettyi gen. et sp. nov.-characterized by short, rounded, laterally projecting supraorbital horncores and an elongate frill with a deep median embayment-is recovered as the sister taxon to Pentaceratops sternbergii from the late Campanian of New Mexico. Kosmoceratops richardsoni gen. et sp. nov.-characterized by elongate, laterally projecting supraorbital horncores and a short, broad frill adorned with ten well developed hooks-has the most ornate skull of any known dinosaur and is closely allied to Chasmosaurus irvinensis from the late Campanian of Alberta. Considered in unison, the phylogenetic, stratigraphic, and biogeographic evidence documents distinct, co-occurring chasmosaurine taxa north and south on the diminutive landmass of Laramidia. The famous Triceratops and all other, more nested chasmosaurines are postulated as descendants of forms previously restricted to the southern portion of Laramidia. Results further suggest the presence of

  2. On a dinosaur axis from one of the oldest dinosaur-bearing sites worldwide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo T. Müller

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The axial skeleton is proportionally underrepresented in the fossil record of early dinosaurs, when compared to other skeletal parts (e.g., pelvic girdle and hindlimb. For instance, the axis is poorly known in early dinosaurs, which precludes a better understanding of this important anatomical structure. Therefore, the present contribution fills an important gap with a description of the axis of a new early dinosaur (CAPPA/UFSM 0179. The specimen was collected at the Buriol outcrop, a Triassic fossiliferous locality from southern Brazil (Candelária Sequence, Santa Maria Supersequence biostratigraphically correlated to Carnian units, placing this specimen among the oldest dinosaurs worldwide. Notable features include the combination of a neural spine that bears an almost straight dorsal margin along its length and presence of an epipophysis. This axis arrangement is unique among Carnian dinosaurs, representing a new morphotype, though a similar morphology is observed in some early theropods. Indeed, a phylogenetic analysis nested the specimen within Theropoda. However, this outcome is probably biased by the large amount of missing data in CAPPA/UFSM 0179 and also due to the limited sampling of the axis in early dinosaurs, particularly among sauropodomorphs. As the specimen comes from the site that includes Buriolestes schultzi (an early sauropodomorph, it is quite plausible that CAPPA/UFSM 0179 might be referable to that taxon. If so, the specimen improves the anatomical knowledge of Buriolestes schultzi, given its axis is yet unknown. An alternative possibility to be considered is that the specimen would belong to a dinosaur not yet known in the Candelária Sequence, which would increase its dinosaur diversity for the outcrop, improving the Triassic dinosaurian record from Southern Brazil.

  3. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2014-01-01

    Finding topics that inspire students is an important aspect of any physics course. Virtually everyone is fascinated by "Tyrannosaurus rex," and the excitement of the class is palpable when we explore scaling effects in "T. rex" and other bipedal theropod dinosaurs as part of our discussion of mechanics and elasticity. In this…

  4. First dinosaur tracks from the Arabian Peninsula

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, Anne S.; Al-Wosabi, Mohammed; Stevens, Nancy J.

    2008-01-01

    Background: The evolutionary history of Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrates from the Arabian Peninsula is virtually unknown. Despite vast exposures of rocky outcrops, only a handful of fossils have yet been described from the region. Here we report a multi-taxon dinosaur track assemblage near Madar

  5. Dinosaur morphological diversity and the end-Cretaceous extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Norell, Mark A

    2012-05-01

    The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago is a perpetual topic of fascination, and lasting debate has focused on whether dinosaur biodiversity was in decline before end-Cretaceous volcanism and bolide impact. Here we calculate the morphological disparity (anatomical variability) exhibited by seven major dinosaur subgroups during the latest Cretaceous, at both global and regional scales. Our results demonstrate both geographic and clade-specific heterogeneity. Large-bodied bulk-feeding herbivores (ceratopsids and hadrosauroids) and some North American taxa declined in disparity during the final two stages of the Cretaceous, whereas carnivorous dinosaurs, mid-sized herbivores, and some Asian taxa did not. Late Cretaceous dinosaur evolution, therefore, was complex: there was no universal biodiversity trend and the intensively studied North American record may reveal primarily local patterns. At least some dinosaur groups, however, did endure long-term declines in morphological variability before their extinction.

  6. Math and Fossils Resolve a Debate on Dinosaur Metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    Gillooly, James F; Allen, Andrew P; Charnov, Eric L

    2006-01-01

    Perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding dinosaurs concerns whether they were endotherms, ectotherms, or some unique intermediate form. Here we present a model that yields estimates of dinosaur body temperature based on ontogenetic growth trajectories obtained from fossil bones. The model predicts that dinosaur body temperatures increased with body mass from approximately 25 degrees C at 12 kg to approximately 41 degrees C at 13,000 kg. The model also successfully predicts observed increases ...

  7. Analysis of radiation level on dinosaur fossil in Zigong

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Changshu; Liang Shuzhi; Fan Zhengnian.

    1995-01-01

    Study on radiation level of dinosaur fossil and environment in conservation zone in Zigong, Sichuan has been done. The results showed that the γ radiation dose and radioactivity strength of 232 Th and 40 K in dinosaur fossil, soil and rock in the conservation zone were within the limits of radioactive background value in Zigong. Radioactivity strength of 238 U, 226 Ra in dinosaur fossil were 26.6 and 29.2 times higher than the rock of same layer respectively

  8. Geotourism Aspects of the Lufeng Dinosaur National Geopark in Yunnan Province, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daněk Tomáš

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Lufeng Dinosaur National Geopark in Yunnan province, China, is important part of geoheritage with a great scientific and aesthetic value. The area has been under scientific research since 1938 when the first dinosaur fossils were discovered here by geologist Bian Meinian and technician Wang Cunyi. Professor Yang announced the discovery of new early Jurassic herbivore prosauropod by Lufeng in 1941, which he gave the name Lufengosaurus huenei. In 2004, the area was listed as the China`s National Geopark. It was opened for visitors in 2008. Besides the high scientific value, the geopark is also an important resource for science based and educational tourism. This paper briefly introduces the history of scientific research, the basic geology of the site and the most important fossils discovered here. The main characteristics, geodiversity, and geotourism of fossil geoheritage in the area are discussed here.

  9. The origin and early evolution of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, Max C; Ezcurra, Martin D; Bittencourt, Jonathas S; Novas, Fernando E

    2010-02-01

    The oldest unequivocal records of Dinosauria were unearthed from Late Triassic rocks (approximately 230 Ma) accumulated over extensional rift basins in southwestern Pangea. The better known of these are Herrerasaurus ischigualastensis, Pisanosaurus mertii, Eoraptor lunensis, and Panphagia protos from the Ischigualasto Formation, Argentina, and Staurikosaurus pricei and Saturnalia tupiniquim from the Santa Maria Formation, Brazil. No uncontroversial dinosaur body fossils are known from older strata, but the Middle Triassic origin of the lineage may be inferred from both the footprint record and its sister-group relation to Ladinian basal dinosauromorphs. These include the typical Marasuchus lilloensis, more basal forms such as Lagerpeton and Dromomeron, as well as silesaurids: a possibly monophyletic group composed of Mid-Late Triassic forms that may represent immediate sister taxa to dinosaurs. The first phylogenetic definition to fit the current understanding of Dinosauria as a node-based taxon solely composed of mutually exclusive Saurischia and Ornithischia was given as "all descendants of the most recent common ancestor of birds and Triceratops". Recent cladistic analyses of early dinosaurs agree that Pisanosaurus mertii is a basal ornithischian; that Herrerasaurus ischigualastensis and Staurikosaurus pricei belong in a monophyletic Herrerasauridae; that herrerasaurids, Eoraptor lunensis, and Guaibasaurus candelariensis are saurischians; that Saurischia includes two main groups, Sauropodomorpha and Theropoda; and that Saturnalia tupiniquim is a basal member of the sauropodomorph lineage. On the contrary, several aspects of basal dinosaur phylogeny remain controversial, including the position of herrerasaurids, E. lunensis, and G. candelariensis as basal theropods or basal saurischians, and the affinity and/or validity of more fragmentary taxa such as Agnosphitys cromhallensis, Alwalkeria maleriensis, Chindesaurus bryansmalli, Saltopus elginensis, and

  10. Consumption of crustaceans by megaherbivorous dinosaurs: dietary flexibility and dinosaur life history strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Karen; Feldmann, Rodney M; Tashman, Jessica N

    2017-09-21

    Large plant-eating dinosaurs are usually presumed to have been strictly herbivorous, because their derived teeth and jaws were capable of processing fibrous plant foods. This inferred feeding behavior offers a generalized view of dinosaur food habits, but rare direct fossil evidence of diet provides more nuanced insights into feeding behavior. Here we describe fossilized feces (coprolites) that demonstrate recurring consumption of crustaceans and rotted wood by large Late Cretaceous dinosaurs. These multi-liter coprolites from the Kaiparowits Formation are primarily composed of comminuted conifer wood tissues that were fungally degraded before ingestion. Thick fragments of laminar crustacean cuticle are scattered within the coprolite contents and suggest that the dinosaurian defecators consumed sizeable crustaceans that sheltered in rotting logs. The diet of decayed wood and crustaceans offered a substantial supply of plant polysaccharides, with added dividends of animal protein and calcium. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that the fossilized fecal residues depict year-round feeding habits. It is more reasonable to infer that these coprolites reflected seasonal dietary shifts-possibly related to the dinosaurs' oviparous breeding activities. This surprising fossil evidence challenges conventional notions of herbivorous dinosaur diets and reveals a degree of dietary flexibility that is consistent with that of extant herbivorous birds.

  11. Skull ecomorphology of megaherbivorous dinosaurs from the dinosaur park formation (upper campanian of Alberta, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan C Mallon

    Full Text Available Megaherbivorous dinosaur coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has long puzzled researchers, owing to the mystery of how so many large herbivores (6-8 sympatric species, in many instances could coexist on such a small (4-7 million km(2 landmass. Various explanations have been put forth, one of which-dietary niche partitioning-forms the focus of this study. Here, we apply traditional morphometric methods to the skulls of megaherbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian of Alberta to infer the ecomorphology of these animals and to test the niche partitioning hypothesis. We find evidence for niche partitioning not only among contemporaneous ankylosaurs, ceratopsids, and hadrosaurids, but also within these clades at the family and subfamily levels. Consubfamilial ceratopsids and hadrosaurids differ insignificantly in their inferred ecomorphologies, which may explain why they rarely overlap stratigraphically: interspecific competition prevented their coexistence.

  12. Skull ecomorphology of megaherbivorous dinosaurs from the dinosaur park formation (upper campanian) of Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, Jordan C; Anderson, Jason S

    2013-01-01

    Megaherbivorous dinosaur coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has long puzzled researchers, owing to the mystery of how so many large herbivores (6-8 sympatric species, in many instances) could coexist on such a small (4-7 million km(2)) landmass. Various explanations have been put forth, one of which-dietary niche partitioning-forms the focus of this study. Here, we apply traditional morphometric methods to the skulls of megaherbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta to infer the ecomorphology of these animals and to test the niche partitioning hypothesis. We find evidence for niche partitioning not only among contemporaneous ankylosaurs, ceratopsids, and hadrosaurids, but also within these clades at the family and subfamily levels. Consubfamilial ceratopsids and hadrosaurids differ insignificantly in their inferred ecomorphologies, which may explain why they rarely overlap stratigraphically: interspecific competition prevented their coexistence.

  13. Models for the rise of the dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, Michael J; Forth, Jonathan; Langer, Max C

    2014-01-20

    Dinosaurs arose in the early Triassic in the aftermath of the greatest mass extinction ever and became hugely successful in the Mesozoic. Their initial diversification is a classic example of a large-scale macroevolutionary change. Diversifications at such deep-time scales can now be dissected, modelled and tested. New fossils suggest that dinosaurs originated early in the Middle Triassic, during the recovery of life from the devastating Permo-Triassic mass extinction. Improvements in stratigraphic dating and a new suite of morphometric and comparative evolutionary numerical methods now allow a forensic dissection of one of the greatest turnovers in the history of life. Such studies mark a move from the narrative to the analytical in macroevolutionary research, and they allow us to begin to answer the proposal of George Gaylord Simpson, to explore adaptive radiations using numerical methods. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Avian paternal care had dinosaur origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varricchio, David J; Moore, Jason R; Erickson, Gregory M; Norell, Mark A; Jackson, Frankie D; Borkowski, John J

    2008-12-19

    The repeated discovery of adult dinosaurs in close association with egg clutches leads to speculation over the type and extent of care exhibited by these extinct animals for their eggs and young. To assess parental care in Cretaceous troodontid and oviraptorid dinosaurs, we examined clutch volume and the bone histology of brooding adults. In comparison to four archosaur care regressions, the relatively large clutch volumes of Troodon, Oviraptor, and Citipati scale most closely with a bird-paternal care model. Clutch-associated adults lack the maternal and reproductively associated histologic features common to extant archosaurs. Large clutch volumes and a suite of reproductive features shared only with birds favor paternal care, possibly within a polygamous mating system. Paternal care in both troodontids and oviraptorids indicates that this care system evolved before the emergence of birds and represents birds' ancestral condition. In extant birds and over most adult sizes, paternal and biparental care correspond to the largest and smallest relative clutch volumes, respectively.

  15. Hanford: The evolution of a dinosaur

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fulton, J.

    1995-01-01

    This article describes how the Westinghouse Hanford Company is reinventing the US DOE's Hanford Site, turning a 1940s-era dinosaur into a 1990s-style business. The major topics covered include the following: breaking the logjam by ending the inefficient cost-plus days; Concentrating resources on resolving urgent safety issues; contract reform with more incentive, greater risk; finally reengineering: the next step

  16. Cockroaches probably cleaned up after dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Vršanský

    Full Text Available Dinosaurs undoubtedly produced huge quantities of excrements. But who cleaned up after them? Dung beetles and flies with rapid development were rare during most of the Mesozoic. Candidates for these duties are extinct cockroaches (Blattulidae, whose temporal range is associated with herbivorous dinosaurs. An opportunity to test this hypothesis arises from coprolites to some extent extruded from an immature cockroach preserved in the amber of Lebanon, studied using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. 1.06% of their volume is filled by particles of wood with smooth edges, in which size distribution directly supports their external pre-digestion. Because fungal pre-processing can be excluded based on the presence of large particles (combined with small total amount of wood and absence of damages on wood, the likely source of wood are herbivore feces. Smaller particles were broken down biochemically in the cockroach hind gut, which indicates that the recent lignin-decomposing termite and cockroach endosymbionts might have been transferred to the cockroach gut upon feeding on dinosaur feces.

  17. Dinosaur peptides suggest mechanisms of protein survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Antonio, James D; Schweitzer, Mary H; Jensen, Shane T; Kalluri, Raghu; Buckley, Michael; Orgel, Joseph P R O

    2011-01-01

    Eleven collagen peptide sequences recovered from chemical extracts of dinosaur bones were mapped onto molecular models of the vertebrate collagen fibril derived from extant taxa. The dinosaur peptides localized to fibril regions protected by the close packing of collagen molecules, and contained few acidic amino acids. Four peptides mapped to collagen regions crucial for cell-collagen interactions and tissue development. Dinosaur peptides were not represented in more exposed parts of the collagen fibril or regions mediating intermolecular cross-linking. Thus functionally significant regions of collagen fibrils that are physically shielded within the fibril may be preferentially preserved in fossils. These results show empirically that structure-function relationships at the molecular level could contribute to selective preservation in fossilized vertebrate remains across geological time, suggest a 'preservation motif', and bolster current concepts linking collagen structure to biological function. This non-random distribution supports the hypothesis that the peptides are produced by the extinct organisms and suggests a chemical mechanism for survival.

  18. Cockroaches probably cleaned up after dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vršanský, Peter; van de Kamp, Thomas; Azar, Dany; Prokin, Alexander; Vidlička, L'ubomír; Vagovič, Patrik

    2013-01-01

    Dinosaurs undoubtedly produced huge quantities of excrements. But who cleaned up after them? Dung beetles and flies with rapid development were rare during most of the Mesozoic. Candidates for these duties are extinct cockroaches (Blattulidae), whose temporal range is associated with herbivorous dinosaurs. An opportunity to test this hypothesis arises from coprolites to some extent extruded from an immature cockroach preserved in the amber of Lebanon, studied using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. 1.06% of their volume is filled by particles of wood with smooth edges, in which size distribution directly supports their external pre-digestion. Because fungal pre-processing can be excluded based on the presence of large particles (combined with small total amount of wood) and absence of damages on wood, the likely source of wood are herbivore feces. Smaller particles were broken down biochemically in the cockroach hind gut, which indicates that the recent lignin-decomposing termite and cockroach endosymbionts might have been transferred to the cockroach gut upon feeding on dinosaur feces.

  19. Dinosaur Peptides Suggest Mechanisms of Protein Survival

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    San Antonio, James D.; Schweitzer, Mary H.; Jensen, Shane T.; Kalluri, Raghu; Buckley, Michael; Orgel, Joseph P.R.O. (Harvard-Med); (IIT); (NCSU); (UPENN); (Manchester); (Orthovita)

    2011-09-16

    Eleven collagen peptide sequences recovered from chemical extracts of dinosaur bones were mapped onto molecular models of the vertebrate collagen fibril derived from extant taxa. The dinosaur peptides localized to fibril regions protected by the close packing of collagen molecules, and contained few acidic amino acids. Four peptides mapped to collagen regions crucial for cell-collagen interactions and tissue development. Dinosaur peptides were not represented in more exposed parts of the collagen fibril or regions mediating intermolecular cross-linking. Thus functionally significant regions of collagen fibrils that are physically shielded within the fibril may be preferentially preserved in fossils. These results show empirically that structure-function relationships at the molecular level could contribute to selective preservation in fossilized vertebrate remains across geological time, suggest a 'preservation motif', and bolster current concepts linking collagen structure to biological function. This non-random distribution supports the hypothesis that the peptides are produced by the extinct organisms and suggests a chemical mechanism for survival.

  20. Piscivory in the feathered dinosaur Microraptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Lida; Persons, W Scott; Bell, Phil R; Xu, Xing; Zhang, Jianping; Miyashita, Tetsuto; Wang, Fengping; Currie, Philip J

    2013-08-01

    The largest specimen of the four-winged dromaeosaurid dinosaur Microraptor gui includes preserved gut contents. Previous reports of gut contents and considerations of functional morphology have indicated that Microraptor hunted in an arboreal environment. The new specimen demonstrates that this was not strictly the case, and offers unique insights into the ecology of nonavian dinosaurs early in the evolution of flight. The preserved gut contents are composed of teleost fish remains. Several morphological adaptations of Microraptor are identified as consistent with a partially piscivorous diet, including dentition with reduced serrations and forward projecting teeth on the anterior of the dentary. The feeding habits of Microraptor can now be understood better than that of any other carnivorous nonavian dinosaur, and Microraptor appears to have been an opportunistic and generalist feeder, able to exploit the most common prey in both the arboreal and aquatic microhabitats of the Early Cretaceous Jehol ecosystem. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. A basal dinosaur from the dawn of the dinosaur era in southwestern Pangaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Ricardo N; Sereno, Paul C; Alcober, Oscar A; Colombi, Carina E; Renne, Paul R; Montañez, Isabel P; Currie, Brian S

    2011-01-14

    Upper Triassic rocks in northwestern Argentina preserve the most complete record of dinosaurs before their rise to dominance in the Early Jurassic. Here, we describe a previously unidentified basal theropod, reassess its contemporary Eoraptor as a basal sauropodomorph, divide the faunal record of the Ischigualasto Formation with biozones, and bracket the formation with (40)Ar/(39)Ar ages. Some 230 million years ago in the Late Triassic (mid Carnian), the earliest dinosaurs were the dominant terrestrial carnivores and small herbivores in southwestern Pangaea. The extinction of nondinosaurian herbivores is sequential and is not linked to an increase in dinosaurian diversity, which weakens the predominant scenario for dinosaurian ascendancy as opportunistic replacement.

  2. A theropod dinosaur embryo and the affinities of the flaming cliffs dinosaur eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norell, M A; Clark, J M; Demberelyin, D; Rhinchen, B; Chiappe, L M; Davidson, A R; McKenna, M C; Altangerel, P; Novacek, M J

    1994-11-04

    An embryonic skeleton of a nonavian theropod dinosaur was found preserved in an egg from Upper Cretaceous rocks in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Cranial features identify the embryo as a member of Oviraptoridae. Two embryo-sized skulls of dromaeosaurids, similar to that of Velociraptor, were also recovered in the nest. The eggshell microstructure is similar to that of ratite birds and is of a type common in the Djadokhta Formation at the Flaming Cliffs (Bayn Dzak). Discovery of a nest of such eggs at the Flaming Cliffs in 1923, beneath the Oviraptor philoceratops holotype, suggests that this dinosaur may have been a brooding adult.

  3. "Teachosaurus" and "Learnoceratops": Dinosaurs as a Motivating Cross-Curricular Theme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duggan, Denis

    2011-01-01

    The author takes a look into the benefits that dinosaurs may bring to the classroom. He discusses how he used dinosaurs as a cross-curricular theme to improve children's understanding and knowledge of science concepts. To investigate what a child might learn from dinosaurs, he started by comparing the many non-fiction dinosaur books using the…

  4. Dinosaur energetics: setting the bounds on feasible physiologies and ecologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Andrew

    2013-09-01

    The metabolic status of dinosaurs has long been debated but remains unresolved as no consistent picture has emerged from a range of anatomical and isotopic evidence. Quantitative analysis of dinosaur energetics, based on general principles applicable to all vertebrates, shows that many features of dinosaur lifestyle are compatible with a physiology similar to that of extant lizards, scaled up to dinosaur body masses and temperatures. The analysis suggests that sufficient metabolic scope would have been available to support observed dinosaur growth rates and allow considerable locomotor activity, perhaps even migration. Since at least one dinosaur lineage evolved true endothermy, this study emphasizes there was no single dinosaur physiology. Many small theropods were insulated with feathers and appear to have been partial or full endotherms. Uninsulated small taxa, and all juveniles, presumably would have been ectothermic, with consequent diurnal and seasonal variations in body temperature. In larger taxa, inertial homeothermy would have resulted in warm and stable body temperatures but with a basal metabolism significantly below that of extant mammals or birds of the same size. It would appear that dinosaurs exhibited a range of metabolic levels to match the broad spectrum of ecological niches they occupied.

  5. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Strength and Locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-01-01

    In our first article on scaling in theropod dinosaurs, the longitudinal stress in the leg bones due to supporting the weight of the animal was studied and found not to control the dimensions of the femur. As a continuation of our study of elasticity in dinosaur bones, we now examine the transverse stress in the femur due to locomotion and find…

  6. "Dinosaurs." Kindergarten. Anchorage School District Elementary Science Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herminghaus, Trisha, Ed.

    This unit contains 15 lessons on dinosaurs for kindergarten children. It provides a materials list, supplementary materials list, use of process skill terminology, unit objectives, vocabulary, six major dinosaurs, and background information. Lessons are: (1) "Webbing"; (2) "Introduction to the Big Six"; (3) "Paleontology…

  7. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Strength and Locomotion II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-01-01

    In the second paper of this series, the effect of transverse femoral stresses due to locomotion in theropod dinosaurs of different sizes was examined for the case of an unchanging leg geometry. Students are invariably thrilled to learn about theropod dinosaurs, and this activity applies the concepts of torque and stress to the issue of theropod…

  8. Dinosaurs reveal the geographical signature of an evolutionary radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donovan, Ciara; Meade, Andrew; Venditti, Chris

    2018-03-01

    Dinosaurs dominated terrestrial ecosystems across the globe for over 100 million years and provide a classic example of an evolutionary radiation. However, little is known about how these animals radiated geographically to become globally distributed. Here, we use a biogeographical model to reconstruct the dinosaurs' ancestral locations, revealing the spatial mechanisms that underpinned this 170-million-year-long radiation. We find that dinosaurs spread rapidly initially, followed by a significant continuous and gradual reduction in their speed of movement towards the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (66 million years ago). This suggests that the predominant mode of dinosaur speciation changed through time with speciation originally largely driven by geographical isolation-when dinosaurs speciated more, they moved further. This was gradually replaced by increasing levels of sympatric speciation (species taking advantage of ecological opportunities within their existing environment) as terrestrial space became a limiting factor. Our results uncover the geographical signature of an evolutionary radiation.

  9. The oldest dinosaur? A Middle Triassic dinosauriform from Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbitt, Sterling J; Barrett, Paul M; Werning, Sarah; Sidor, Christian A; Charig, Alan J

    2013-02-23

    The rise of dinosaurs was a major event in vertebrate history, but the timing of the origin and early diversification of the group remain poorly constrained. Here, we describe Nyasasaurus parringtoni gen. et sp. nov., which is identified as either the earliest known member of, or the sister-taxon to, Dinosauria. Nyasasaurus possesses a unique combination of dinosaur character states and an elevated growth rate similar to that of definitive early dinosaurs. It demonstrates that the initial dinosaur radiation occurred over a longer timescale than previously thought (possibly 15 Myr earlier), and that dinosaurs and their immediate relatives are better understood as part of a larger Middle Triassic archosauriform radiation. The African provenance of Nyasasaurus supports a southern Pangaean origin for Dinosauria.

  10. 76 FR 7232 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Dinosaur...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-09

    .... Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur, CO AGENCY: National... Service, Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur, CO, has completed an inventory of human remains and... Indian tribe that believes itself to be culturally affiliated with the human remains may contact Dinosaur...

  11. Predatory behaviour of carnivorous dinosaurs: Ecological interpretations based on tooth marked dinosaur bones and wear patterns of theropod teeth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    Predation marks on bones are a source on information on the feeding behaviour of the carnivores involved. Although predator damaged bone is common in the fossil record, published reports of such marks on dinosaur bones are rare. Patterns of bone modification by mammalian carnivores overlap patterns...... left by theropod dinosaurs.Differences in tooth morphology can also be correlated with characteristics of the marks left by the teeth. In a study of tooth marks on dinosaur bones from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, it was possible to identify the feeding theropods to family, generic...... different taxa and different skeletal elements produced some interesting results. The frequency of tooth marked dinosaur bones is higher than expected. Up to 14 % of the observed hadrosaur bones were predator damaged. The lower incidence of damage in ceratopsian bones can be explained by the fact...

  12. Avian-like breathing mechanics in maniraptoran dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codd, Jonathan R; Manning, Phillip L; Norell, Mark A; Perry, Steven F

    2007-01-01

    In 1868 Thomas Huxley first proposed that dinosaurs were the direct ancestors of birds and subsequent analyses have identified a suite of ‘avian’ characteristics in theropod dinosaurs. Ossified uncinate processes are found in most species of extant birds and also occur in extinct non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs. Their presence in these dinosaurs represents another morphological character linking them to Aves, and further supports the presence of an avian-like air-sac respiratory system in theropod dinosaurs, prior to the evolution of flight. Here we report a phylogenetic analysis of the presence of uncinate processes in Aves and non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs indicating that these were homologous structures. Furthermore, recent work on Canada geese has demonstrated that uncinate processes are integral to the mechanics of avian ventilation, facilitating both inspiration and expiration. In extant birds, uncinate processes function to increase the mechanical advantage for movements of the ribs and sternum during respiration. Our study presents a mechanism whereby uncinate processes, in conjunction with lateral and ventral movements of the sternum and gastral basket, affected avian-like breathing mechanics in extinct non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs. PMID:17986432

  13. Nonplantigrade Foot Posture: A Constraint on Dinosaur Body Size.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tai Kubo

    Full Text Available Dinosaurs had functionally digitigrade or sub-unguligrade foot postures. With their immediate ancestors, dinosaurs were the only terrestrial nonplantigrades during the Mesozoic. Extant terrestrial mammals have different optimal body sizes according to their foot posture (plantigrade, digitigrade, and unguligrade, yet the relationship of nonplantigrade foot posture with dinosaur body size has never been investigated, even though the body size of dinosaurs has been studied intensively. According to a large dataset presented in this study, the body sizes of all nonplantigrades (including nonvolant dinosaurs, nonvolant terrestrial birds, extant mammals, and extinct Nearctic mammals are above 500 g, except for macroscelid mammals (i.e., elephant shrew, a few alvarezsauroid dinosaurs, and nondinosaur ornithodirans (i.e., the immediate ancestors of dinosaurs. When nonplantigrade tetrapods evolved from plantigrade ancestors, lineages with nonplantigrade foot posture exhibited a steady increase in body size following Cope's rule. In contrast, contemporaneous plantigrade lineages exhibited no trend in body size evolution and were largely constrained to small body sizes. This evolutionary pattern of body size specific to foot posture occurred repeatedly during both the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic eras. Although disturbed by the end-Cretaceous extinction, species of mid to large body size have predominantly been nonplantigrade animals from the Jurassic until the present; conversely, species with small body size have been exclusively composed of plantigrades in the nonvolant terrestrial tetrapod fauna.

  14. Nonplantigrade Foot Posture: A Constraint on Dinosaur Body Size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubo, Tai; Kubo, Mugino O

    2016-01-01

    Dinosaurs had functionally digitigrade or sub-unguligrade foot postures. With their immediate ancestors, dinosaurs were the only terrestrial nonplantigrades during the Mesozoic. Extant terrestrial mammals have different optimal body sizes according to their foot posture (plantigrade, digitigrade, and unguligrade), yet the relationship of nonplantigrade foot posture with dinosaur body size has never been investigated, even though the body size of dinosaurs has been studied intensively. According to a large dataset presented in this study, the body sizes of all nonplantigrades (including nonvolant dinosaurs, nonvolant terrestrial birds, extant mammals, and extinct Nearctic mammals) are above 500 g, except for macroscelid mammals (i.e., elephant shrew), a few alvarezsauroid dinosaurs, and nondinosaur ornithodirans (i.e., the immediate ancestors of dinosaurs). When nonplantigrade tetrapods evolved from plantigrade ancestors, lineages with nonplantigrade foot posture exhibited a steady increase in body size following Cope's rule. In contrast, contemporaneous plantigrade lineages exhibited no trend in body size evolution and were largely constrained to small body sizes. This evolutionary pattern of body size specific to foot posture occurred repeatedly during both the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic eras. Although disturbed by the end-Cretaceous extinction, species of mid to large body size have predominantly been nonplantigrade animals from the Jurassic until the present; conversely, species with small body size have been exclusively composed of plantigrades in the nonvolant terrestrial tetrapod fauna.

  15. A palaeoequatorial ornithischian and new constraints on early dinosaur diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Paul M; Butler, Richard J; Mundil, Roland; Scheyer, Torsten M; Irmis, Randall B; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2014-09-22

    Current characterizations of early dinosaur evolution are incomplete: existing palaeobiological and phylogenetic scenarios are based on a fossil record dominated by saurischians and the implications of the early ornithischian record are often overlooked. Moreover, the timings of deep phylogenetic divergences within Dinosauria are poorly constrained owing to the absence of a rigorous chronostratigraphical framework for key Late Triassic-Early Jurassic localities. A new dinosaur from the earliest Jurassic of the Venezuelan Andes is the first basal ornithischian recovered from terrestrial deposits directly associated with a precise radioisotopic date and the first-named dinosaur from northern South America. It expands the early palaeogeographical range of Ornithischia to palaeoequatorial regions, an area sometimes thought to be devoid of early dinosaur taxa, and offers insights into early dinosaur growth rates, the evolution of sociality and the rapid tempo of the global dinosaur radiation following the end-Triassic mass extinction, helping to underscore the importance of the ornithischian record in broad-scale discussions of early dinosaur history. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  16. Dinosaur or Phoenix: Nuclear Bombers in the 21st Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-12

    REPORT DATE 02-04-10 2. REPORT TYPE Master’s Thesis 3. DATES COVERED 31-07-09 to 16-06-10 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dinosaur or Phoenix: Nuclear...WARFIGHTING SCHOOL DINOSAUR OR PHOENIX: NUCLEAR BOMBERS IN THE 21ST CENTURY by John W. Morehead Colonel, United States Air Force A paper...can argue Secretary Gates’ decision to halt development of a follow-on bomber indicates the DOD views nuclear bombers as dinosaurs no longer needed as

  17. Were sauropod dinosaurs responsible for the warm Mesozoic climate?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.J. (Tom van Loon

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available It was recently postulated that methane production by the giant Mesozoic sauropod dinosaurs was larger than the present-day release of this greenhouse gas by nature and man-induced activities jointly, thus contributing to the warm Mesozoic climate. This conclusion was reached by correct calculations, but these calculations were based on unrealistic assumptions: the researchers who postulated this dinosaur-induced warm climate did take into account neither the biomass production required for the sauropods' food, nor the constraints for the habitats in which the dinosaurs lived, thus neglecting the palaeogeographic conditions. This underlines the importance of palaeogeography for a good understanding of the Earth's geological history.

  18. A dinosaur missing-link? Chilesaurus and the early evolution of ornithischian dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Matthew G; Barrett, Paul M

    2017-08-01

    The enigmatic dinosaur taxon Chilesaurus diegosuarezi was originally described as a tetanuran theropod, but this species possesses a highly unusual combination of features that could provide evidence of alternative phylogenetic positions within the clade. In order to test the relationships of Chilesaurus , we added it to a new dataset of early dinosaurs and other dinosauromorphs. Our analyses recover Chilesaurus in a novel position, as the earliest diverging member of Ornithischia, rather than a tetanuran theropod. The basal position of Chilesaurus within the clade and its suite of anatomical characters suggest that it might represent a 'transitional' taxon, bridging the morphological gap between Theropoda and Ornithischia, thereby offering potential insights into the earliest stages of ornithischian evolution, which were previously obscure. For example, our results suggest that pubic retroversion occurred prior to some of the craniodental and postcranial modifications that previously diagnosed the clade (e.g. the presence of a predentary bone and ossified tendons). © 2017 The Author(s).

  19. Incubation times of dinosaur eggs via embryonic metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2016-08-01

    The incubation times for the eggs of 21 dinosaurs are determined from an estimate of their embyronic metabolic rate and the mass of the hatchlings via a mass growth model based on conservation of energy. Embryos in extant birds and crocodiles are studied in order to determine the best model for embryonic metabolism and growth. These results are used to develop a theoretical model that predicts the incubation times of an egg. This model is applied to dinosaur eggs and provides a unique window into dinosaur reproduction. The dinosaurs studied come from both Saurischia and Ornithischia. The incubation times vary from about 28 days for Archaeopteryx lithographica to about 76 days for Alamosaurus sanjuanensis.

  20. Vision in dinosaurs: Scaling effects in sclerotic rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    Sclerotic rings are composed of bones found in the eyes of most vertebrates except mammals and crocodilians. They are believed to have a role in maintaining the shape of the eye. Their inner diameter is an upper limit for the effective diameter of the pupil and, therefore, provides a measure of the light-gathering ability of the eyes of extinct animals. Thirty-six different species of dinosaurs (from both the Saurischian and Ornithischian branches) have been studied. The smallest dinosaurs, with masses less than 1 kg, include Juravenator starki, Archaeopteryx lithographica, and Mei long while the largest dinosaurs, with masses on the order of 10,000 kg, include Diplodocus longus and Nemegtosaurus mongoliensis. The light-gathering properties of the eyes of the dinosaurs are studied as a function of the mass. The sclerotic ring diameter is found to increase with mass.

  1. Studies of C60 in fossil of dinosaur egg shell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Zhenxia; Li Xuepeng; Wang Wenmin; Xu Xunjiang; Tang Zichao; Huang Rongbin; Zheng Lansun

    1998-01-01

    The occurrence of C 60 in unearthed fossil of dinosaur egg shell about 70 million years ago was reported. The results are discussed considering possible effects of the conceivable atmosphere pollution on the growth of fullerene molecules

  2. Evolution: How Some Birds Survived When All Other Dinosaurs Died.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L

    2016-05-23

    The end-Cretaceous mass extinction wiped out the dinosaurs, including many birds. But some bird lineages survived. May seed-eating have been the key? Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Brief review of dinosaur studies and perspectives in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALEXANDER W. A. KELLNER

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available Dinosaur research is developing at very high rates around the world resulting in several new discoveries that are improving our understanding of this terrestrial reptilian clade. Except for the last couple years, the studies of Brazilian dinosaurs have not followed this expansive trend, despite the high potential of several dinosaur localities. So far there are only eight described taxa, four in the last year, representing theropod, sauropod, and one possible prosauropod taxa. Except for footprints, there are no records of ornithischian dinosaurs in the country what is at least partially explainable by the lack of continuous vertebrate fossil collecting program in the country. More funding is necessary to improve the research activities in this field.

  4. Dinosaurs, dragons, and dwarfs: The evolution of maximal body size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burness, Gary P.; Diamond, Jared; Flannery, Timothy

    2001-01-01

    Among local faunas, the maximum body size and taxonomic affiliation of the top terrestrial vertebrate vary greatly. Does this variation reflect how food requirements differ between trophic levels (herbivores vs. carnivores) and with taxonomic affiliation (mammals and birds vs. reptiles)? We gathered data on the body size and food requirements of the top terrestrial herbivores and carnivores, over the past 65,000 years, from oceanic islands and continents. The body mass of the top species was found to increase with increasing land area, with a slope similar to that of the relation between body mass and home range area, suggesting that maximum body size is determined by the number of home ranges that can fit into a given land area. For a given land area, the body size of the top species decreased in the sequence: ectothermic herbivore > endothermic herbivore > ectothermic carnivore > endothermic carnivore. When we converted body mass to food requirements, the food consumption of a top herbivore was about 8 times that of a top carnivore, in accord with the factor expected from the trophic pyramid. Although top ectotherms were heavier than top endotherms at a given trophic level, lower metabolic rates per gram of body mass in ectotherms resulted in endotherms and ectotherms having the same food consumption. These patterns explain the size of the largest-ever extinct mammal, but the size of the largest dinosaurs exceeds that predicted from land areas and remains unexplained. PMID:11724953

  5. Broad-scale patterns of late jurassic dinosaur paleoecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noto, Christopher R; Grossman, Ari

    2010-09-03

    There have been numerous studies on dinosaur biogeographic distribution patterns. However, these distribution data have not yet been applied to ecological questions. Ecological studies of dinosaurs have tended to focus on reconstructing individual taxa, usually through comparisons to modern analogs. Fewer studies have sought to determine if the ecological structure of fossil assemblages is preserved and, if so, how dinosaur communities varied. Climate is a major component driving differences between communities. If the ecological structure of a fossil locality is preserved, we expect that dinosaur assemblages from similar environments will share a similar ecological structure. This study applies Ecological Structure Analysis (ESA) to a dataset of 100+ dinosaur taxa arranged into twelve composite fossil assemblages from around the world. Each assemblage was assigned a climate zone (biome) based on its location. Dinosaur taxa were placed into ecomorphological categories. The proportion of each category creates an ecological profile for the assemblage, which were compared using cluster and principal components analyses. Assemblages grouped according to biome, with most coming from arid or semi-arid/seasonal climates. Differences between assemblages are tied to the proportion of large high-browsing vs. small ground-foraging herbivores, which separates arid from semi-arid and moister environments, respectively. However, the effects of historical, taphonomic, and other environmental factors are still evident. This study is the first to show that the general ecological structure of Late Jurassic dinosaur assemblages is preserved at large scales and can be assessed quantitatively. Despite a broad similarity of climatic conditions, a degree of ecological variation is observed between assemblages, from arid to moist. Taxonomic differences between Asia and the other regions demonstrate at least one case of ecosystem convergence. The proportion of different ecomorphs, which

  6. Mesozoic dinosaurs from Brazil and their biogeographic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bittencourt, Jonathas S; Langer, Max C

    2011-03-01

    The record of dinosaur body-fossils in the Brazilian Mesozoic is restricted to the Triassic of Rio Grande do Sul and Cretaceous of various parts of the country. This includes 21 named species, two of which were regarded as nomina dubia, and 19 consensually assigned to Dinosauria. Additional eight supraspecific taxa have been identified based on fragmentary specimens and numerous dinosaur footprints known in Brazil. In fact, most Brazilian specimens related to dinosaurs are composed of isolated teeth and vertebrae. Despite the increase of fieldwork during the last decade, there are still no dinosaur body-fossils of Jurassic age and the evidence of ornithischians in Brazil is very limited. Dinosaur faunas from this country are generally correlated with those from other parts of Gondwana throughout the Mesozoic. During the Late Triassic, there is a close correspondence to Argentina and other south-Pangaea areas. Mid-Cretaceous faunas of northeastern Brazil resemble those of coeval deposits of North Africa and Argentina. Southern hemisphere spinosaurids are restricted to Africa and Brazil, whereas abelisaurids are still unknown in the Early Cretaceous of the latter. Late Cretaceous dinosaur assemblages of south-central Brazil are endemic only to genus or, more conspicuously, to species level, sharing closely related taxa with Argentina, Madagascar, Indo-Pakistan and, to a lesser degree, continental Africa.

  7. Melanosome evolution indicates a key physiological shift within feathered dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Quanguo; Clarke, Julia A; Gao, Ke-Qin; Zhou, Chang-Fu; Meng, Qingjin; Li, Daliang; D'Alba, Liliana; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2014-03-20

    Inference of colour patterning in extinct dinosaurs has been based on the relationship between the morphology of melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) and colour in extant bird feathers. When this relationship evolved relative to the origin of feathers and other novel integumentary structures, such as hair and filamentous body covering in extinct archosaurs, has not been evaluated. Here we sample melanosomes from the integument of 181 extant amniote taxa and 13 lizard, turtle, dinosaur and pterosaur fossils from the Upper-Jurassic and Lower-Cretaceous of China. We find that in the lineage leading to birds, the observed increase in the diversity of melanosome morphologies appears abruptly, near the origin of pinnate feathers in maniraptoran dinosaurs. Similarly, mammals show an increased diversity of melanosome form compared to all ectothermic amniotes. In these two clades, mammals and maniraptoran dinosaurs including birds, melanosome form and colour are linked and colour reconstruction may be possible. By contrast, melanosomes in lizard, turtle and crocodilian skin, as well as the archosaurian filamentous body coverings (dinosaur 'protofeathers' and pterosaur 'pycnofibres'), show a limited diversity of form that is uncorrelated with colour in extant taxa. These patterns may be explained by convergent changes in the key melanocortin system of mammals and birds, which is known to affect pleiotropically both melanin-based colouration and energetic processes such as metabolic rate in vertebrates, and may therefore support a significant physiological shift in maniraptoran dinosaurs.

  8. Early cretaceous dinosaurs from the sahara.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sereno, P C; Wilson, J A; Larsson, H C; Dutheil, D B; Sues, H D

    1994-10-14

    A major question in Mesozoic biogeography is how the land-based dinosaurian radiation responded to fragmentation of Pangaea. A rich fossil record has been uncovered on northern continents that spans the Cretaceous, when continental isolation reached its peak. In contrast, dinosaur remains on southern continents are scarce. The discovery of dinosaurian skeletons from Lower Cretaceous beds in the southern Sahara shows that several lineages of tetanuran theropods and broad-toothed sauropods had a cosmopolitan distribution across Pangaea before the onset of continental fragmentation. The distinct dinosaurian faunas of Africa, South America, and Asiamerica arose during the Cretaceous by differential survival of once widespread lineages on land masses that were becoming increasingly isolated from one another.

  9. Common Avian Infection Plagued the Tyrant Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Ewan D. S.; Salisbury, Steven W.; Horner, John R.; Varricchio, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Tyrannosaurus rex and other tyrannosaurid fossils often display multiple, smooth-edged full-thickness erosive lesions on the mandible, either unilaterally or bilaterally. The cause of these lesions in the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen FMNH PR2081 (known informally by the name ‘Sue’) has previously been attributed to actinomycosis, a bacterial bone infection, or bite wounds from other tyrannosaurids. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted an extensive survey of tyrannosaurid specimens and identified ten individuals with full-thickness erosive lesions. These lesions were described, measured and photographed for comparison with one another. We also conducted an extensive survey of related archosaurs for similar lesions. We show here that these lesions are consistent with those caused by an avian parasitic infection called trichomonosis, which causes similar abnormalities on the mandible of modern birds, in particular raptors. Conclusions/Significance This finding represents the first evidence for the ancient evolutionary origin of an avian transmissible disease in non-avian theropod dinosaurs. It also provides a valuable insight into the palaeobiology of these now extinct animals. Based on the frequency with which these lesions occur, we hypothesize that tyrannosaurids were commonly infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan. For tyrannosaurid populations, the only non-avian dinosaur group that show trichomonosis-type lesions, it is likely that the disease became endemic and spread as a result of antagonistic intraspecific behavior, consumption of prey infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan and possibly even cannibalism. The severity of trichomonosis-related lesions in specimens such as Tyrannosaurus rex FMNH PR2081 and Tyrannosaurus rex MOR 980, strongly suggests that these animals died as a direct result of this disease, mostly likely through starvation. PMID:19789646

  10. Common avian infection plagued the tyrant dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewan D S Wolff

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Tyrannosaurus rex and other tyrannosaurid fossils often display multiple, smooth-edged full-thickness erosive lesions on the mandible, either unilaterally or bilaterally. The cause of these lesions in the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen FMNH PR2081 (known informally by the name 'Sue' has previously been attributed to actinomycosis, a bacterial bone infection, or bite wounds from other tyrannosaurids. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted an extensive survey of tyrannosaurid specimens and identified ten individuals with full-thickness erosive lesions. These lesions were described, measured and photographed for comparison with one another. We also conducted an extensive survey of related archosaurs for similar lesions. We show here that these lesions are consistent with those caused by an avian parasitic infection called trichomonosis, which causes similar abnormalities on the mandible of modern birds, in particular raptors. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This finding represents the first evidence for the ancient evolutionary origin of an avian transmissible disease in non-avian theropod dinosaurs. It also provides a valuable insight into the palaeobiology of these now extinct animals. Based on the frequency with which these lesions occur, we hypothesize that tyrannosaurids were commonly infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan. For tyrannosaurid populations, the only non-avian dinosaur group that show trichomonosis-type lesions, it is likely that the disease became endemic and spread as a result of antagonistic intraspecific behavior, consumption of prey infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan and possibly even cannibalism. The severity of trichomonosis-related lesions in specimens such as Tyrannosaurus rex FMNH PR2081 and Tyrannosaurus rex MOR 980, strongly suggests that these animals died as a direct result of this disease, mostly likely through starvation.

  11. Multimedia: The Death of the Dinosaurs: 27 Years Later (LBNL Summer Lecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Find ScienceCinema Search Results Multimedia: The Death of the Dinosaurs: 27 Years Later (LBNL Summer Lecture Series) Citation Details Title: The Death of the Dinosaurs: 27 Years Later (LBNL Summer Lecture Alvarez and colleagues' 1979 discovery that an asteroid impact killed the dinosaurs. He also discussesmore

  12. Angolatitan adamastor, a new sauropod dinosaur and the first record from Angola

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mateus, Octávio; Jacobs, Louis L.; Schulp, Anne S.; Polcyn, Michael J.; Tavares, Tatiana S.; Neto, André Buta; Morais, Maria Luísa; Antunes, Miguel T.

    A forelimb of a new sauropod dinosaur (Angolatitan adamastor n. gen. et sp.) from the Late Turonian of Iembe (Bengo Province) represents the first dinosaur discovery in Angola, and is one of the few occurrences of sauropod dinosaurs in sub-Saharan Africa collected with good chronological controls.

  13. DinoViz: Exploring the History and Nature of Science through the Progression of Dinosaur Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James

    2011-01-01

    Dinosaurs in the middle school classroom can be exciting. These extinct reptiles are both an exotic subject and familiar to our students. Because students are inherently interested, dinosaurs can serve as an effective portal for the integration of biology, geology, ecology, and the history and nature of science. The field of dinosaur study is…

  14. Respiratory and reproductive paleophysiology of dinosaurs and early birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruben, John A; Jones, Terry D; Geist, Nicholas R

    2003-01-01

    In terms of their diversity and longevity, dinosaurs and birds were/are surely among the most successful of terrestrial vertebrates. Unfortunately, interpreting many aspects of the biology of dinosaurs and the earliest of the birds presents formidable challenges because they are known only from fossils. Nevertheless, a variety of attributes of these taxa can be inferred by identification of shared anatomical structures whose presence is causally linked to specialized functions in living reptiles, birds, and mammals. Studies such as these demonstrate that although dinosaurs and early birds were likely to have been homeothermic, the absence of nasal respiratory turbinates in these animals indicates that they were likely to have maintained reptile-like (ectothermic) metabolic rates during periods of rest or routine activity. Nevertheless, given the metabolic capacities of some extant reptiles during periods of elevated activity, early birds were probably capable of powered flight. Similarly, had, for example, theropod dinosaurs possessed aerobic metabolic capacities and habits equivalent to those of some large, modern tropical latitude lizards (e.g., Varanus), they may well have maintained significant home ranges and actively pursued and killed large prey. Additionally, this scenario of active, although ectothermic, theropod dinosaurs seems reinforced by the likely utilization of crocodilian-like, diaphragm breathing in this group. Finally, persistent in vivo burial of their nests and apparent lack of egg turning suggests that clutch incubation by dinosaurs was more reptile- than birdlike. Contrary to previous suggestions, there is little if any reliable evidence that some dinosaur young may have been helpless and nestbound (altricial) at hatching.

  15. Diachronism between extinction time of terrestrial and marine dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, H. J.

    1988-01-01

    The dinosaur eggs of southern France occur in continental, fine-grained red-beds, rich in carbonate. The last eggs in the region occur in the magnetic polarity interval 30 normal. Estimates of the accumulation rate of these sediments on the basis of the magneto-stratigraphy leads to placement of the time of disappearance of the dinosaurs in this region of 200,000 to 400,000 years earlier than the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. In the Red Deer Valley, Canada, estimates of average accumulation rate lead to a time of disappearance of the dinosaurs of 135,000 to 157,000 years earlier than the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. In the central part of Poland, in the Nasilow Quarry, the paleomagnetic pattern shows 7 m of chalk of reversed polarity containing in its upper part the marine Cretaceous-Tertiary biostratigraphic boundary. A greensand deposit contains numerous re-deposited Maastrichtian fossils. The fossils show no signs of wear and are of very different sizes including 1 mm thick juvenile belemnites. The deposit was described as a lag-sediment. Among the various fossils are teeth of mosasaurs. Thus there is coincidence in time between the extinction of mosasaurs and other Cretaceous organisms. This leads to the conclusion, that extinction of terrestrial dinosaurs took place earlier than extinction of marine dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary.

  16. Dinosaur trackways from the early Late Cretaceous of western Cameroon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jeremy E.; Menkem, Elie Fosso; Djomeni, Adrien; Fowe, Paul Gustave; Ntamak-Nida, Marie-Joseph

    2017-10-01

    Dinosaur trackways have rarely been reported in Cretaceous strata across the African continent. To the exception of ichnological occurrences in Morocco, Tunisia, Niger and Cameroon, our knowledge on the composition of Cretaceous dinosaur faunas mostly relies on skeletal evidence. For the first time, we document several dinosaur trackways from the Cretaceous of the Mamfe Basin in western Cameroon. Small and medium-size tridactyl footprints as well as numerous large circular footprints are present on a single horizon showing mudcracks and ripple marks. The age of the locality is considered Cenomanian-Turonian and if confirmed, this ichnological assemblage could be younger than the dinosaur footprints reported from northern Cameroon, and coeval with or younger than skeletal remains reported from the Saharan region. These trackways were left in an adjacent subsiding basin along the southern shore of the Benue Trough during a time of high-sea stand when the Trans-Saharan Seaway was already disconnecting West Africa from the rest of the continent. We predict that other similar track sites may be occurring along the margin of the Benue Trough and may eventually permit to test hypotheses related to provincialism among African dinosaur faunas.

  17. Mountain building triggered late cretaceous North American megaherbivore dinosaur radiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry A Gates

    Full Text Available Prior studies of Mesozoic biodiversity document a diversity peak for dinosaur species in the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous, yet have failed to provide explicit causal mechanisms. We provide evidence that a marked increase in North American dinosaur biodiversity can be attributed to dynamic orogenic episodes within the Western Interior Basin (WIB. Detailed fossil occurrences document an association between the shift from Sevier-style, latitudinally arrayed basins to smaller Laramide-style, longitudinally arrayed basins and a well substantiated decreased geographic range/increased taxonomic diversity of megaherbivorous dinosaur species. Dispersal-vicariance analysis demonstrates that the nearly identical biogeographic histories of the megaherbivorous dinosaur clades Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae are attributable to rapid diversification events within restricted basins and that isolation events are contemporaneous with known tectonic activity in the region. SymmeTREE analysis indicates that megaherbivorous dinosaur clades exhibited significant variation in diversification rates throughout the Late Cretaceous. Phylogenetic divergence estimates of fossil clades offer a new lower boundary on Laramide surficial deformation that precedes estimates based on sedimentological data alone.

  18. Mountain building triggered late cretaceous North American megaherbivore dinosaur radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates, Terry A; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Zanno, Lindsay E

    2012-01-01

    Prior studies of Mesozoic biodiversity document a diversity peak for dinosaur species in the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous, yet have failed to provide explicit causal mechanisms. We provide evidence that a marked increase in North American dinosaur biodiversity can be attributed to dynamic orogenic episodes within the Western Interior Basin (WIB). Detailed fossil occurrences document an association between the shift from Sevier-style, latitudinally arrayed basins to smaller Laramide-style, longitudinally arrayed basins and a well substantiated decreased geographic range/increased taxonomic diversity of megaherbivorous dinosaur species. Dispersal-vicariance analysis demonstrates that the nearly identical biogeographic histories of the megaherbivorous dinosaur clades Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae are attributable to rapid diversification events within restricted basins and that isolation events are contemporaneous with known tectonic activity in the region. SymmeTREE analysis indicates that megaherbivorous dinosaur clades exhibited significant variation in diversification rates throughout the Late Cretaceous. Phylogenetic divergence estimates of fossil clades offer a new lower boundary on Laramide surficial deformation that precedes estimates based on sedimentological data alone.

  19. From dinosaurs to modern bird diversity: extending the time scale of adaptive radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel; Morlon, Hélène

    2014-05-01

    What explains why some groups of organisms, like birds, are so species rich? And what explains their extraordinary ecological diversity, ranging from large, flightless birds to small migratory species that fly thousand of kilometers every year? These and similar questions have spurred great interest in adaptive radiation, the diversification of ecological traits in a rapidly speciating group of organisms. Although the initial formulation of modern concepts of adaptive radiation arose from consideration of the fossil record, rigorous attempts to identify adaptive radiation in the fossil record are still uncommon. Moreover, most studies of adaptive radiation concern groups that are less than 50 million years old. Thus, it is unclear how important adaptive radiation is over temporal scales that span much larger portions of the history of life. In this issue, Benson et al. test the idea of a "deep-time" adaptive radiation in dinosaurs, compiling and using one of the most comprehensive phylogenetic and body-size datasets for fossils. Using recent phylogenetic statistical methods, they find that in most clades of dinosaurs there is a strong signal of an "early burst" in body-size evolution, a predicted pattern of adaptive radiation in which rapid trait evolution happens early in a group's history and then slows down. They also find that body-size evolution did not slow down in the lineage leading to birds, hinting at why birds survived to the present day and diversified. This paper represents one of the most convincing attempts at understanding deep-time adaptive radiations.

  20. A Unique Late Triassic Dinosauromorph Assemblage Reveals Dinosaur Ancestral Anatomy and Diet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabreira, Sergio Furtado; Kellner, Alexander Wilhelm Armin; Dias-da-Silva, Sérgio; Roberto da Silva, Lúcio; Bronzati, Mario; Marsola, Júlio Cesar de Almeida; Müller, Rodrigo Temp; Bittencourt, Jonathas de Souza; Batista, Brunna Jul'Armando; Raugust, Tiago; Carrilho, Rodrigo; Brodt, André; Langer, Max Cardoso

    2016-11-21

    Dinosauromorpha includes dinosaurs and other much less diverse dinosaur precursors of Triassic age, such as lagerpetids [1]. Joint occurrences of these taxa with dinosaurs are rare but more common during the latest part of that period (Norian-Rhaetian, 228-201 million years ago [mya]) [2, 3]. In contrast, the new lagerpetid and saurischian dinosaur described here were unearthed from one of the oldest rock units with dinosaur fossils worldwide, the Carnian (237-228 mya) Santa Maria Formation of south Brazil [4], a record only matched in age by much more fragmentary remains from Argentina [5]. This is the first time nearly complete dinosaur and non-dinosaur dinosauromorph remains are found together in the same excavation, clearly showing that these animals were contemporaries since the first stages of dinosaur evolution. The new lagerpetid preserves the first skull, scapular and forelimb elements, plus associated vertebrae, known for the group, revealing how dinosaurs acquired several of their typical anatomical traits. Furthermore, a novel phylogenetic analysis shows the new dinosaur as the most basal Sauropodomorpha. Its plesiomorphic teeth, strictly adapted to faunivory, provide crucial data to infer the feeding behavior of the first dinosaurs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Preservation of the bone protein osteocalcin in dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muyzer, Gerard; Sandberg, Philip; Knapen, Marjo H. J.; Vermeer, Cees; Collins, Matthew; Westbroek, Peter

    1992-10-01

    Two different immunological assays were used to identify the remains of a bone matrix protein, osteocalcin (OC), in the bones of dinosaurs and other fossil vertebrates. Antibodies raised against OC from modern vertebrates showed strong immunological cross-reactivity with modern and relatively young fossil samples and significant reactions with some of the dinosaur bone extracts. The presence of OC was confirmed by the detection of a peptide-bound, uniquely vertebrate amino acid, γcarboxyglutamic acid (Gla). Preservation of OC in fossil bones appears to be strongly dependent on the burial history and not simply on age. These results extend the range of protein preservation in the geologic record and provide a first step toward a molecular phylogeny of the dinosaurs.

  2. Epidermal and dermal integumentary structures of ankylosaurian dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbour, Victoria M; Burns, Michael E; Bell, Phil R; Currie, Philip J

    2014-01-01

    Ankylosaurian dinosaurs are most notable for their abundant and morphologically diverse osteoderms, which would have given them a spiky appearance in life. Isolated osteoderms are relatively common and provide important information about the structure of the ankylosaur dermis, but fossilized impressions of the soft-tissue epidermis of ankylosaurs are rare. Nevertheless, well-preserved integument exists on several ankylosaur fossils that shows osteoderms were covered by a single epidermal scale, but one or many millimeter-sized ossicles may be present under polygonal, basement epidermal scales. Evidence for the taxonomic utility of ankylosaurid epidermal scale architecture is presented for the first time. This study builds on previous osteological work that argues for a greater diversity of ankylosaurids in the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta than has been traditionally recognized and adds to the hypothesis that epidermal skin impressions are taxonomically relevant across diverse dinosaur clades. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Bird embryos uncover homology and evolution of the dinosaur ankle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossa-Fuentes, Luis; Mpodozis, Jorge; Vargas, Alexander O

    2015-11-13

    The anklebone (astragalus) of dinosaurs presents a characteristic upward projection, the 'ascending process' (ASC). The ASC is present in modern birds, but develops a separate ossification centre, and projects from the calcaneum in most species. These differences have been argued to make it non-comparable to dinosaurs. We studied ASC development in six different orders of birds using traditional techniques and spin-disc microscopy for whole-mount immunofluorescence. Unexpectedly, we found the ASC derives from the embryonic intermedium, an ancient element of the tetrapod ankle. In some birds it comes in contact with the astragalus, and, in others, with the calcaneum. The fact that the intermedium fails to fuse early with the tibiale and develops an ossification centre is unlike any other amniotes, yet resembles basal, amphibian-grade tetrapods. The ASC originated in early dinosaurs along changes to upright posture and locomotion, revealing an intriguing combination of functional innovation and reversion in its evolution.

  4. The first dinosaur from Washington State and a review of Pacific coast dinosaurs from North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon R Peecook

    Full Text Available We describe the first diagnostic dinosaur fossil from Washington State. The specimen, which consists of a proximal left femur, was recovered from the shallow marine rocks of the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian Cedar District Formation (Nanaimo Group and is interpreted as pertaining to a large theropod on the basis of its hollow medullary cavity and proximally placed fourth trochanter. The Washington theropod represents one of the northernmost occurrences of a Mesozoic dinosaur on the west coast of the United States and one of only a handful from the Pacific coast of Laramidia during the Cretaceous. Its isolated nature and preservation in marine rocks suggest that the element was washed in from a nearby fluvial system. If the femur pertains to a tyrannosauroid, which seems likely given its size and the widespread occurrence of the group across Laramidia during Late Cretaceous times, then it would represent an earlier occurrence of large body size than previously recognized (complete femur length estimated at 1.2 meters. Uncertainty surrounding the latitude of deposition of the Nanaimo Group (i.e., the Baja-British Columbia hypothesis precludes assigning the Washington theropod to either of the putative northern or southern biogeographic provinces of Laramidia.

  5. The first dinosaur from Washington State and a review of Pacific coast dinosaurs from North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peecook, Brandon R; Sidor, Christian A

    2015-01-01

    We describe the first diagnostic dinosaur fossil from Washington State. The specimen, which consists of a proximal left femur, was recovered from the shallow marine rocks of the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Cedar District Formation (Nanaimo Group) and is interpreted as pertaining to a large theropod on the basis of its hollow medullary cavity and proximally placed fourth trochanter. The Washington theropod represents one of the northernmost occurrences of a Mesozoic dinosaur on the west coast of the United States and one of only a handful from the Pacific coast of Laramidia during the Cretaceous. Its isolated nature and preservation in marine rocks suggest that the element was washed in from a nearby fluvial system. If the femur pertains to a tyrannosauroid, which seems likely given its size and the widespread occurrence of the group across Laramidia during Late Cretaceous times, then it would represent an earlier occurrence of large body size than previously recognized (complete femur length estimated at 1.2 meters). Uncertainty surrounding the latitude of deposition of the Nanaimo Group (i.e., the Baja-British Columbia hypothesis) precludes assigning the Washington theropod to either of the putative northern or southern biogeographic provinces of Laramidia.

  6. Sauropod dinosaurs evolved moderately sized genomes unrelated to body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Organ, Chris L; Brusatte, Stephen L; Stein, Koen

    2009-12-22

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs include the largest land animals to have ever lived, some reaching up to 10 times the mass of an African elephant. Despite their status defining the upper range for body size in land animals, it remains unknown whether sauropodomorphs evolved larger-sized genomes than non-avian theropods, their sister taxon, or whether a relationship exists between genome size and body size in dinosaurs, two questions critical for understanding broad patterns of genome evolution in dinosaurs. Here we report inferences of genome size for 10 sauropodomorph taxa. The estimates are derived from a Bayesian phylogenetic generalized least squares approach that generates posterior distributions of regression models relating genome size to osteocyte lacunae volume in extant tetrapods. We estimate that the average genome size of sauropodomorphs was 2.02 pg (range of species means: 1.77-2.21 pg), a value in the upper range of extant birds (mean = 1.42 pg, range: 0.97-2.16 pg) and near the average for extant non-avian reptiles (mean = 2.24 pg, range: 1.05-5.44 pg). The results suggest that the variation in size and architecture of genomes in extinct dinosaurs was lower than the variation found in mammals. A substantial difference in genome size separates the two major clades within dinosaurs, Ornithischia (large genomes) and Saurischia (moderate to small genomes). We find no relationship between body size and estimated genome size in extinct dinosaurs, which suggests that neutral forces did not dominate the evolution of genome size in this group.

  7. Estimating cranial musculoskeletal constraints in theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2015-11-01

    Many inferences on the biology, behaviour and ecology of extinct vertebrates are based on the reconstruction of the musculature and rely considerably on its accuracy. Although the advent of digital reconstruction techniques has facilitated the creation and testing of musculoskeletal hypotheses in recent years, muscle strain capabilities have rarely been considered. Here, a digital modelling approach using the freely available visualization and animation software Blender is applied to estimate cranial muscle length changes and optimal and maximal possible gape in different theropod dinosaurs. Models of living archosaur taxa (Alligator mississippiensis, Buteo buteo) were used in an extant phylogenetically bracketed framework to validate the method. Results of this study demonstrate that Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus fragilis and Erlikosaurus andrewsi show distinct differences in the recruitment of the jaw adductor musculature and resulting gape, confirming previous dietary and ecological assumptions. While the carnivorous taxa T. rex and Allo. fragilis were capable of a wide gape and sustained muscle force, the herbivorous therizinosaurian E. andrewsi was constrained to small gape angles.

  8. Dynamics of dental evolution in ornithopod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickson, Edward; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Benton, Michael J.; Stubbs, Thomas L.

    2016-07-01

    Ornithopods were key herbivorous dinosaurs in Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems, with a variety of tooth morphologies. Several clades, especially the ‘duck-billed’ hadrosaurids, became hugely diverse and abundant almost worldwide. Yet their evolutionary dynamics have been disputed, particularly whether they diversified in response to events in plant evolution. Here we focus on their remarkable dietary adaptations, using tooth and jaw characters to examine changes in dental disparity and evolutionary rate. Ornithopods explored different areas of dental morphospace throughout their evolution, showing a long-term expansion. There were four major evolutionary rate increases, the first among basal iguanodontians in the Middle-Late Jurassic, and the three others among the Hadrosauridae, above and below the split of their two major clades, in the middle of the Late Cretaceous. These evolutionary bursts do not correspond to times of plant diversification, including the radiation of the flowering plants, and suggest that dental innovation rather than coevolution with major plant clades was a major driver in ornithopod evolution.

  9. Embryonic metabolism of the ornithischian dinosaurs Protoceratops andrewsi and Hypacrosaurus stebingeri and implications for calculations of dinosaur egg incubation times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2017-04-01

    The embryonic metabolisms of the ornithischian dinosaurs Protoceratops andrewsi and Hypacrosaurus stebingeri have been determined and are in the range observed in extant reptiles. The average value of the measured embryonic metabolic rates for P. andrewsi and H. stebingeri are then used to calculate the incubation times for 21 dinosaurs from both Sauischia and Ornithischia using a mass growth model based on conservation of energy. The calculated incubation times vary from about 70 days for Archaeopteryx lithographica to about 180 days for Alamosaurus sanjuanensis. Such long incubation times seem unlikely, particularly for the sauropods and large theropods. Incubation times are also predicted with the assumption that the saurischian dinosaurs had embryonic metabolisms in the range observed in extant birds.

  10. Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: implications for hypotheses of dinosaur/angiosperm co-evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, R J; Barrett, P M; Kenrick, P; Penn, M G

    2009-03-01

    Palaeobiologists frequently attempt to identify examples of co-evolutionary interactions over extended geological timescales. These hypotheses are often intuitively appealing, as co-evolution is so prevalent in extant ecosystems, and are easy to formulate; however, they are much more difficult to test than their modern analogues. Among the more intriguing deep time co-evolutionary scenarios are those that relate changes in Cretaceous dinosaur faunas to the primary radiation of flowering plants. Demonstration of temporal congruence between the diversifications of co-evolving groups is necessary to establish whether co-evolution could have occurred in such cases, but is insufficient to prove whether it actually did take place. Diversity patterns do, however, provide a means for falsifying such hypotheses. We have compiled a new database of Cretaceous dinosaur and plant distributions from information in the primary literature. This is used as the basis for plotting taxonomic diversity and occurrence curves for herbivorous dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Stegosauria, Ankylosauria, Ornithopoda, Ceratopsia, Pachycephalosauria and herbivorous theropods) and major groups of plants (angiosperms, Bennettitales, cycads, cycadophytes, conifers, Filicales and Ginkgoales) that co-occur in dinosaur-bearing formations. Pairwise statistical comparisons were made between various floral and faunal groups to test for any significant similarities in the shapes of their diversity curves through time. We show that, with one possible exception, diversity patterns for major groups of herbivorous dinosaurs are not positively correlated with angiosperm diversity. In other words, at the level of major clades, there is no support for any diffuse co-evolutionary relationship between herbivorous dinosaurs and flowering plants. The diversification of Late Cretaceous pachycephalosaurs (excluding the problematic taxon Stenopelix) shows a positive correlation, but this might be spuriously related to

  11. The first 50Myr of dinosaur evolution: macroevolutionary pattern and morphological disparity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Benton, Michael J; Ruta, Marcello; Lloyd, Graeme T

    2008-12-23

    The evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs in the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic was a pivotal event in the Earth's history but is poorly understood, as previous studies have focused on vague driving mechanisms and have not untangled different macroevolutionary components (origination, diversity, abundance and disparity). We calculate the morphological disparity (morphospace occupation) of dinosaurs throughout the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic and present new measures of taxonomic diversity. Crurotarsan archosaurs, the primary dinosaur 'competitors', were significantly more disparate than dinosaurs throughout the Triassic, but underwent a devastating extinction at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. However, dinosaur disparity showed only a slight non-significant increase after this event, arguing against the hypothesis of ecological release-driven morphospace expansion in the Early Jurassic. Instead, the main jump in dinosaur disparity occurred between the Carnian and Norian stages of the Triassic. Conversely, dinosaur diversity shows a steady increase over this time, and measures of diversification and faunal abundance indicate that the Early Jurassic was a key episode in dinosaur evolution. Thus, different aspects of the dinosaur radiation (diversity, disparity and abundance) were decoupled, and the overall macroevolutionary pattern of the first 50Myr of dinosaur evolution is more complex than often considered.

  12. Structural extremes in a cretaceous dinosaur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Sereno

    Full Text Available Fossils of the Early Cretaceous dinosaur, Nigersaurus taqueti, document for the first time the cranial anatomy of a rebbachisaurid sauropod. Its extreme adaptations for herbivory at ground-level challenge current hypotheses regarding feeding function and feeding strategy among diplodocoids, the larger clade of sauropods that includes Nigersaurus. We used high resolution computed tomography, stereolithography, and standard molding and casting techniques to reassemble the extremely fragile skull. Computed tomography also allowed us to render the first endocast for a sauropod preserving portions of the olfactory bulbs, cerebrum and inner ear, the latter permitting us to establish habitual head posture. To elucidate evidence of tooth wear and tooth replacement rate, we used photographic-casting techniques and crown thin sections, respectively. To reconstruct its 9-meter postcranial skeleton, we combined and size-adjusted multiple partial skeletons. Finally, we used maximum parsimony algorithms on character data to obtain the best estimate of phylogenetic relationships among diplodocoid sauropods. Nigersaurus taqueti shows extreme adaptations for a dinosaurian herbivore including a skull of extremely light construction, tooth batteries located at the distal end of the jaws, tooth replacement as fast as one per month, an expanded muzzle that faces directly toward the ground, and hollow presacral vertebral centra with more air sac space than bone by volume. A cranial endocast provides the first reasonably complete view of a sauropod brain including its small olfactory bulbs and cerebrum. Skeletal and dental evidence suggests that Nigersaurus was a ground-level herbivore that gathered and sliced relatively soft vegetation, the culmination of a low-browsing feeding strategy first established among diplodocoids during the Jurassic.

  13. The bone microstructure of polar "hypsilophodontid" dinosaurs from Victoria, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Holly N; Rich, Thomas H; Vickers-Rich, Patricia

    2018-01-18

    High-latitude (i.e., "polar") Mesozoic fauna endured months of twilight and relatively low mean annual temperatures. Yet non-avian dinosaurs flourished in this taxing environment. Fossils of basal ornithopod dinosaurs ("hypsilophodontids") are common in the Early Cretaceous high-latitude sediments of Victoria, Australia, and four taxa have been described; although their ontogenetic histories are largely unexplored. In the present study, eighteen tibiae and femora were utilized in the first multi-specimen ontogenetic histological analysis of Australian polar hypsilophodontids. The sample consists of eleven individuals from the Flat Rocks locality (Late Valanginian or Barremian), and five from the Dinosaur Cove locality (Albian). In both groups, growth was most rapid during the first three years, and skeletal maturity occurred between five and seven years. There is a weak asymptotic trend in a plot of growth mark count versus femur length, with considerable individual variation. Histology suggests two genera are present within the Dinosaur Cove sample, but bone microstructure alone could not distinguish genera within the Flat Rocks sample, or across the two geologically separate (~ 26 Ma) localities. Additional histologic sampling, combined with morphological analyses, may facilitate further differentiation between ontogenetic, individual, and species variation.

  14. Response to Comments on "Evidence for mesothermy in dinosaurs".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grady, John M; Enquist, Brian J; Dettweiler-Robinson, Eva; Wright, Natalie A; Smith, Felisa A

    2015-05-29

    D'Emic and Myhrvold raise a number of statistical and methodological issues with our recent analysis of dinosaur growth and energetics. However, their critiques and suggested improvements lack biological and statistical justification. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  15. TeV Scale Gravity, Mirror Universe and. . . Dinosaurs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silagadze, Z K [Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, Novosibirsk (Russian Federation)

    2001-01-01

    This is somewhat extended version of the talk given at the Gran Sasso Summer Institute: Massive Neutrinos in Physics and Astrophysics. It described general ideas about mirror world, extra spatial dimension and dinosaur extinction. Some suggestions are made how these seemingly different things can be related to each other. (author)

  16. Study of dinosaur's egg shell by EPR method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tleuberdina, R.A.; Nasirov, R.N.

    1998-01-01

    Two varieties of calcium carbonate are defined on base of ESR spectra radiation-inducted signals containing in mollusc shell and dinosaur and ostrich egg shell; their spectral characters are studied by infrared-spectroscopy methods and X-ray analysis. Possibility of correlation between ESR signals intensity of CO 2 -radical of investigated object and geological age is determined. (author)

  17. Metric-Asaurus: Conceptualizing Scale Using Dinosaur Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gloyna, Lisa; West, Sandra; Martin, Patti; Browning, Sandra

    2010-01-01

    For middle school students who have seen only pictures of dinosaurs in books, in the movies, or on the internet, trying to comprehend the size of these gargantuan animals can be difficult. This lesson provides a way for students to visualize changing scale through studying extinct organisms and to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the…

  18. Dinosaur remains from the type Maastrichtian: An update

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weishampel, David B.; Mulder, Eric W A; Dortangs, Rudi W.; Jagt, John W M; Jianu, Coralia Maria; Kuypers, Marcel M M; Peeters, Hans H G; Schulp, Anne S.

    1999-01-01

    Isolated cranial and post-cranial remains of hadrosaurid dinosaurs have been collected from various outcrops in the type area of the Maastrichtian stage during the last few years. In the present contribution, dentary and maxillary teeth are recorded from the area for the first time. Post-cranial

  19. Dinosaurs on the North Slope, Alaska: High latitude, latest cretaceous environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouwers, E.M.; Clemens, W.A.; Spicer, R.A.; Ager, T.A.; Carter, L.D.; Sliter, W.V.

    1987-01-01

    Abundant skeletal remains demonstrate that lambeosaurine hadrosaurid, tyrannosaurid, and troodontid dinosaurs lived on the Alaskan North Slope during late Campanian-early Maestrichtian time (about 66 to 76 million years ago) in a deltaic environment dominated by herbaceous vegetation. The high ground terrestrial plant community was a mild- to cold-temperate forest composed of coniferous and broad leaf trees. The high paleolatitude (about 70?? to 85?? North) implies extreme seasonal variation in solar insolation, temperature, and herbivore food supply. Great distances of migration to contemporaneous evergreen floras and the presence of both juvenile and adult hadrosaurs suggest that they remained at high latitudes year-round. This challenges the hypothesis that short-term periods of darkness and temperature decrease resulting from a bolide impact caused dinosaurian extinction.

  20. Dinosaur demise in light of their alleged perennial polar residency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewy, Zeev

    2017-10-01

    The end-Cretaceous biological crisis is represented by the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs. However, most crucial biologically was the elimination of the photosynthesizing marine phyto- and zooplankton forming the base of the marine food chain. Their abrupt demise attests to sunlight screening darkening the atmosphere for a few years. Alvarez et al. (Science 208:1095-1108, 1980. doi: 10.1126/science.208.44) noticed in deep marine end-Cretaceous sediments an anomalous rise in the chemical element iridium (Ir), which is rare on planet Earth and thus suggests an extraterrestrial origin through an impact of a large asteroid. This impact would have ejected enormous quantities of particles and aerosols, shading the solar illumination as attested to by the elimination of the marine photosynthesizing plankton. Such a dark period must have affected life on land. The apparent cold-blooded non-avian dinosaurs, which were used to living in open terrains to absorb the solar illumination, became inactive during the dark period and were incapable of withstanding predators. This was in contrast to cold-blooded crocodilians, turtles and lizards that could hide in refuge sites on land and in the water. Dinosaur relics discovered in Cretaceous Polar Regions were attributed to perennial residents, surviving the nearly half-year-long dark winter despite their ability to leave. The polar concentrations of disarticulated dinosaur bones were suggested as having resulted from a catastrophic burial of a population by floods. However, this should have fossilized complete skeletons. Alternatively, herds of dinosaurs living in high latitudes might have been sexually driven to spend the half year of continuously illuminated polar summer for mating rather than for nourishment, in which the lower latitudes provided as well. The aggressive mating competitions would have left victims among the rivals and of young ones incidentally trampled over, all being consumed and their skeletons

  1. Pathologic bone tissues in a Turkey vulture and a nonavian dinosaur: implications for interpreting endosteal bone and radial fibrolamellar bone in fossil dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinsamy, Anusuya; Tumarkin-Deratzian, Allison

    2009-09-01

    We report on similar pathological bone microstructure in an extant turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and a nonavian dinosaur from Transylvania. Both these individuals exhibit distinctive periosteal reactive bone deposition accompanied by endosteal bone deposits in the medullary cavity. Our findings have direct implications on the two novel bone tissues recently described among nonavian dinosaurs, radial fibrolamellar bone tissue and medullary bone tissue. On the basis of the observed morphology of the periosteal reactive bone in the turkey vulture and the Transylvanian dinosaur, we propose that the radial fibrolamellar bone tissues observed in mature dinosaurs may have had a pathological origin. Our analysis also shows that on the basis of origin, location, and morphology, pathologically derived endosteal bone tissue can be similar to medullary bone tissues described in nonavian dinosaurs. As such, we caution the interpretation of all endosteally derived bone tissue as homologous to avian medullary bone. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. An Evolutionary Cascade Model for Sauropod Dinosaur Gigantism - Overview, Update and Tests

    OpenAIRE

    Sander, P. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Sauropod dinosaurs are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs which exceeded all other terrestrial vertebrates in mean and maximal body size. Sauropod dinosaurs were also the most successful and long-lived herbivorous tetrapod clade, but no abiological factors such as global environmental parameters conducive to their gigantism can be identified. These facts justify major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals and to explain their evolutiona...

  3. A phylogenetic study of the section moduli of the humerus in bipedal theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott; Richards, Zachary

    The section modulus of a bone is a measure of its ability to resist bending torques. Carnivorous dinosaurs including Tyrannosauroidea and Allosauroidea had strong humeri, presumably to hold struggling prey during hunting. The herbivorous dinosaurs of Ornithomimosauria had weak arm bones. This is believed to reflect the fact that their arms were never subjected to large bending torques. The unusual dinosaurs of Therizinosauria had arms as strong as found in the carnivorous dinosaurs. This is consistent with the hypothesis that their manus suggests a digging lifestyle. Other groups including Oviraptorosauria, Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae and Compsognathidae are also examined.

  4. Great Apes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeman, Jonathan M.; Cerveny, Shannon

    2014-01-01

    Anesthesia of great apes is often necessary to conduct diagnostic analysis, provide therapeutics, facilitate surgical procedures, and enable transport and translocation for conservation purposes. Due to the stress of remote delivery injection of anesthetic agents, recent studies have focused on oral delivery and/or transmucosal absorption of preanesthetic and anesthetic agents. Maintenance of the airway and provision of oxygen is an important aspect of anesthesia in great ape species. The provision of analgesia is an important aspect of the anesthesia protocol for any procedure involving painful stimuli. Opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often administered alone, or in combination to provide multi-modal analgesia. There is increasing conservation management of in situ great ape populations, which has resulted in the development of field anesthesia techniques for free-living great apes for the purposes of translocation, reintroduction into the wild, and clinical interventions.

  5. From dinosaurs to modern bird diversity: extending the time scale of adaptive radiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Moen

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available What explains why some groups of organisms, like birds, are so species rich? And what explains their extraordinary ecological diversity, ranging from large, flightless birds to small migratory species that fly thousand of kilometers every year? These and similar questions have spurred great interest in adaptive radiation, the diversification of ecological traits in a rapidly speciating group of organisms. Although the initial formulation of modern concepts of adaptive radiation arose from consideration of the fossil record, rigorous attempts to identify adaptive radiation in the fossil record are still uncommon. Moreover, most studies of adaptive radiation concern groups that are less than 50 million years old. Thus, it is unclear how important adaptive radiation is over temporal scales that span much larger portions of the history of life. In this issue, Benson et al. test the idea of a "deep-time" adaptive radiation in dinosaurs, compiling and using one of the most comprehensive phylogenetic and body-size datasets for fossils. Using recent phylogenetic statistical methods, they find that in most clades of dinosaurs there is a strong signal of an "early burst" in body-size evolution, a predicted pattern of adaptive radiation in which rapid trait evolution happens early in a group's history and then slows down. They also find that body-size evolution did not slow down in the lineage leading to birds, hinting at why birds survived to the present day and diversified. This paper represents one of the most convincing attempts at understanding deep-time adaptive radiations.

  6. Multivariate analyses of small theropod dinosaur teeth and implications for paleoecological turnover through time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek W Larson

    Full Text Available Isolated small theropod teeth are abundant in vertebrate microfossil assemblages, and are frequently used in studies of species diversity in ancient ecosystems. However, determining the taxonomic affinities of these teeth is problematic due to an absence of associated diagnostic skeletal material. Species such as Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Richardoestesia gilmorei, and Saurornitholestes langstoni are known from skeletal remains that have been recovered exclusively from the Dinosaur Park Formation (Campanian. It is therefore likely that teeth from different formations widely disparate in age or geographic position are not referable to these species. Tooth taxa without any associated skeletal material, such as Paronychodon lacustris and Richardoestesia isosceles, have also been identified from multiple localities of disparate ages throughout the Late Cretaceous. To address this problem, a dataset of measurements of 1183 small theropod teeth (the most specimen-rich theropod tooth dataset ever constructed from North America ranging in age from Santonian through Maastrichtian were analyzed using multivariate statistical methods: canonical variate analysis, pairwise discriminant function analysis, and multivariate analysis of variance. The results indicate that teeth referred to the same taxon from different formations are often quantitatively distinct. In contrast, isolated teeth found in time equivalent formations are not quantitatively distinguishable from each other. These results support the hypothesis that small theropod taxa, like other dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous, tend to be exclusive to discrete host formations. The methods outlined have great potential for future studies of isolated teeth worldwide, and may be the most useful non-destructive technique known of extracting the most data possible from isolated and fragmentary specimens. The ability to accurately assess species diversity and turnover through time based on isolated teeth

  7. Multivariate Analyses of Small Theropod Dinosaur Teeth and Implications for Paleoecological Turnover through Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Derek W.; Currie, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

    Isolated small theropod teeth are abundant in vertebrate microfossil assemblages, and are frequently used in studies of species diversity in ancient ecosystems. However, determining the taxonomic affinities of these teeth is problematic due to an absence of associated diagnostic skeletal material. Species such as Dromaeosaurus albertensis, Richardoestesia gilmorei, and Saurornitholestes langstoni are known from skeletal remains that have been recovered exclusively from the Dinosaur Park Formation (Campanian). It is therefore likely that teeth from different formations widely disparate in age or geographic position are not referable to these species. Tooth taxa without any associated skeletal material, such as Paronychodon lacustris and Richardoestesia isosceles, have also been identified from multiple localities of disparate ages throughout the Late Cretaceous. To address this problem, a dataset of measurements of 1183 small theropod teeth (the most specimen-rich theropod tooth dataset ever constructed) from North America ranging in age from Santonian through Maastrichtian were analyzed using multivariate statistical methods: canonical variate analysis, pairwise discriminant function analysis, and multivariate analysis of variance. The results indicate that teeth referred to the same taxon from different formations are often quantitatively distinct. In contrast, isolated teeth found in time equivalent formations are not quantitatively distinguishable from each other. These results support the hypothesis that small theropod taxa, like other dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous, tend to be exclusive to discrete host formations. The methods outlined have great potential for future studies of isolated teeth worldwide, and may be the most useful non-destructive technique known of extracting the most data possible from isolated and fragmentary specimens. The ability to accurately assess species diversity and turnover through time based on isolated teeth will help illuminate

  8. parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñalver, Enrique; Arillo, Antonio; Delclòs, Xavier; Peris, David; Grimaldi, David A; Anderson, Scott R; Nascimbene, Paul C; Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo

    2017-12-12

    Ticks are currently among the most prevalent blood-feeding ectoparasites, but their feeding habits and hosts in deep time have long remained speculative. Here, we report direct and indirect evidence in 99 million-year-old Cretaceous amber showing that hard ticks and ticks of the extinct new family Deinocrotonidae fed on blood from feathered dinosaurs, non-avialan or avialan excluding crown-group birds. A †Cornupalpatum burmanicum hard tick is entangled in a pennaceous feather. Two deinocrotonids described as †Deinocroton draculi gen. et sp. nov. have specialised setae from dermestid beetle larvae (hastisetae) attached to their bodies, likely indicating cohabitation in a feathered dinosaur nest. A third conspecific specimen is blood-engorged, its anatomical features suggesting that deinocrotonids fed rapidly to engorgement and had multiple gonotrophic cycles. These findings provide insight into early tick evolution and ecology, and shed light on poorly known arthropod-vertebrate interactions and potential disease transmission during the Mesozoic.

  9. The comparison of species longevity and size evolution in fossilized dinosaurs vs. fossilized mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeza, E.; Srinath, A.; Hernandez, A.; Heim, N.; Payne, J.

    2016-12-01

    For over 200 million years, two animal groups have been competing for dominance over Earth: the reptiles, (in this case, dinosaurs), and the mammals. At the beginning of the Triassic, mammals were small, rat-like creatures that were dwarfed by the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs progressively continued to grow larger throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, thus outweighing and outliving the current mammals. But at the end of the Cretaceous, the K-T mass extinction occurred, and that wiped out the dinosaurs from the face of the Earth. After the disappearance of dinosaurs, mammals started to grow larger to fill the niches that the dinosaurs left open. With this evolution in mammals, would they be able to match or even beat the dinosaur's previous records? To judge that, we need to utilize two significant factors to help judge our answer. The two factors that set them apart were body mass and longevity. Documenting the body mass shows us how much the animal weighed compared to other species. The heaviest animal in our data set weighed 77 tons. The other factor is longevity, which indicates how long a certain species has existed on a geologic time scale. The longest living animal species in our data set lived for over 20 million years. With all the data we have analyzed, we have conducted research on this subject to find out how terrestrial mammals contrasted dinosaurs in the terms of body mass and species longevity. Our research brought us to the conclusion that mammals could not overtake the body mass and longevity of dinosaurs. Although mammals came pretty close to overlapping the dinosaurs' body masses, they were just below them marginally. We had a similar pattern in longevity, where we found out that heavier animals tended to have longer longevity, therefore the dinosaurs came out on top. Additionally, we did another contrast between Mesozoic and Cenozoic mammals, where Cenozoic mammals were larger, but both had similar longevities.

  10. Body temperatures in dinosaurs: what can growth curves tell us?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Maria Griebeler

    Full Text Available To estimate the body temperature (BT of seven dinosaurs Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006 used an equation that predicts BT from the body mass and maximum growth rate (MGR with the latter preserved in ontogenetic growth trajectories (BT-equation. The results of these authors evidence inertial homeothermy in Dinosauria and suggest that, due to overheating, the maximum body size in Dinosauria was ultimately limited by BT. In this paper, I revisit this hypothesis of Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006. I first studied whether BTs derived from the BT-equation of today's crocodiles, birds and mammals are consistent with core temperatures of animals. Second, I applied the BT-equation to a larger number of dinosaurs than Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006 did. In particular, I estimated BT of Archaeopteryx (from two MGRs, ornithischians (two, theropods (three, prosauropods (three, and sauropods (nine. For extant species, the BT value estimated from the BT-equation was a poor estimate of an animal's core temperature. For birds, BT was always strongly overestimated and for crocodiles underestimated; for mammals the accuracy of BT was moderate. I argue that taxon-specific differences in the scaling of MGR (intercept and exponent of the regression line, log-log-transformed and in the parameterization of the Arrhenius model both used in the BT-equation as well as ecological and evolutionary adaptations of species cause these inaccuracies. Irrespective of the found inaccuracy of BTs estimated from the BT-equation and contrary to the results of Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006 I found no increase in BT with increasing body mass across all dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Sauropoda studied. This observation questions that, due to overheating, the maximum size in Dinosauria was ultimately limited by BT. However, the general high inaccuracy of dinosaurian BTs derived from the BT-equation makes a reliable test of whether body size in dinosaurs was ultimately

  11. Dinosaur Metabolism and the Allometry of Maximum Growth Rate

    OpenAIRE

    Myhrvold, Nathan P.

    2016-01-01

    The allometry of maximum somatic growth rate has been used in prior studies to classify the metabolic state of both extant vertebrates and dinosaurs. The most recent such studies are reviewed, and their data is reanalyzed. The results of allometric regressions on growth rate are shown to depend on the choice of independent variable; the typical choice used in prior studies introduces a geometric shear transformation that exaggerates the statistical power of the regressions. The maximum growth...

  12. Body temperatures in dinosaurs: what can growth curves tell us?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2013-01-01

    To estimate the body temperature (BT) of seven dinosaurs Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006) used an equation that predicts BT from the body mass and maximum growth rate (MGR) with the latter preserved in ontogenetic growth trajectories (BT-equation). The results of these authors evidence inertial homeothermy in Dinosauria and suggest that, due to overheating, the maximum body size in Dinosauria was ultimately limited by BT. In this paper, I revisit this hypothesis of Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006). I first studied whether BTs derived from the BT-equation of today's crocodiles, birds and mammals are consistent with core temperatures of animals. Second, I applied the BT-equation to a larger number of dinosaurs than Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006) did. In particular, I estimated BT of Archaeopteryx (from two MGRs), ornithischians (two), theropods (three), prosauropods (three), and sauropods (nine). For extant species, the BT value estimated from the BT-equation was a poor estimate of an animal's core temperature. For birds, BT was always strongly overestimated and for crocodiles underestimated; for mammals the accuracy of BT was moderate. I argue that taxon-specific differences in the scaling of MGR (intercept and exponent of the regression line, log-log-transformed) and in the parameterization of the Arrhenius model both used in the BT-equation as well as ecological and evolutionary adaptations of species cause these inaccuracies. Irrespective of the found inaccuracy of BTs estimated from the BT-equation and contrary to the results of Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006) I found no increase in BT with increasing body mass across all dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Sauropoda) studied. This observation questions that, due to overheating, the maximum size in Dinosauria was ultimately limited by BT. However, the general high inaccuracy of dinosaurian BTs derived from the BT-equation makes a reliable test of whether body size in dinosaurs was ultimately limited

  13. Low beta diversity of Maastrichtian dinosaurs of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vavrek, Matthew J.; Larsson, Hans C. E.

    2010-01-01

    Beta diversity is an important component of large-scale patterns of biodiversity, but its explicit examination is more difficult than that of alpha diversity. Only recently have data sets large enough been presented to begin assessing global patterns of species turnover, especially in the fossil record. We present here an analysis of beta diversity of a Maastrichtian (71–65 million years old) assemblage of dinosaurs from the Western Interior of North America, a region that covers ≈1.5 × 106 km2, borders an epicontinental sea, and spans ≈20° of latitude. Previous qualitative analyses have suggested regional groupings of these dinosaurs and generally concluded that there were multiple distinct faunal regions. However, these studies did not directly account for sampling bias, which may artificially decrease similarity and increase turnover between regions. Our analysis used abundance-based data to account for sampling intensity and was unable to support any hypothesis of multiple distinct faunas; earlier hypothesized faunal delineations were likely a sampling artifact. Our results indicate a low beta diversity and support a single dinosaur community within the entire Western Interior region of latest Cretaceous North America. Homogeneous environments are a known driver of low modern beta diversities, and the warm equable climate of the late Cretaceous modulated by the epicontenental seaway is inferred to be an underlying influence on the low beta diversity of this ancient ecosystem. PMID:20404176

  14. Morphological Diversity and Evolution of the Jugal in Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Corwin; Xu, Xing

    2017-01-01

    In dinosaurs, as in other reptiles, the homologue of the mammalian zygomatic bone is the jugal. The dinosaurian jugal was primitively triradiate, with posterior, dorsal and anterior processes that respectively contacted the quadratojugal, the postorbital, and the maxilla and lacrimal. However, the jugal evolved along different lines in the three major dinosaurian clades. In theropods this cranial element remained relatively conservative in morphology, apart from being reduced to a rod-like structure in most birds and a few non-avians. In sauropodomorphs the jugal eventually became small, plate-like and nearly restricted to the area below the orbit, even being excluded from the ventral margin of the skull in many derived taxa. Among ornithischians the jugal was highly variable, but in many cases became large and/or adorned with ornamental features such as horns, flanges, and rugosities. The jugal does not appear to have been a site of muscle attachment in most non-avian dinosaurs, but represented an important structural element in the akinetic dinosaurian skull. The conspicuous jugal ornaments seen in many ornithischian dinosaurs, like the less striking ones documented in some saurischians, may have played an important role in the social behavior of the species that possessed them. In many cases they have a weapon-like aspect suggesting use in aggressive displays, if not actual combat, adding to the evidence that agonistic behavior was likely widespread among ornithischians in particular. Anat Rec, 300:30-48, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. A second look at the colors of the dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Derek D

    2016-02-01

    In earlier work, I predicted that we would probably not be able to determine the colors of the dinosaurs. I lost this epistemic bet against science in dramatic fashion when scientists discovered that it is possible to draw inferences about dinosaur coloration based on the microstructure of fossil feathers (Vinther et al., 2008). This paper is an exercise in philosophical error analysis. I examine this episode with two questions in mind. First, does this case lend any support to epistemic optimism about historical science? Second, under what conditions is it rational to make predictions about what questions scientists will or will not be able answer? In reply to the first question, I argue that the recent work on the colors of the dinosaurs matters less to the debate about the epistemology of historical science than it might seem. In reply to the second question, I argue that it is difficult to specify a policy that would rule out the failed bet without also being too conservative. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Vascularised endosteal bone tissue in armoured sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinsamy, Anusuya; Cerda, Ignacio; Powell, Jaime

    2016-04-26

    The presence of well-vascularised, endosteal bone in the medullary region of long bones of nonavian dinosaurs has been invoked as being homologous to medullary bone, a specialised bone tissue formed during ovulation in birds. However, similar bone tissues can result as a pathological response in modern birds and in nonavian dinosaurs, and has also been reported in an immature nonavian dinosaur. Here we report on the occurrence of well-vascularised endosteally formed bone tissue in three skeletal elements of armoured titanosaur sauropods from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina: i) within the medullary cavity of a metatarsal, ii) inside a pneumatic cavity of a posterior caudal vertebra, iii) in intra-trabecular spaces in an osteoderm. We show that considering the criteria of location, origin (or development), and histology, these endosteally derived tissues in the saltasaurine titanosaurs could be described as either medullary bone or pathological bone. Furthermore, we show that similar endosteally formed well-vascularised bone tissue is fairly widely distributed among nondinosaurian Archosauriformes, and are not restricted to long bones, but can occur in the axial, and dermal skeleton. We propose that independent evidence is required to verify whether vascularised endosteal bone tissues in extinct archosaurs are pathological or reproductive in nature.

  17. Retrodeformation and muscular reconstruction of ornithomimosaurian dinosaur crania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew R. Cuff

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Ornithomimosaur dinosaurs evolved lightweight, edentulous skulls that possessed keratinous rhamphothecae. Understanding the anatomy of these taxa allows for a greater understanding of “ostrich-mimic” dinosaurs and character change during theropod dinosaur evolution. However, taphonomic processes during fossilisation often distort fossil remains. Retrodeformation offers a means by which to recover a hypothesis of the original anatomy of the specimen, and 3D scanning technologies present a way to constrain and document the retrodeformation process. Using computed tomography (CT scan data, specimen specific retrodeformations were performed on three-dimensionally preserved but taphonomically distorted skulls of the deinocheirid Garudimimus brevipes Barsbold, 1981 and the ornithomimids Struthiomimus altus Lambe, 1902 and Ornithomimus edmontonicus Sternberg, 1933. This allowed for a reconstruction of the adductor musculature, which was then mapped onto the crania, from which muscle mechanical advantage and bite forces were calculated pre- and post-retrodeformation. The extent of the rhamphotheca was varied in each taxon to represent morphologies found within modern Aves. Well constrained retrodeformation allows for increased confidence in anatomical and functional analysis of fossil specimens and offers an opportunity to more fully understand the soft tissue anatomy of extinct taxa.

  18. Dietary adaptions in the ultrastructure of dinosaur dentine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brink, Kirstin S; Chen, Yu-Cheng; Wu, Ya-Na; Liu, Wei-Min; Shieh, Dar-Bin; Huang, Timothy D; Sun, Chi-Kuang; Reisz, Robert R

    2016-12-01

    Teeth are key to understanding the feeding ecology of both extant and extinct vertebrates. Recent studies have highlighted the previously unrecognized complexity of dinosaur dentitions and how specific tooth tissues and tooth shapes differ between taxa with different diets. However, it is unknown how the ultrastructure of these tooth tissues contributes to the differences in feeding style between taxa. In this study, we use third harmonic generation microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to examine the ultrastructure of the dentine in herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs to understand how the structure of this tissue contributes to the overall utility of the tooth. Morphometric analyses of dentinal tubule diameter, density and branching rates reveal a strong signal for dietary preferences, with herbivorous saurischian and ornithischian dinosaurs consistently having higher dentinal tubule density than their carnivorous relatives. We hypothesize that this relates to the hardness of the dentine, where herbivorous taxa have dentine that is more resistant to breakage and wear at the dentine-enamel junction than carnivorous taxa. This study advocates the detailed study of dentine and the use of advanced microscopy techniques to understand the evolution of dentition and feeding ecology in extinct vertebrates. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. New Australian sauropods shed light on Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poropat, Stephen F.; Mannion, Philip D.; Upchurch, Paul; Hocknull, Scott A.; Kear, Benjamin P.; Kundrát, Martin; Tischler, Travis R.; Sloan, Trish; Sinapius, George H. K.; Elliott, Judy A.; Elliott, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Australian dinosaurs have played a rare but controversial role in the debate surrounding the effect of Gondwanan break-up on Cretaceous dinosaur distribution. Major spatiotemporal gaps in the Gondwanan Cretaceous fossil record, coupled with taxon incompleteness, have hindered research on this effect, especially in Australia. Here we report on two new sauropod specimens from the early Late Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia, that have important implications for Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography. Savannasaurus elliottorum gen. et sp. nov. comprises one of the most complete Cretaceous sauropod skeletons ever found in Australia, whereas a new specimen of Diamantinasaurus matildae includes the first ever cranial remains of an Australian sauropod. The results of a new phylogenetic analysis, in which both Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus are recovered within Titanosauria, were used as the basis for a quantitative palaeobiogeographical analysis of macronarian sauropods. Titanosaurs achieved a worldwide distribution by at least 125 million years ago, suggesting that mid-Cretaceous Australian sauropods represent remnants of clades which were widespread during the Early Cretaceous. These lineages would have entered Australasia via dispersal from South America, presumably across Antarctica. High latitude sauropod dispersal might have been facilitated by Albian–Turonian warming that lifted a palaeoclimatic dispersal barrier between Antarctica and South America. PMID:27763598

  20. Great Expectations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dickens, Charles

    2005-01-01

    One of Dickens's most renowned and enjoyable novels, Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, an orphan boy who wishes to transcend his humble origins and finds himself unexpectedly given the opportunity to live a life of wealth and respectability. Over the course of the tale, in which Pip

  1. New basal iguanodonts from the Cedar Mountain formation of Utah and the evolution of thumb-spiked dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T McDonald

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Basal iguanodontian dinosaurs were extremely successful animals, found in great abundance and diversity almost worldwide during the Early Cretaceous. In contrast to Europe and Asia, the North American record of Early Cretaceous basal iguanodonts has until recently been limited largely to skulls and skeletons of Tenontosaurus tilletti. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Herein we describe two new basal iguanodonts from the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation of eastern Utah, each known from a partial skull and skeleton. Iguanacolossus fortis gen. et sp. nov. and Hippodraco scutodens gen. et sp. nov. are each diagnosed by a single autapomorphy and a unique combination of characters. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Iguanacolossus and Hippodraco add greatly to our knowledge of North American basal iguanodonts and prompt a new comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of basal iguanodont relationships. This analysis indicates that North American Early Cretaceous basal iguanodonts are more basal than their contemporaries in Europe and Asia.

  2. New Basal Iguanodonts from the Cedar Mountain Formation of Utah and the Evolution of Thumb-Spiked Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Andrew T.; Kirkland, James I.; DeBlieux, Donald D.; Madsen, Scott K.; Cavin, Jennifer; Milner, Andrew R. C.; Panzarin, Lukas

    2010-01-01

    Background Basal iguanodontian dinosaurs were extremely successful animals, found in great abundance and diversity almost worldwide during the Early Cretaceous. In contrast to Europe and Asia, the North American record of Early Cretaceous basal iguanodonts has until recently been limited largely to skulls and skeletons of Tenontosaurus tilletti. Methodology/Principal Findings Herein we describe two new basal iguanodonts from the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation of eastern Utah, each known from a partial skull and skeleton. Iguanacolossus fortis gen. et sp. nov. and Hippodraco scutodens gen. et sp. nov. are each diagnosed by a single autapomorphy and a unique combination of characters. Conclusions/Significance Iguanacolossus and Hippodraco add greatly to our knowledge of North American basal iguanodonts and prompt a new comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of basal iguanodont relationships. This analysis indicates that North American Early Cretaceous basal iguanodonts are more basal than their contemporaries in Europe and Asia. PMID:21124919

  3. Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edsall, Thomas A.; Mac, Michael J.; Opler, Paul A.; Puckett Haecker, Catherine E.; Doran, Peter D.

    1998-01-01

    The Great Lakes region, as defined here, includes the Great Lakes and their drainage basins in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The region also includes the portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the 21 northernmost counties of Illinois that lie in the Mississippi River drainage basin, outside the floodplain of the river. The region spans about 9º of latitude and 20º of longitude and lies roughly halfway between the equator and the North Pole in a lowland corridor that extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean.The Great Lakes are the most prominent natural feature of the region (Fig. 1). They have a combined surface area of about 245,000 square kilometers and are among the largest, deepest lakes in the world. They are the largest single aggregation of fresh water on the planet (excluding the polar ice caps) and are the only glacial feature on Earth visible from the surface of the moon (The Nature Conservancy 1994a).The Great Lakes moderate the region’s climate, which presently ranges from subarctic in the north to humid continental warm in the south (Fig. 2), reflecting the movement of major weather masses from the north and south (U.S. Department of the Interior 1970; Eichenlaub 1979). The lakes act as heat sinks in summer and heat sources in winter and are major reservoirs that help humidify much of the region. They also create local precipitation belts in areas where air masses are pushed across the lakes by prevailing winds, pick up moisture from the lake surface, and then drop that moisture over land on the other side of the lake. The mean annual frost-free period—a general measure of the growing-season length for plants and some cold-blooded animals—varies from 60 days at higher elevations in the north to 160 days in lakeshore areas in the south. The climate influences the general distribution of wild plants and animals in the region and also influences the activities and distribution of the human

  4. Mesozoic dinosaurs from Brazil and their biogeographic implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathas S. Bittencourt

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The record of dinosaur body-fossils in the Brazilian Mesozoic is restricted to the Triassic of Rio Grande do Sul and Cretaceous of various parts of the country. This includes 21 named species, two of which were regarded as nomina dubia, and 19 consensually assigned to Dinosauria. Additional eight supraspecific taxa have been identified based on fragmentary specimens and numerous dinosaur footprints known in Brazil. In fact, most Brazilian specimens related to dinosaurs are composed of isolated teeth and vertebrae. Despite the increase of fieldwork during the last decade, there are still no dinosaur body-fossils of Jurassic age and the evidence of ornithischians in Brazil is very limited. Dinosaur faunas from this country are generally correlated with those from other parts of Gondwana throughout the Mesozoic. During the Late Triassic, there is a close correspondence to Argentina and other south-Pangaea areas. Mid-Cretaceous faunas of northeastern Brazil resemble those of coeval deposits of North Africa and Argentina. Southern hemisphere spinosaurids are restricted to Africa and Brazil, whereas abelisaurids are still unknown in the Early Cretaceous of the latter. Late Cretaceous dinosaur assemblages of south-central Brazil are endemic only to genus or, more conspicuously, to species level, sharing closely related taxa with Argentina, Madagascar, Indo-Pakistan and, to a lesser degree, continental Africa.O registro osteológico de dinossauros no Mesozóico brasileiro está restrito a rochas triássicas do Rio Grande do Sul e estratos cretáceos de várias partes do país. Isto inclui 21 espécies nominais, sendo duas referidas como nomina dubia, e 19 consensualmente classificadas como dinossauros. Oito táxons supraespecíficos adicionais baseados em material fragmentado e diversas pegadas são conhecidos no Brasil. De fato, a maior parte dos espécimes é composta de dentes isolados e vértebras. Apesar do aumento em trabalhos de campo na última

  5. Adaptive radiation of multituberculate mammals before the extinction of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Gregory P; Evans, Alistair R; Corfe, Ian J; Smits, Peter D; Fortelius, Mikael; Jernvall, Jukka

    2012-03-14

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction approximately 66 million years ago is conventionally thought to have been a turning point in mammalian evolution. Prior to that event and for the first two-thirds of their evolutionary history, mammals were mostly confined to roles as generalized, small-bodied, nocturnal insectivores, presumably under selection pressures from dinosaurs. Release from these pressures, by extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, triggered ecological diversification of mammals. Although recent individual fossil discoveries have shown that some mammalian lineages diversified ecologically during the Mesozoic era, comprehensive ecological analyses of mammalian groups crossing the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary are lacking. Such analyses are needed because diversification analyses of living taxa allow only indirect inferences of past ecosystems. Here we show that in arguably the most evolutionarily successful clade of Mesozoic mammals, the Multituberculata, an adaptive radiation began at least 20 million years before the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs and continued across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Disparity in dental complexity, which relates to the range of diets, rose sharply in step with generic richness and disparity in body size. Moreover, maximum dental complexity and body size demonstrate an adaptive shift towards increased herbivory. This dietary expansion tracked the ecological rise of angiosperms and suggests that the resources that were available to multituberculates were relatively unaffected by the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Taken together, our results indicate that mammals were able to take advantage of new ecological opportunities in the Mesozoic and that at least some of these opportunities persisted through the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Similar broad-scale ecomorphological inventories of other radiations may help to constrain the possible causes of mass extinctions.

  6. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Tanaka

    Full Text Available Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1 covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes, and 2 open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds. Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1 covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs, and 2 open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment

  7. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kohei; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1) covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes), and 2) open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds). Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity) of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1) covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs), and 2) open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids) were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment. Open nests

  8. Texture analyses of Sauropod dinosaur bones from Tendaguru

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pyzalla, A.R.; Sander, P.M.; Hansen, A.; Ferreyro, R.; Yi, S.-B.; Stempniewicz, M.; Brokmeier, H.-G.

    2006-01-01

    The apatite texture of fossil Brachiosaurus brancai and Barosaurus africanus sauropod bones from the excavation site at Tendaguru, Tanzania, was characterized by neutron diffraction pole figures. The results obtained reveal predominantly -fibre textures of the apatite; the fibre direction coincides with the longitudinal direction of the long bones of the skeletons. Neutron pole figures further indicate that other texture types may also be present. Texture strength is similar to dinosaur tendons and contemporary turkey tendon studied by others. Variations of texture strength across the bone wall cross-sections are not significantly large

  9. Texture analyses of Sauropod dinosaur bones from Tendaguru

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pyzalla, A.R. [TU Wien, Institute of Material Science and Technology, Karlsplatz 13-308, A-1040 Vienna (Austria) and MPI fuer Eisenforschung GmbH, Max-Planck-Str. 1, D-40237 Duesseldorf (Germany)]. E-mail: pyzalla@mpie.de; Sander, P.M. [University of Bonn, Institute of Palaeontology, Nusseallee, D-53115 Bonn (Germany); Hansen, A. [TU Clausthal, Institute of Materials Science and Engineering. A, Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processingnd GKSS Research Centre Geesthacht GmbH, Geesthacht, Max-Planck-Str.1, D-21502 Geesthacht (Germany); Ferreyro, R. [TU Wien, Institute of Material Science and Technology, Karlsplatz 13-308, A-1040 Vienna (Austria); Yi, S.-B. [TU Clausthal, Institute of Materials Science and Engineering. A, Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processingnd GKSS Research Centre Geesthacht GmbH, Geesthacht, Max-Planck-Str.1, D-21502 Geesthacht (Germany); MPI fuer Eisenforschung GmbH, Max-Planck-Str. 1, D-40237 Duesseldorf (Germany); Stempniewicz, M. [TU Wien, Institute of Material Science and Technology, Karlsplatz 13-308, A-1040 Vienna (Austria); Brokmeier, H.-G. [TU Clausthal, Institute of Materials Science and Engineering. A, Structural Materials: Properties, Microstructure and Processingnd GKSS Research Centre Geesthacht GmbH, Geesthacht, Max-Planck-Str.1, D-21502 Geesthacht (Germany)

    2006-11-10

    The apatite texture of fossil Brachiosaurus brancai and Barosaurus africanus sauropod bones from the excavation site at Tendaguru, Tanzania, was characterized by neutron diffraction pole figures. The results obtained reveal predominantly <0 0 0 1>-fibre textures of the apatite; the fibre direction coincides with the longitudinal direction of the long bones of the skeletons. Neutron pole figures further indicate that other texture types may also be present. Texture strength is similar to dinosaur tendons and contemporary turkey tendon studied by others. Variations of texture strength across the bone wall cross-sections are not significantly large.

  10. Ecological interactions in dinosaur communities: influences of small offspring and complex ontogenetic life histories.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl Codron

    Full Text Available Because egg-laying meant that even the largest dinosaurs gave birth to very small offspring, they had to pass through multiple ontogenetic life stages to adulthood. Dinosaurs' successors as the dominant terrestrial vertebrate life form, the mammals, give birth to live young, and have much larger offspring and less complex ontogenetic histories. The larger number of juveniles in dinosaur as compared to mammal ecosystems represents both a greater diversity of food available to predators, and competitors for similar-sized individuals of sympatric species. Models of population abundances across different-sized species of dinosaurs and mammals, based on simulated ecological life tables, are employed to investigate how differences in predation and competition pressure influenced dinosaur communities. Higher small- to medium-sized prey availability leads to a normal body mass-species richness (M-S distribution of carnivorous dinosaurs (as found in the theropod fossil record, in contrast to the right-skewed M-S distribution of carnivorous mammals (as found living members of the order Carnivora. Higher levels of interspecific competition leads to a left-skewed M-S distribution in herbivorous dinosaurs (as found in sauropods and ornithopods, in contrast to the normal M-S distribution of large herbivorous mammals. Thus, our models suggest that differences in reproductive strategy, and consequently ontogeny, explain observed differences in community structure between dinosaur and mammal faunas. Models also show that the largest dinosaurian predators could have subsisted on similar-sized prey by including younger life stages of the largest herbivore species, but that large predators likely avoided prey much smaller than themselves because, despite predicted higher abundances of smaller than larger-bodied prey, contributions of small prey to biomass intake would be insufficient to satisfy meat requirements. A lack of large carnivores feeding on small prey

  11. Ecological interactions in dinosaur communities: influences of small offspring and complex ontogenetic life histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Clauss, Marcus

    2013-01-01

    Because egg-laying meant that even the largest dinosaurs gave birth to very small offspring, they had to pass through multiple ontogenetic life stages to adulthood. Dinosaurs' successors as the dominant terrestrial vertebrate life form, the mammals, give birth to live young, and have much larger offspring and less complex ontogenetic histories. The larger number of juveniles in dinosaur as compared to mammal ecosystems represents both a greater diversity of food available to predators, and competitors for similar-sized individuals of sympatric species. Models of population abundances across different-sized species of dinosaurs and mammals, based on simulated ecological life tables, are employed to investigate how differences in predation and competition pressure influenced dinosaur communities. Higher small- to medium-sized prey availability leads to a normal body mass-species richness (M-S) distribution of carnivorous dinosaurs (as found in the theropod fossil record), in contrast to the right-skewed M-S distribution of carnivorous mammals (as found living members of the order Carnivora). Higher levels of interspecific competition leads to a left-skewed M-S distribution in herbivorous dinosaurs (as found in sauropods and ornithopods), in contrast to the normal M-S distribution of large herbivorous mammals. Thus, our models suggest that differences in reproductive strategy, and consequently ontogeny, explain observed differences in community structure between dinosaur and mammal faunas. Models also show that the largest dinosaurian predators could have subsisted on similar-sized prey by including younger life stages of the largest herbivore species, but that large predators likely avoided prey much smaller than themselves because, despite predicted higher abundances of smaller than larger-bodied prey, contributions of small prey to biomass intake would be insufficient to satisfy meat requirements. A lack of large carnivores feeding on small prey exists in mammals

  12. Feeding strategies as revealed by the section moduli of the humerus bones in bipedal theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott; Richards, Zachary

    2015-03-01

    The section modulus of a bone is a measure of its ability to resist bending torques. Carnivorous dinosaurs presumably had strong arm bones to hold struggling prey during hunting. Some theropods are believed to have become herbivorous and such animals would not have needed such strong arms. In this work, the section moduli of the humerus bones of bipedal theropod dinosaurs (from Microvenator celer to Tyrannosaurus rex) are studied to determine the maximum bending loads their arms could withstand. The results show that bending strength is not of uniform importance to these magnificent animals. The predatory theropods had strong arms for use in hunting. In contrast, the herbivorous dinosaurs had weaker arms.

  13. Review of the Dinosaur Remains from the Middle Jurassic of Scotland, UK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil D. L. Clark

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Dinosaurs are rare from the Middle Jurassic worldwide. The Isle of Skye, is the only place in Scotland thus far to have produced dinosaur remains. These remains consist mainly of footprints, but also several bones and teeth. These Bajocian and Bathonian remains represent an important collection of a basal eusauropod, early examples of non-neosauropod and possible basal titanosauriform eusauropods, and theropod remains that may belong to an early coelurosaur and a possible megalosaurid, basal tyrannosauroid, or dromaeosaurid. The footprints from here also suggest a rich and diverse dinosaur fauna for which further better diagnosable remains are likely to be found.

  14. Great Physicists - The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropper, William H.

    2004-09-01

    Here is a lively history of modern physics, as seen through the lives of thirty men and women from the pantheon of physics. William H. Cropper vividly portrays the life and accomplishments of such giants as Galileo and Isaac Newton, Marie Curie and Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, right up to contemporary figures such as Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, and Stephen Hawking. We meet scientists--all geniuses--who could be gregarious, aloof, unpretentious, friendly, dogged, imperious, generous to colleagues or contentious rivals. As Cropper captures their personalities, he also offers vivid portraits of their great moments of discovery, their bitter feuds, their relations with family and friends, their religious beliefs and education. In addition, Cropper has grouped these biographies by discipline--mechanics, thermodynamics, particle physics, and others--each section beginning with a historical overview. Thus in the section on quantum mechanics, readers can see how the work of Max Planck influenced Niels Bohr, and how Bohr in turn influenced Werner Heisenberg. Our understanding of the physical world has increased dramatically in the last four centuries. With Great Physicists , readers can retrace the footsteps of the men and women who led the way.

  15. Histological evidence for a supraspinous ligament in sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerda, Ignacio A; Casal, Gabriel A; Martinez, Rubén D; Ibiricu, Lucio M

    2015-10-01

    Supraspinous ossified rods have been reported in the sacra of some derived sauropod dinosaurs. Although different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origin of this structure, histological evidence has never been provided to support or reject any of them. In order to establish its origin, we analyse and characterize the microstructure of the supraspinous rod of two sauropod dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina. The supraspinous ossified rod is almost entirely formed by dense Haversian bone. Remains of primary bone consist entirely of an avascular tissue composed of two types of fibre-like structures, which are coarse and longitudinally (parallel to the main axis of the element) oriented. These structures are differentiated on the basis of their optical properties under polarized light. Very thin fibrous strands are also observed in some regions. These small fibres are all oriented parallel to one another but perpendicular to the element main axis. Histological features of the primary bone tissue indicate that the sacral supraspinous rod corresponds to an ossified supraspinous ligament. The formation of this structure appears to have been a non-pathological metaplastic ossification, possibly induced by the continuous tensile forces applied to the element.

  16. Ichnological evidence of Megalosaurid Dinosaurs Crossing Middle Jurassic Tidal Flats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razzolini, Novella L.; Oms, Oriol; Castanera, Diego; Vila, Bernat; Santos, Vanda Faria Dos; Galobart, Àngel

    2016-08-01

    A new dinosaur tracksite in the Vale de Meios quarry (Serra de Aire Formation, Bathonian, Portugal)preserves more than 700 theropod tracks. They are organized in at least 80 unidirectional trackways arranged in a bimodal orientation pattern (W/NW and E/SE). Quantitative and qualitative comparisons reveal that the large tridactyl, elongated and asymmetric tracks resemble the typical Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Megalosauripus ichnogenus in all morphometric parameters. Few of the numerous tracks are preserved as elite tracks while the rest are preserved as different gradients of modified true tracks according to water content, erosive factors, radial fractures and internal overtrack formations. Taphonomical determinations are consistent with paleoenvironmental observations that indicate an inter-tidal flat located at the margin of a coastal barrier. The Megalosauripus tracks represent the oldest occurrence of this ichnotaxon and are attributed to large megalosaurid dinosaurs. Their occurrence in Vale de Meios tidal flat represents the unique paleoethological evidence of megalosaurids moving towards the lagoon, most likley during the low tide periods with feeding purposes.

  17. The first well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Hai-Lu; Azuma, Yoichi; Wang, Tao; Wang, Ya-Ming; Dong, Zhi-Ming

    2014-10-16

    Coelophysoid dinosaurs represent the earliest major radiation of neotheropods. These small-to-medium-sized agile bipeds lived throughout much of Pangaea during the Late Triassic-arly Jurassic. Previously reported coelophysoid material from Asia (excluding the Gondwanan territory of India) is limited to two specimens that comprise only limb fragments. This paper describes a new genus and species of coelophysoid, Panguraptor lufengensis, from the Lower Jurassic Lufeng Formation of Yunnan Province, China. The new taxon is represented by a well-preserved skeleton, including the skull and lower jaw, the presacral vertebral column and partial ribs, the right scapula, a partial forelimb, part of the pelvic girdle, and an almost complete hind limb. It is distinguished from other coelophysoid theropods by the unique combination of the following three character states: 1) diagonal (rostrodorsal-caudoventral) ridge on lateral surface of maxilla, within antorbital fossa, 2) elliptical, laterally facing fenestra caudodorsal to aforementioned diagonal ridge, and 3) hooked craniomedial corner of distal tarsal IV. Cladistic analysis recovers Panguraptor lufengensis deeply nested within Coelophysoidea as a member of Coelophysidae, and it is more closely related to Coelophysis than to "Syntarsus". Panguraptor represents the first well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia, and provides fresh evidence supporting the hypothesis that terrestrial tetrapods tended to be distributed pan-continentally during the Early Jurassic.

  18. 2004 assessment of habitat improvements in Dinosaur Reservoir

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blackman, B.G.; Cowie, D.M.

    2005-01-15

    Formed in 1979 after the completion of the Peace Canyon Dam, Dinosaur Reservoir is 21 km long and backs water up to the tailrace of W.A.C. Bennett Dam. BC Hydro has funded studies to evaluate fish stocking programs and assess habitat limitations and potential enhancements as part of a water licence agreement. The Peace/Williston Fish and Wildlife Compensation Programs (PWFWCP) have undertaken a number of projects to address fish habitat limitations, entrainment and stocking assessments as a result of recommendations stemming from these studies. It was determined that existing baseline fish data was needed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these activities. A preliminary boat electro-fishing program which was started in October 2001, noted that a propensity for rainbow trout to concentrate near woody debris. In response, a program was started in 2002 to add woody debris to embayment areas throughout the reservoir. These enhanced woody debris structures are located in small sheltered bays and consist of a series of large trees cabled together and anchored to the shore. The area between the cabled trees and the shoreline is filled with woody debris and root wads collected from along the shoreline. The 2004 assessment of habitat improvements in Dinosaur Reservoir presents the findings from a study that compares the number of fish captured using trap nets, angling, and minnow traps, at the woody debris structures to sites with similar physical characteristics where woody debris had not been added. 17 refs., 5 tabs., 4 figs.

  19. Secondary cartilage revealed in a non-avian dinosaur embryo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alida M Bailleul

    Full Text Available The skull and jaws of extant birds possess secondary cartilage, a tissue that arises after bone formation during embryonic development at articulations, ligamentous and muscular insertions. Using histological analysis, we discovered secondary cartilage in a non-avian dinosaur embryo, Hypacrosaurus stebingeri (Ornithischia, Lambeosaurinae. This finding extends our previous report of secondary cartilage in post-hatching specimens of the same dinosaur species. It provides the first information on the ontogeny of avian and dinosaurian secondary cartilages, and further stresses their developmental similarities. Secondary cartilage was found in an embryonic dentary within a tooth socket where it is hypothesized to have arisen due to mechanical stresses generated during tooth formation. Two patterns were discerned: secondary cartilage is more restricted in location in this Hypacrosaurus embryo, than it is in Hypacrosaurus post-hatchlings; secondary cartilage occurs at far more sites in bird embryos and nestlings than in Hypacrosaurus. This suggests an increase in the number of sites of secondary cartilage during the evolution of birds. We hypothesize that secondary cartilage provided advantages in the fine manipulation of food and was selected over other types of tissues/articulations during the evolution of the highly specialized avian beak from the jaws of their dinosaurian ancestors.

  20. Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, P Martin; Christian, Andreas; Clauss, Marcus; Fechner, Regina; Gee, Carole T; Griebeler, Eva-Maria; Gunga, Hanns-Christian; Hummel, Jürgen; Mallison, Heinrich; Perry, Steven F; Preuschoft, Holger; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Remes, Kristian; Tütken, Thomas; Wings, Oliver; Witzel, Ulrich

    2011-01-01

    The herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods were the largest terrestrial animals ever, surpassing the largest herbivorous mammals by an order of magnitude in body mass. Several evolutionary lineages among Sauropoda produced giants with body masses in excess of 50 metric tonnes by conservative estimates. With body mass increase driven by the selective advantages of large body size, animal lineages will increase in body size until they reach the limit determined by the interplay of bauplan, biology, and resource availability. There is no evidence, however, that resource availability and global physicochemical parameters were different enough in the Mesozoic to have led to sauropod gigantism. We review the biology of sauropod dinosaurs in detail and posit that sauropod gigantism was made possible by a specific combination of plesiomorphic characters (phylogenetic heritage) and evolutionary innovations at different levels which triggered a remarkable evolutionary cascade. Of these key innovations, the most important probably was the very long neck, the most conspicuous feature of the sauropod bauplan. Compared to other herbivores, the long neck allowed more efficient food uptake than in other large herbivores by covering a much larger feeding envelope and making food accessible that was out of the reach of other herbivores. Sauropods thus must have been able to take up more energy from their environment than other herbivores. The long neck, in turn, could only evolve because of the small head and the extensive pneumatization of the sauropod axial skeleton, lightening the neck. The small head was possible because food was ingested without mastication. Both mastication and a gastric mill would have limited food uptake rate. Scaling relationships between gastrointestinal tract size and basal metabolic rate (BMR) suggest that sauropods compensated for the lack of particle reduction with long retention times, even at high uptake rates. The

  1. Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, P Martin; Christian, Andreas; Clauss, Marcus; Fechner, Regina; Gee, Carole T; Griebeler, Eva-Maria; Gunga, Hanns-Christian; Hummel, Jürgen; Mallison, Heinrich; Perry, Steven F; Preuschoft, Holger; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Remes, Kristian; Tütken, Thomas; Wings, Oliver; Witzel, Ulrich

    2011-02-01

    The herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods were the largest terrestrial animals ever, surpassing the largest herbivorous mammals by an order of magnitude in body mass. Several evolutionary lineages among Sauropoda produced giants with body masses in excess of 50 metric tonnes by conservative estimates. With body mass increase driven by the selective advantages of large body size, animal lineages will increase in body size until they reach the limit determined by the interplay of bauplan, biology, and resource availability. There is no evidence, however, that resource availability and global physicochemical parameters were different enough in the Mesozoic to have led to sauropod gigantism. We review the biology of sauropod dinosaurs in detail and posit that sauropod gigantism was made possible by a specific combination of plesiomorphic characters (phylogenetic heritage) and evolutionary innovations at different levels which triggered a remarkable evolutionary cascade. Of these key innovations, the most important probably was the very long neck, the most conspicuous feature of the sauropod bauplan. Compared to other herbivores, the long neck allowed more efficient food uptake than in other large herbivores by covering a much larger feeding envelope and making food accessible that was out of the reach of other herbivores. Sauropods thus must have been able to take up more energy from their environment than other herbivores. The long neck, in turn, could only evolve because of the small head and the extensive pneumatization of the sauropod axial skeleton, lightening the neck. The small head was possible because food was ingested without mastication. Both mastication and a gastric mill would have limited food uptake rate. Scaling relationships between gastrointestinal tract size and basal metabolic rate (BMR) suggest that sauropods compensated for the lack of particle reduction with long retention times, even at high uptake rates. The

  2. Prospecting for dinosaurs on the mining frontier: The value of information in America's Gilded Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieppel, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    How much is a dinosaur worth? This essay offers an account of the way vertebrate fossils were priced in late 19th-century America to explore the process by which monetary values are established in science. Examining a long and drawn-out negotiation over the sale of an unusually rich dinosaur quarry in Wyoming, I argue that, on their own, abstract market principles did not suffice to mediate between supply and demand. Rather, people haggling over the price of dinosaur bones looked to social norms from the mineral industry for cues on how to value these rare and unusual objects, adopting a set of negotiation tactics that exploited asymmetries in the distribution of scarce information to secure the better end of the deal. On the mining frontier in America's Gilded Age, dinosaurs were thus valued in much the same way as any other scarce natural resource one could dig out of the ground, including gold, silver, and coal.

  3. Ontogeny and the fossil record: what, if anything, is an adult dinosaur?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hone, David W E; Farke, Andrew A; Wedel, Mathew J

    2016-02-01

    Identification of the ontogenetic status of an extinct organism is complex, and yet this underpins major areas of research, from taxonomy and systematics to ecology and evolution. In the case of the non-avialan dinosaurs, at least some were reproductively mature before they were skeletally mature, and a lack of consensus on how to define an 'adult' animal causes problems for even basic scientific investigations. Here we review the current methods available to determine the age of non-avialan dinosaurs, discuss the definitions of different ontogenetic stages, and summarize the implications of these disparate definitions for dinosaur palaeontology. Most critically, a growing body of evidence suggests that many dinosaurs that would be considered 'adults' in a modern-day field study are considered 'juveniles' or 'subadults' in palaeontological contexts. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Microscopic and immunohistochemical analyses of the claw of the nesting dinosaur, Citipati osmolskae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer, Alison E; Zheng, Wenxia; Schweitzer, Mary H

    2016-11-16

    One of the most well-recognized Cretaceous fossils is Citipati osmolskae (MPC-D 100/979), an oviraptorid dinosaur discovered in brooding position on a nest of unhatched eggs. The original description refers to a thin lens of white material extending from a manus ungual, which was proposed to represent original keratinous claw sheath that, in life, would have covered it. Here, we test the hypothesis that this exceptional morphological preservation extends to the molecular level. The fossil sheath was compared with that of extant birds, revealing similar morphology and microstructural organization. In living birds, the claw sheath consists primarily of two structural proteins; alpha-keratin, expressed in all vertebrates, and beta-keratin, found only in reptiles and birds (sauropsids). We employed antibodies raised against avian feathers, which comprise almost entirely of beta-keratin, to demonstrate that fossil tissues respond with the same specificity, though less intensity, as those from living birds. Furthermore, we show that calcium chelation greatly increased antibody reactivity, suggesting a role for calcium in the preservation of this fossil material. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. Maximal Aerobic and Anaerobic Power Generation in Large Crocodiles versus Mammals: Implications for Dinosaur Gigantothermy

    OpenAIRE

    Seymour, Roger S.

    2013-01-01

    Inertial homeothermy, the maintenance of a relatively constant body temperature that occurs simply because of large size, is often applied to large dinosaurs. Moreover, biophysical modelling and actual measurements show that large crocodiles can behaviourally achieve body temperatures above 30?C. Therefore it is possible that some dinosaurs could achieve high and stable body temperatures without the high energy cost of typical endotherms. However it is not known whether an ectothermic dinosau...

  6. Dental histology of Coelophysis bauri and the evolution of tooth attachment tissues in early dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Raymond K M; LeBlanc, Aaron R H; Berman, David S; Reisz, Robert R

    2016-07-01

    Studies of dinosaur teeth have focused primarily on external crown morphology and thus, use shed or in situ tooth crowns, and are limited to the enamel and dentine dental tissues. As a result, the full suites of periodontal tissues that attach teeth to the jaws remain poorly documented, particularly in early dinosaurs. These tissues are an integral part of the tooth and thus essential to a more complete understanding of dental anatomy, development, and evolution in dinosaurs. To identify the tooth attachment tissues in early dinosaurs, histological thin sections were prepared from the maxilla and dentary of a partial skull of the early theropod Coelophysis bauri from the Upper Triassic (Rhaetian- 209-201 Ma) Whitaker Quarry, New Mexico, USA. As one of the phylogenetically and geologically oldest dinosaurs, it is an ideal candidate for examining dental tissues near the base of the dinosaurian clade. The teeth of C. bauri exhibited a fibrous tooth attachment in which the teeth possessed five tissues: enamel, dentine, cementum, periodontal ligament (PDL), and alveolar bone. Our findings, coupled with those of more recent studies of ornithischian teeth, indicate that a tripartite periodontium, similar to that of crocodilians and mammals, is the plesiomorphic condition for dinosaurs. The occurrence of a tripartite periodontium in dinosaurs adds to the growing consensus that the presence of these tissues is the plesiomorphic condition for the major amniote clades. Furthermore, this study establishes the relative timing of tissue development and growth directions of periodontal tissues and provides the first comparative framework for future studies of dinosaur periodontal development, tooth replacement, and histology. J. Morphol. 277:916-924, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. New findings of dinosaur remains and considerations on the age of the guichon formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soto, M; Perea, D; Veroslasky, G; Rinderknecht, A; Ubilla, M.; Leucuona, G.

    2008-01-01

    The first known dinosaur remains from the Guichon Formation are reviewed herein, demonstrating that they have a limited bio stratigraphic value. New materials (comprising abundant bones and several eggshell fragments) are described, representing the first record of sauropod dinosaurs from the Guichon Formation. The bone belong to a derived titanosaurian (Eutitanosauria) while the eggshells are refered to the oogenus Sphaerovum Mones 1980. Bio stratigraphic implications of these materials are discussed, allowing to propose a Late Cretaceous age for this unit

  8. Dinosaur footprints in the Upper Turonian-Coniacian limestone in the Krnica Bay (NE Istria, Croatia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alenka Mauko

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Three isolated footprints and one trackway that can be attributed to bipedal dinosaur, from a limestone bed in vicinity of Požara promontory, Krnica Bay, are described. According to the stratigraphic position the footprints are late Turonian to Coniacian in age.This is the first record of dinosaur remains in the Turonian-Coniacian and the youngest footprint site on the Adriatic-Dinaric Carbonate Platform described thus far.

  9. The furculae of the dromaeosaurid dinosaur Dakotaraptor steini are trionychid turtle entoplastra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria M. Arbour

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Dakotaraptor steini is a recently described dromaeosaurid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota. Included within the D. steini hypodigm are three elements originally identified as furculae, one of which was made part of the holotype specimen. We show that the elements described as D. steini ‘furculae’ are not theropod dinosaur furculae, but are rather trionychid turtle entoplastra referable to cf. Axestemys splendida. The hypodigm of D. steini should be adjusted accordingly.

  10. How has our knowledge of dinosaur diversity through geologic time changed through research history?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennant, Jonathan P; Chiarenza, Alfio Alessandro; Baron, Matthew

    2018-01-01

    Assessments of dinosaur macroevolution at any given time can be biased by the historical publication record. Recent studies have analysed patterns in dinosaur diversity that are based on secular variations in the numbers of published taxa. Many of these have employed a range of approaches that account for changes in the shape of the taxonomic abundance curve, which are largely dependent on databases compiled from the primary published literature. However, how these 'corrected' diversity patterns are influenced by the history of publication remains largely unknown. Here, we investigate the influence of publication history between 1991 and 2015 on our understanding of dinosaur evolution using raw diversity estimates and shareholder quorum subsampling for the three major subgroups: Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda. We find that, while sampling generally improves through time, there remain periods and regions in dinosaur evolutionary history where diversity estimates are highly volatile (e.g. the latest Jurassic of Europe, the mid-Cretaceous of North America, and the Late Cretaceous of South America). Our results show that historical changes in database compilation can often substantially influence our interpretations of dinosaur diversity. 'Global' estimates of diversity based on the fossil record are often also based on incomplete, and distinct regional signals, each subject to their own sampling history. Changes in the record of taxon abundance distribution, either through discovery of new taxa or addition of existing taxa to improve sampling evenness, are important in improving the reliability of our interpretations of dinosaur diversity. Furthermore, the number of occurrences and newly identified dinosaurs is still rapidly increasing through time, suggesting that it is entirely possible for much of what we know about dinosaurs at the present to change within the next 20 years.

  11. Embryology of Early Jurassic dinosaur from China with evidence of preserved organic remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisz, Robert R; Huang, Timothy D; Roberts, Eric M; Peng, ShinRung; Sullivan, Corwin; Stein, Koen; LeBlanc, Aaron R H; Shieh, DarBin; Chang, RongSeng; Chiang, ChengCheng; Yang, Chuanwei; Zhong, Shiming

    2013-04-11

    Fossil dinosaur embryos are surprisingly rare, being almost entirely restricted to Upper Cretaceous strata that record the late stages of non-avian dinosaur evolution. Notable exceptions are the oldest known embryos from the Early Jurassic South African sauropodomorph Massospondylus and Late Jurassic embryos of a theropod from Portugal. The fact that dinosaur embryos are rare and typically enclosed in eggshells limits their availability for tissue and cellular level investigations of development. Consequently, little is known about growth patterns in dinosaur embryos, even though post-hatching ontogeny has been studied in several taxa. Here we report the discovery of an embryonic dinosaur bone bed from the Lower Jurassic of China, the oldest such occurrence in the fossil record. The embryos are similar in geological age to those of Massospondylus and are also assignable to a sauropodomorph dinosaur, probably Lufengosaurus. The preservation of numerous disarticulated skeletal elements and eggshells in this monotaxic bone bed, representing different stages of incubation and therefore derived from different nests, provides opportunities for new investigations of dinosaur embryology in a clade noted for gigantism. For example, comparisons among embryonic femora of different sizes and developmental stages reveal a consistently rapid rate of growth throughout development, possibly indicating that short incubation times were characteristic of sauropodomorphs. In addition, asymmetric radial growth of the femoral shaft and rapid expansion of the fourth trochanter suggest that embryonic muscle activation played an important role in the pre-hatching ontogeny of these dinosaurs. This discovery also provides the oldest evidence of in situ preservation of complex organic remains in a terrestrial vertebrate.

  12. Oxygen isotopes from biogenic apatites suggest widespread endothermy in Cretaceous dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiot, Romain; Lécuyer, Christophe; Buffetaut, Eric; Escarguel, Gilles; Fluteau, Frédéric; Martineau, François

    2006-06-01

    The much debated question of dinosaur thermophysiology has not yet been conclusively solved despite numerous attempts. We used the temperature-dependent oxygen isotope fractionation between vertebrate body water (δ 18O body water) and phosphatic tissues (δ 18O p) to compare the thermophysiology of dinosaurs with that of non-dinosaurian ectothermic reptiles. Present-day δ 18O p values of vertebrate apatites show that ectotherms have higher δ 18O p values than endotherms at high latitudes due to their lower body temperature, and conversely lower δ 18O p values than endotherms at low latitudes. Using a data set of 80 new and 49 published δ 18O p values, we observed similar and systematic differences in δ 18O p values (Δ 18O) between four groups of Cretaceous dinosaurs (theropods, sauropods, ornithopods and ceratopsians) and associated fresh water crocodiles and turtles. Expressed in terms of body temperatures ( Tb), these Δ 18O values indicate that dinosaurs maintained rather constant Tb in the range of endotherms whatever ambient temperatures were. This implies that high metabolic rates were widespread among Cretaceous dinosaurs belonging to widely different taxonomic groups and suggest that endothermy may be a synapomorphy of dinosaurs, or may have been acquired convergently in the studied taxa.

  13. Mapping Metal Elements of Shuangbai Dinosaur Fossil by Synchrotron X-ray Fluorescence Microprobe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Y.; Qun, Y.; Ablett, J.

    2008-01-01

    The metal elements mapping of Shuangbai dinosaur fossil, was obtained by synchrotron x-ray fluorescence (SXRF). Eight elements, Ca, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, As, Y and Sr were determined. Elements As and Y were detected for the first time in the dinosaur fossil. The data indicated that metal elements are asymmetrical on fossil section. This is different from common minerals. Mapping metals showed that metal element As is few. The dinosaur most likely belongs to natural death. This is different from Zigong dinosaurs which were found dead from poisoning. This method has been used to find that metals Fe and Mn are accrete, and the same is true for Sr and Y. This study indicated that colloid granule Fe and Mn, as well as Sr and Y had opposite electric charges in lithification process of fossils. By this analysis, compound forms can be ascertained. Synchrotron light source x-ray fluorescence is a complementary method that shows mapping of metal elements at the dinosaur fossil, and is rapid, exact and intuitionist. This study shows that dinosaur fossil mineral imaging has a potential in reconstructing the paleoenvironment and ancient geology.

  14. Footprints pull origin and diversification of dinosaur stem lineage deep into Early Triassic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Niedźwiedzki, Grzegorz; Butler, Richard J

    2011-04-07

    The ascent of dinosaurs in the Triassic is an exemplary evolutionary radiation, but the earliest phase of dinosaur history remains poorly understood. Body fossils of close dinosaur relatives are rare, but indicate that the dinosaur stem lineage (Dinosauromorpha) originated by the latest Anisian (ca 242-244 Ma). Here, we report footprints from the Early-Middle Triassic of Poland, stratigraphically well constrained and identified using a conservative synapomorphy-based approach, which shifts the origin of the dinosaur stem lineage back to the Early Olenekian (ca 249-251 Ma), approximately 5-9 Myr earlier than indicated by body fossils, earlier than demonstrated by previous footprint records, and just a few million years after the Permian/Triassic mass extinction (252.3 Ma). Dinosauromorph tracks are rare in all Polish assemblages, suggesting that these animals were minor faunal components. The oldest tracks are quadrupedal, a morphology uncommon among the earliest dinosauromorph body fossils, but bipedality and moderately large body size had arisen by the Early Anisian (ca 246 Ma). Integrating trace fossils and body fossils demonstrates that the rise of dinosaurs was a drawn-out affair, perhaps initiated during recovery from the Permo-Triassic extinction.

  15. Human male infertility, the Y chromosome, and dinosaur extinction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherman J. Silber

    2011-06-01

    Our studies of the Y chromosome and male infertility suggest that the default mechanism for determining the sex of offspring is the temperature of egg incubation, and that genetic sex determination (based on sex chromosomes like X and Y has evolved many times over and over again in different ways, in different genera, as a more foolproof method than temperature variation of assuring a balanced sex ratio in offspring. The absence of such a genetic sex determining mechanism in dinosaurs may have led to a skewed sex ratio when global temperature dramatically changed 65,000,000 years ago, resulting in a preponderance of males, and consequentially a rapid decline in population.

  16. Evolution of high tooth replacement rates in sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Emic, Michael D; Whitlock, John A; Smith, Kathlyn M; Fisher, Daniel C; Wilson, Jeffrey A

    2013-01-01

    Tooth replacement rate can be calculated in extinct animals by counting incremental lines of deposition in tooth dentin. Calculating this rate in several taxa allows for the study of the evolution of tooth replacement rate. Sauropod dinosaurs, the largest terrestrial animals that ever evolved, exhibited a diversity of tooth sizes and shapes, but little is known about their tooth replacement rates. We present tooth replacement rate, formation time, crown volume, total dentition volume, and enamel thickness for two coexisting but distantly related and morphologically disparate sauropod dinosaurs Camarasaurus and Diplodocus. Individual tooth formation time was determined by counting daily incremental lines in dentin. Tooth replacement rate is calculated as the difference between the number of days recorded in successive replacement teeth. Each tooth family in Camarasaurus has a maximum of three replacement teeth, whereas each Diplodocus tooth family has up to five. Tooth formation times are about 1.7 times longer in Camarasaurus than in Diplodocus (315 vs. 185 days). Average tooth replacement rate in Camarasaurus is about one tooth every 62 days versus about one tooth every 35 days in Diplodocus. Despite slower tooth replacement rates in Camarasaurus, the volumetric rate of Camarasaurus tooth replacement is 10 times faster than in Diplodocus because of its substantially greater tooth volumes. A novel method to estimate replacement rate was developed and applied to several other sauropodomorphs that we were not able to thin section. Differences in tooth replacement rate among sauropodomorphs likely reflect disparate feeding strategies and/or food choices, which would have facilitated the coexistence of these gigantic herbivores in one ecosystem. Early neosauropods are characterized by high tooth replacement rates (despite their large tooth size), and derived titanosaurs and diplodocoids independently evolved the highest known tooth replacement rates among archosaurs.

  17. Evolution of high tooth replacement rates in sauropod dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D D'Emic

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Tooth replacement rate can be calculated in extinct animals by counting incremental lines of deposition in tooth dentin. Calculating this rate in several taxa allows for the study of the evolution of tooth replacement rate. Sauropod dinosaurs, the largest terrestrial animals that ever evolved, exhibited a diversity of tooth sizes and shapes, but little is known about their tooth replacement rates. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We present tooth replacement rate, formation time, crown volume, total dentition volume, and enamel thickness for two coexisting but distantly related and morphologically disparate sauropod dinosaurs Camarasaurus and Diplodocus. Individual tooth formation time was determined by counting daily incremental lines in dentin. Tooth replacement rate is calculated as the difference between the number of days recorded in successive replacement teeth. Each tooth family in Camarasaurus has a maximum of three replacement teeth, whereas each Diplodocus tooth family has up to five. Tooth formation times are about 1.7 times longer in Camarasaurus than in Diplodocus (315 vs. 185 days. Average tooth replacement rate in Camarasaurus is about one tooth every 62 days versus about one tooth every 35 days in Diplodocus. Despite slower tooth replacement rates in Camarasaurus, the volumetric rate of Camarasaurus tooth replacement is 10 times faster than in Diplodocus because of its substantially greater tooth volumes. A novel method to estimate replacement rate was developed and applied to several other sauropodomorphs that we were not able to thin section. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Differences in tooth replacement rate among sauropodomorphs likely reflect disparate feeding strategies and/or food choices, which would have facilitated the coexistence of these gigantic herbivores in one ecosystem. Early neosauropods are characterized by high tooth replacement rates (despite their large tooth size, and derived titanosaurs and

  18. Did A Galactic Gamma-Ray Burst Kill the Dinosaurs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brecher, K.

    1997-12-01

    Gamma-ray bursts now appear to be primarily of extragalactic origin. Statistically, assuming isotropic emission, the observed event rates and fluxes imply that one event occurs per 10(4) \\ - 10(6) \\ years per galaxy, with about 10(51) \\ - 10(53) \\ ergs in gamma-rays emitted per event. Unless the Milky Way is unusual, a gamma-ray burst should occur within 10(2) \\ - 10(3) \\ pc of the Sun in a time span of order 10(8) \\ years. Independent of the underlying cause of the event, it would irradiate the solar system with a brief flash of MeV gamma-rays with a fluence as large as 10(9) - 10(11) \\ erg cm(-2) . What is the effect of such an event on the Earth and objects nearby? Ruderman (\\underbar{Science}, 184, 1079, 1974) and subsequent authors have considered a number of effects of a flash of gamma-rays from a nearby supernova explosion on the Earth's atmosphere, and on its biota. However, with regard to the demise of the dinosaurs, it appears that there was a marked increase in the deposition rate of the rare earth iridium coincident with their extinction. For this reason, an asteroid-Earth impact has been considered the leading contender for the death of the dinosaurs. Here we consider a new mechanism for mass biological extinctions, caused by small comets nudged into the inner solar system by nearby gamma-ray bursts. If comets populate the Oort cloud with a wide distribution of masses, radii and orbital eccentricities, we find that small (extinctions.

  19. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.

    2009-04-01

    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  20. Do brooding and polygamy behaviors exist on Cretaceous oviraptoroid dinosaurs of China: a paleobiological perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, T.-R.; Cheng, Y.-N.; Yang, K.-M.

    2012-04-01

    Brooding, parental care, and polygamy represent three different stages in bird's reproduction. The oringin of these behaviors is still in debate. Several samples excavated from China strengthen the phylogenetic relationship between birds and dinosaurs, for example, feathered dinosaurs, paired-eggs in pelvic region of an oviraptorid dinosaur, and small theropod fossils. Previous studies in past two decades, including an oviraptor sitting on a clutch and comparison of the ratio of clutch-volume to adult-body-size between Aves and Mesozoic dinosaurs, proposed that these behaviors had appeared on some Cretaceous theropods (e.g., oviraptor and troodon). These researches also indicate the possibility of endothermy and male care first. In conclusion, this reproduction strategy might support females having more remnant energy to build a larger clutch contributed eggs from multiple females, and brooded by males only. From our cluster analysis through paleoecological perspectives, the eggs in Cretaceous oviraptor's nest should not be corporately laid by multiple females. In morphological observation, the fossilized clutches from Ganzhou, Jiangxi, Mainland China, are 2-layered interbeded with matrix of reddish-brown siltstone or clays. The inner-layer eggs are hampered from directly contacting with adult dinosaurs body. Furthermore, the blunt ends of the eggs point to the center, and incline away forming a mound-shape nest, which is completely different from those of precocial and male-caring megapode. The ornamentation of eggshell surface and microstructures from thin sections of eggs from oviraptors and ostrich (Struthioniformes) are totally different. Comparison of thickness in different part of oviraptor's egg also reveal possible physiological structure in the egg and ecological behaviors. The detailed comparison implies that the Mesozoic oviraptoroid dinosaurs hold absolutely different incubation and caring behaviors from extant birds. We propose an alternative

  1. Bringing dinosaurs back to life: exhibiting prehistory at the American Museum of Natural History.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieppel, Lukas

    2012-09-01

    This essay examines the exhibition of dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Dinosaurs provide an especially illuminating lens through which to view the history of museum display practices for two reasons: they made for remarkably spectacular exhibits; and they rested on contested theories about the anatomy, life history, and behavior of long-extinct animals to which curators had no direct observational access. The American Museum sought to capitalize on the popularity of dinosaurs while mitigating the risks of mounting an overtly speculative display by fashioning them into a kind of mixed-media installation made of several elements, including fossilized bone, shellac, iron, and plaster. The resulting sculptures provided visitors with a vivid and lifelike imaginative experience. At the same time, curators, who were anxious to downplay the speculative nature of mounted dinosaurs, drew systematic attention to the material connection that tied individual pieces of fossilized bone to the actual past. Freestanding dinosaurs can therefore be read to have functioned as iconic sculptures that self-consciously advertised their indexical content.

  2. Dental microwear reveals mammal-like chewing in the neoceratopsian dinosaur Leptoceratops gracilis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank J. Varriale

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Extensive oral processing of food through dental occlusion and orbital mandibular movement is often cited as a uniquely mammalian trait that contributed to their evolutionary success. Save for mandibular translation, these adaptations are not seen in extant archosaurs or lepidosaurs. In contrast, some ornithischian dinosaurs show evidence of precise dental occlusion, habitual intraoral trituration and complex jaw motion. To date, however, a robust understanding of the diversity of jaw mechanics within non-avian dinosaurs, and its comparison with other vertebrates, remains unrealized. Large dental batteries, well-developed dental wear facets, and robust jaws suggests that neoceratopsian (horned dinosaurs were capable chewers. But, biomechanical analyses have assumed a relatively simple, scissor-like (orthal jaw mechanism for these animals. New analyses of dental microwear, presented here, show curvilinear striations on the teeth of Leptoceratops. These features indicate a rostral to caudal orbital motion of the mandible during chewing. A rostrocaudal mandibular orbit is seen in multituberculates, haramiyid allotherians, and some rodents, and its identification in Leptoceratops gracilis is the first evidence of complex, mammal-like chewing in a ceratopsian dinosaur. The term circumpalinal is here proposed to distinguish this new style of chewing from other models of ceratopsian mastication that also involve a palinal component. This previously unrecognized complexity in dinosaurian jaw mechanics indicates that some neoceratopsian dinosaurs achieved a mammalian level of masticatory efficiency through novel adaptive solutions.

  3. High-precision U-Pb geochronology of the Jurassic Yanliao Biota from Jianchang (western Liaoning Province, China): Age constraints on the rise of feathered dinosaurs and eutherian mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Zhuyin; He, Huaiyu; Ramezani, Jahandar; Bowring, Samuel A.; Hu, Dongyu; Zhang, Lijun; Zheng, Shaolin; Wang, Xiaolin; Zhou, Zhonghe; Deng, Chenglong; Guo, Jinghui

    2016-10-01

    The Yanliao Biota of northeastern China comprises the oldest feathered dinosaurs, transitional pterosaurs, as well as the earliest eutherian mammals, multituberculate mammals, and new euharamiyidan species that are key elements of the Mesozoic biotic record. Recent discovery of the Yanliao Biota in the Daxishan section near the town of Linglongta, Jianchang County in western Liaoning Province have greatly enhanced our knowledge of the transition from dinosaurs to birds, primitive to derived pterosaurs, and the early evolution of mammals. Nevertheless, fundamental questions regarding the correlation of fossil-bearing strata, rates of dinosaur and mammalian evolution, and their relationship to environmental change in deep time remain unresolved due to the paucity of precise and accurate temporal constraints. These limitations underscore the importance of placing the rich fossil record of Jianchang within a high-resolution chronostratigraphic framework that has thus far been hampered by the relatively low precision of in situ radioisotopic dating techniques. Here we present high-precision U-Pb zircon geochronology by the chemical abrasion isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (CA-ID-TIMS) from three interstratified ash beds previously dated by secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) technique. The results constrain the key fossil horizons of the Daxishan section to an interval spanning 160.89 to 160.25 Ma with 2σ analytical uncertainties that range from ±46 to ±69 kyr. These data place the Yanliao Biota from Jianchang in the Oxfordian Stage of the Late Jurassic, and mark the Daxishan section as the site of Earth's oldest precisely dated feathered dinosaurs and eutherian mammals.

  4. The cranial anatomy of the neornithischian dinosaur Thescelosaurus neglectus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clint A. Boyd

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Though the dinosaur Thescelosaurus neglectus was first described in 1913 and is known from the relatively fossiliferous Lance and Hell Creek formations in the Western Interior Basin of North America, the cranial anatomy of this species remains poorly understood. The only cranial material confidently referred to this species are three fragmentary bones preserved with the paratype, hindering attempts to understand the systematic relationships of this taxon within Neornithischia. Here the cranial anatomy of T. neglectus is fully described for the first time based on two specimens that include well-preserved cranial material (NCSM 15728 and TLAM.BA.2014.027.0001. Visual inspection of exposed cranial elements of these specimens is supplemented by detailed CT data from NCSM 15728 that enabled the examination of otherwise unexposed surfaces, facilitating a complete description of the cranial anatomy of this species. The skull of T. neglectus displays a unique combination of plesiomorphic and apomorphic traits. The premaxillary and ‘cheek’ tooth morphologies are relatively derived, though less so than the condition seen in basal iguanodontians, suggesting that the high tooth count present in the premaxillae, maxillae, and dentaries may be related to the extreme elongation of the skull of this species rather than a retention of the plesiomorphic condition. The morphology of the braincase most closely resembles the iguanodontians Dryosaurus and Dysalotosaurus, especially with regard to the morphology of the prootic. One autapomorphic feature is recognized for the first time, along with several additional cranial features that differentiate this species from the closely related and contemporaneous Thescelosaurus assiniboiensis. Published phylogenetic hypotheses of neornithischian dinosaur relationships often differ in the placement of the North American taxon Parksosaurus, with some recovering a close relationship with Thescelosaurus and others with

  5. Fossilized skin reveals coevolution with feathers and metabolism in feathered dinosaurs and early birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; Zhang, Fucheng; Kearns, Stuart L; Orr, Patrick J; Toulouse, André; Foley, Tara; Hone, David W E; Rogers, Chris S; Benton, Michael J; Johnson, Diane; Xu, Xing; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2018-05-25

    Feathers are remarkable evolutionary innovations that are associated with complex adaptations of the skin in modern birds. Fossilised feathers in non-avian dinosaurs and basal birds provide insights into feather evolution, but how associated integumentary adaptations evolved is unclear. Here we report the discovery of fossil skin, preserved with remarkable nanoscale fidelity, in three non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs and a basal bird from the Cretaceous Jehol biota (China). The skin comprises patches of desquamating epidermal corneocytes that preserve a cytoskeletal array of helically coiled α-keratin tonofibrils. This structure confirms that basal birds and non-avian dinosaurs shed small epidermal flakes as in modern mammals and birds, but structural differences imply that these Cretaceous taxa had lower body heat production than modern birds. Feathered epidermis acquired many, but not all, anatomically modern attributes close to the base of the Maniraptora by the Middle Jurassic.

  6. Neutron activation and track analysis of the newly found bones of the southern mammoths and dinosaurs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vasidov, A.; Osinskaya, N.S.; Saidullaev, B.J.; Akhmadshaev, A.

    2016-01-01

    The bones of southern mammoths and dinosaur had been discovered in the territory of Uzbekistan in 2005-2014. The main aim of the work was a study of profiles of radiogenic and some of elements in bones of mammoths and dinosaur, and the element comparisons with standard bones and its soils by instrumental neutron activation and track analysis. In bones of the mammoths and dinosaur were registered a high contents of uranium and rare earth elements by instrumental neutron activation analysis. The radon concentrations in samples were measured in isolated plastic chambers by solid state nuclear track detectors type of CR-39 within 35 days. The values of radon exhalation rates were determined very more in ancient bones than in standard bones and soils. (author)

  7. Preliminary data on dinosaurs habitat during the Upper Maastrichtian, Hateg Basin, Romania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grigorescu, D.; Klarik, L.; Bojar, A.-V.

    2002-01-01

    The Hateg basin is located in the south-western part of the Transylvanian Depression and it is filled with sediments that overly the crystalline rocks of the Getic nappe. The basin show multiple stage of Mesozoic evolution. The Latest Cretaceous (Middle and Upper Maastrichtian) with continuous transition to Paleocene is represented by two continental lithostratigraphic units: the Densus-Ciula and the Sinpetru Formations. The Upper Maastrichtian of Densus-Ciula Formation at Tustea Quarry is represented by a pebbly alluvium with massive, matrix supported conglomerates, cross bedded sandstones and mudstones, the last one containing calcretes and dinosaur remains, including eggs and hatchlings of the hadrosaurid Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus. In order to constrain the paleoenvironment in which dinosaurs lived, calcretes and dinosaur eggshells were analyzed for carbon and oxygen isotopic composition

  8. Preliminary data on dinosaurs habitat during the Upper Maastrichtian, Hateg Basin, Romania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grigorescu, D; Klarik, L [University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics (Romania); Bojar, A -V [Department of Geology and Paleontology, Graz (Austria)

    2002-10-01

    The Hateg basin is located in the south-western part of the Transylvanian Depression and it is filled with sediments that overly the crystalline rocks of the Getic nappe. The basin show multiple stage of Mesozoic evolution. The Latest Cretaceous (Middle and Upper Maastrichtian) with continuous transition to Paleocene is represented by two continental lithostratigraphic units: the Densus-Ciula and the Sinpetru Formations. The Upper Maastrichtian of Densus-Ciula Formation at Tustea Quarry is represented by a pebbly alluvium with massive, matrix supported conglomerates, cross bedded sandstones and mudstones, the last one containing calcretes and dinosaur remains, including eggs and hatchlings of the hadrosaurid Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus. In order to constrain the paleoenvironment in which dinosaurs lived, calcretes and dinosaur eggshells were analyzed for carbon and oxygen isotopic composition.

  9. A new sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of the United Kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Phillip L; Egerton, Victoria M; Romano, Mike

    2015-01-01

    A new record of a sauropodomorph dinosaur is here described from the Middle Jurassic (Aalenian) Saltwick Formation of Whitby (Yorkshire), UK. A single caudal vertebra represents an early sauropodomorph and signifies the earliest recognised eusauropod dinosaur from the United Kingdom. The absence of pleurocoels and a narrow, dorsoventrally deep, but craniocaudally short centrum, suggests a primitive sauropodomorph. Distinct spinopostzygopophyseal laminae rise from the lateral margins of the postzygapophyses and pass caudally along what remains of the neural spine, a character unique to a subgroup of sauropods that includes Barapasaurus, Omeisaurus and other neosauropods and eusauropods. The lack of phylogenetically robust characters in sauropod caudal vertebrae usually makes it difficult to establish affinities, but the absence of mild procoely excludes this specimen from both Diplodocoidea and Lithostrotia. The vertebra cannot be further distinguished from those of a wide range of basal sauropods, cetiosaurids and basal macronarians. However, this plesiomorphic vertebra still signifies the earliest stratigraphic occurrence for a British sauropod dinosaur.

  10. Extreme ecosystem instability suppressed tropical dinosaur dominance for 30 million years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteside, Jessica H; Lindström, Sofie; Irmis, Randall B; Glasspool, Ian J; Schaller, Morgan F; Dunlavey, Maria; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Smith, Nathan D; Turner, Alan H

    2015-06-30

    A major unresolved aspect of the rise of dinosaurs is why early dinosaurs and their relatives were rare and species-poor at low paleolatitudes throughout the Late Triassic Period, a pattern persisting 30 million years after their origin and 10-15 million years after they became abundant and speciose at higher latitudes. New palynological, wildfire, organic carbon isotope, and atmospheric pCO2 data from early dinosaur-bearing strata of low paleolatitudes in western North America show that large, high-frequency, tightly correlated variations in δ(13)Corg and palynomorph ecotypes occurred within a context of elevated and increasing pCO2 and pervasive wildfires. Whereas pseudosuchian archosaur-dominated communities were able to persist in these same regions under rapidly fluctuating extreme climatic conditions until the end-Triassic, large-bodied, fast-growing tachymetabolic dinosaurian herbivores requiring greater resources were unable to adapt to unstable high CO2 environmental conditions of the Late Triassic.

  11. A new sauropod dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of the United Kingdom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillip L Manning

    Full Text Available A new record of a sauropodomorph dinosaur is here described from the Middle Jurassic (Aalenian Saltwick Formation of Whitby (Yorkshire, UK. A single caudal vertebra represents an early sauropodomorph and signifies the earliest recognised eusauropod dinosaur from the United Kingdom. The absence of pleurocoels and a narrow, dorsoventrally deep, but craniocaudally short centrum, suggests a primitive sauropodomorph. Distinct spinopostzygopophyseal laminae rise from the lateral margins of the postzygapophyses and pass caudally along what remains of the neural spine, a character unique to a subgroup of sauropods that includes Barapasaurus, Omeisaurus and other neosauropods and eusauropods. The lack of phylogenetically robust characters in sauropod caudal vertebrae usually makes it difficult to establish affinities, but the absence of mild procoely excludes this specimen from both Diplodocoidea and Lithostrotia. The vertebra cannot be further distinguished from those of a wide range of basal sauropods, cetiosaurids and basal macronarians. However, this plesiomorphic vertebra still signifies the earliest stratigraphic occurrence for a British sauropod dinosaur.

  12. A new primitive Neornithischian dinosaur from the Jurassic of Patagonia with gut contents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado, Leonardo; Canudo, José I.; Garrido, Alberto C.; Moreno-Azanza, Miguel; Martínez, Leandro C. A.; Coria, Rodolfo A.; Gasca, José M.

    2017-02-01

    We describe a new species of an ornithischian dinosaur, Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov. The specimen, consisting in an almost complete skull and incomplete postcranium was collected from the marine-deltaic deposits of the Los Molles Formation (Toarcian-Bajocian), being the first reported dinosaur for this unit, one of the oldest from Neuquén Basin, and the first neornithischian dinosaur known from the Jurassic of South America. Despite showing a general stegosaurian appearance, the extensive phylogenetic analysis carried out depicts Isaberrysaura mollensis gen. et sp. nov. as a basal ornithopod, suggesting that both Thyreophora and neornithischians could have achieved significant convergent features. The specimen was preserved articulated and with some of its gut content place in the middle-posterior part of the thoracic cavity. Such stomach content was identified as seeds, most of them belonging to the Cycadales group. This finding reveals a possible and unexpected role of this ornithischian species as seed-dispersal agent.

  13. The Great Recession was not so Great

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Ours, J.C.

    2015-01-01

    The Great Recession is characterized by a GDP-decline that was unprecedented in the past decades. This paper discusses the implications of the Great Recession analyzing labor market data from 20 OECD countries. Comparing the Great Recession with the 1980s recession it is concluded that there is a

  14. New developmental evidence clarifies the evolution of wrist bones in the dinosaur-bird transition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Francisco Botelho

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available From early dinosaurs with as many as nine wrist bones, modern birds evolved to develop only four ossifications. Their identity is uncertain, with different labels used in palaeontology and developmental biology. We examined embryos of several species and studied chicken embryos in detail through a new technique allowing whole-mount immunofluorescence of the embryonic cartilaginous skeleton. Beyond previous controversy, we establish that the proximal-anterior ossification develops from a composite radiale+intermedium cartilage, consistent with fusion of radiale and intermedium observed in some theropod dinosaurs. Despite previous claims that the development of the distal-anterior ossification does not support the dinosaur-bird link, we found its embryonic precursor shows two distinct regions of both collagen type II and collagen type IX expression, resembling the composite semilunate bone of bird-like dinosaurs (distal carpal 1+distal carpal 2. The distal-posterior ossification develops from a cartilage referred to as "element x," but its position corresponds to distal carpal 3. The proximal-posterior ossification is perhaps most controversial: It is labelled as the ulnare in palaeontology, but we confirm the embryonic ulnare is lost during development. Re-examination of the fossil evidence reveals the ulnare was actually absent in bird-like dinosaurs. We confirm the proximal-posterior bone is a pisiform in terms of embryonic position and its development as a sesamoid associated to a tendon. However, the pisiform is absent in bird-like dinosaurs, which are known from several articulated specimens. The combined data provide compelling evidence of a remarkable evolutionary reversal: A large, ossified pisiform re-evolved in the lineage leading to birds, after a period in which it was either absent, nonossified, or very small, consistently escaping fossil preservation. The bird wrist provides a modern example of how developmental and paleontological

  15. Maximal aerobic and anaerobic power generation in large crocodiles versus mammals: implications for dinosaur gigantothermy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Roger S

    2013-01-01

    Inertial homeothermy, the maintenance of a relatively constant body temperature that occurs simply because of large size, is often applied to large dinosaurs. Moreover, biophysical modelling and actual measurements show that large crocodiles can behaviourally achieve body temperatures above 30°C. Therefore it is possible that some dinosaurs could achieve high and stable body temperatures without the high energy cost of typical endotherms. However it is not known whether an ectothermic dinosaur could produce the equivalent amount of muscular power as an endothermic one. To address this question, this study analyses maximal power output from measured aerobic and anaerobic metabolism in burst exercising estuarine crocodiles, Crocodylusporosus, weighing up to 200 kg. These results are compared with similar data from endothermic mammals. A 1 kg crocodile at 30°C produces about 16 watts from aerobic and anaerobic energy sources during the first 10% of exhaustive activity, which is 57% of that expected for a similarly sized mammal. A 200 kg crocodile produces about 400 watts, or only 14% of that for a mammal. Phosphocreatine is a minor energy source, used only in the first seconds of exercise and of similar concentrations in reptiles and mammals. Ectothermic crocodiles lack not only the absolute power for exercise, but also the endurance, that are evident in endothermic mammals. Despite the ability to achieve high and fairly constant body temperatures, therefore, large, ectothermic, crocodile-like dinosaurs would have been competitively inferior to endothermic, mammal-like dinosaurs with high aerobic power. Endothermy in dinosaurs is likely to explain their dominance over mammals in terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Mesozoic.

  16. Maximal aerobic and anaerobic power generation in large crocodiles versus mammals: implications for dinosaur gigantothermy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger S Seymour

    Full Text Available Inertial homeothermy, the maintenance of a relatively constant body temperature that occurs simply because of large size, is often applied to large dinosaurs. Moreover, biophysical modelling and actual measurements show that large crocodiles can behaviourally achieve body temperatures above 30°C. Therefore it is possible that some dinosaurs could achieve high and stable body temperatures without the high energy cost of typical endotherms. However it is not known whether an ectothermic dinosaur could produce the equivalent amount of muscular power as an endothermic one. To address this question, this study analyses maximal power output from measured aerobic and anaerobic metabolism in burst exercising estuarine crocodiles, Crocodylusporosus, weighing up to 200 kg. These results are compared with similar data from endothermic mammals. A 1 kg crocodile at 30°C produces about 16 watts from aerobic and anaerobic energy sources during the first 10% of exhaustive activity, which is 57% of that expected for a similarly sized mammal. A 200 kg crocodile produces about 400 watts, or only 14% of that for a mammal. Phosphocreatine is a minor energy source, used only in the first seconds of exercise and of similar concentrations in reptiles and mammals. Ectothermic crocodiles lack not only the absolute power for exercise, but also the endurance, that are evident in endothermic mammals. Despite the ability to achieve high and fairly constant body temperatures, therefore, large, ectothermic, crocodile-like dinosaurs would have been competitively inferior to endothermic, mammal-like dinosaurs with high aerobic power. Endothermy in dinosaurs is likely to explain their dominance over mammals in terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Mesozoic.

  17. New developmental evidence clarifies the evolution of wrist bones in the dinosaur-bird transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botelho, João Francisco; Ossa-Fuentes, Luis; Soto-Acuña, Sergio; Smith-Paredes, Daniel; Nuñez-León, Daniel; Salinas-Saavedra, Miguel; Ruiz-Flores, Macarena; Vargas, Alexander O

    2014-09-01

    From early dinosaurs with as many as nine wrist bones, modern birds evolved to develop only four ossifications. Their identity is uncertain, with different labels used in palaeontology and developmental biology. We examined embryos of several species and studied chicken embryos in detail through a new technique allowing whole-mount immunofluorescence of the embryonic cartilaginous skeleton. Beyond previous controversy, we establish that the proximal-anterior ossification develops from a composite radiale+intermedium cartilage, consistent with fusion of radiale and intermedium observed in some theropod dinosaurs. Despite previous claims that the development of the distal-anterior ossification does not support the dinosaur-bird link, we found its embryonic precursor shows two distinct regions of both collagen type II and collagen type IX expression, resembling the composite semilunate bone of bird-like dinosaurs (distal carpal 1+distal carpal 2). The distal-posterior ossification develops from a cartilage referred to as "element x," but its position corresponds to distal carpal 3. The proximal-posterior ossification is perhaps most controversial: It is labelled as the ulnare in palaeontology, but we confirm the embryonic ulnare is lost during development. Re-examination of the fossil evidence reveals the ulnare was actually absent in bird-like dinosaurs. We confirm the proximal-posterior bone is a pisiform in terms of embryonic position and its development as a sesamoid associated to a tendon. However, the pisiform is absent in bird-like dinosaurs, which are known from several articulated specimens. The combined data provide compelling evidence of a remarkable evolutionary reversal: A large, ossified pisiform re-evolved in the lineage leading to birds, after a period in which it was either absent, nonossified, or very small, consistently escaping fossil preservation. The bird wrist provides a modern example of how developmental and paleontological data illuminate

  18. Decoupled form and function in disparate herbivorous dinosaur clades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan; Brassey, Charlotte A.; Button, David J.; Barrett, Paul M.

    2016-05-01

    Convergent evolution, the acquisition of morphologically similar traits in unrelated taxa due to similar functional demands or environmental factors, is a common phenomenon in the animal kingdom. Consequently, the occurrence of similar form is used routinely to address fundamental questions in morphofunctional research and to infer function in fossils. However, such qualitative assessments can be misleading and it is essential to test form/function relationships quantitatively. The parallel occurrence of a suite of morphologically convergent craniodental characteristics in three herbivorous, phylogenetically disparate dinosaur clades (Sauropodomorpha, Ornithischia, Theropoda) provides an ideal test case. A combination of computational biomechanical models (Finite Element Analysis, Multibody Dynamics Analysis) demonstrate that despite a high degree of morphological similarity between representative taxa (Plateosaurus engelhardti, Stegosaurus stenops, Erlikosaurus andrewsi) from these clades, their biomechanical behaviours are notably different and difficult to predict on the basis of form alone. These functional differences likely reflect dietary specialisations, demonstrating the value of quantitative biomechanical approaches when evaluating form/function relationships in extinct taxa.

  19. Vertebral Adaptations to Large Body Size in Theropod Dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P Wilson

    Full Text Available Rugose projections on the anterior and posterior aspects of vertebral neural spines appear throughout Amniota and result from the mineralization of the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments via metaplasia, the process of permanent tissue-type transformation. In mammals, this metaplasia is generally pathological or stress induced, but is a normal part of development in some clades of birds. Such structures, though phylogenetically sporadic, appear throughout the fossil record of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, yet their physiological and adaptive significance has remained unexamined. Here we show novel histologic and phylogenetic evidence that neural spine projections were a physiological response to biomechanical stress in large-bodied theropod species. Metaplastic projections also appear to vary between immature and mature individuals of the same species, with immature animals either lacking them or exhibiting smaller projections, supporting the hypothesis that these structures develop through ontogeny as a result of increasing bending stress subjected to the spinal column. Metaplastic mineralization of spinal ligaments would likely affect the flexibility of the spinal column, increasing passive support for body weight. A stiff spinal column would also provide biomechanical support for the primary hip flexors and, therefore, may have played a role in locomotor efficiency and mobility in large-bodied species. This new association of interspinal ligament metaplasia in Theropoda with large body size contributes additional insight to our understanding of the diverse biomechanical coping mechanisms developed throughout Dinosauria, and stresses the significance of phylogenetic methods when testing for biological trends, evolutionary or not.

  20. Dinosaurs and Ancient Civilizations: Reflections on the Treatment of Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alnawaz Rehemtulla

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Research efforts in the area of palaeopathology have been seen as an avenue to improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of cancer. Answers to questions of whether dinosaurs had cancer, or if cancer plagued ancient civilizations, have captured the imagination as well as the popular media. Evidence for dinosaurian cancer may indicate that cancer may have been with us from the dawn of time. Ancient recorded history suggests that past civilizations attempted to fight cancer with a variety of interventions. When contemplating the issuewhy a generalized cure for cancer has not been found, it might prove useful to reflect on the relatively limited timethat this issue has been an agenda item of governmental attention as well as continued introduction of an every evolving myriad of manmade carcinogens relative to the total time cancer has been present on planet Earth. This article reflects on the history of cancer and the progress made following the initiation of the “era of cancer chemotherapy.”

  1. Dinosaurs and Ancient Civilizations: Reflections on the Treatment of Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehemtulla, Alnawaz

    2010-01-01

    Research efforts in the area of palaeopathology have been seen as an avenue to improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of cancer. Answers to questions of whether dinosaurs had cancer, or if cancer plagued ancient civilizations, have captured the imagination as well as the popular media. Evidence for dinosaurian cancer may indicate that cancer may have been with us from the dawn of time. Ancient recorded history suggests that past civilizations attempted to fight cancer with a variety of interventions. When contemplating the issuewhy a generalized cure for cancer has not been found, it might prove useful to reflect on the relatively limited timethat this issue has been an agenda item of governmental attention as well as continued introduction of an every evolving myriad of manmade carcinogens relative to the total time cancer has been present on planet Earth. This article reflects on the history of cancer and the progress made following the initiation of the “era of cancer chemotherapy.” PMID:21170260

  2. The phylogeny and evolutionary history of tyrannosauroid dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L.; Carr, Thomas D.

    2016-02-01

    Tyrannosauroids—the group of carnivores including Tyrannosaurs rex—are some of the most familiar dinosaurs of all. A surge of recent discoveries has helped clarify some aspects of their evolution, but competing phylogenetic hypotheses raise questions about their relationships, biogeography, and fossil record quality. We present a new phylogenetic dataset, which merges published datasets and incorporates recently discovered taxa. We analyze it with parsimony and, for the first time for a tyrannosauroid dataset, Bayesian techniques. The parsimony and Bayesian results are highly congruent, and provide a framework for interpreting the biogeography and evolutionary history of tyrannosauroids. Our phylogenies illustrate that the body plan of the colossal species evolved piecemeal, imply no clear division between northern and southern species in western North America as had been argued, and suggest that T. rex may have been an Asian migrant to North America. Over-reliance on cranial shape characters may explain why published parsimony studies have diverged and filling three major gaps in the fossil record holds the most promise for future work.

  3. Mechanical implications of pneumatic neck vertebrae in sauropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz-Wings, Daniela; Meyer, Christian A.; Frey, Eberhard; Manz-Steiner, Hans-Rudolf; Schumacher, Ralf

    2010-01-01

    The pre-sacral vertebrae of most sauropod dinosaurs were surrounded by interconnected, air-filled diverticula, penetrating into the bones and creating an intricate internal cavity system within the vertebrae. Computational finite-element models of two sauropod cervical vertebrae now demonstrate the mechanical reason for vertebral pneumaticity. The analyses show that the structure of the cervical vertebrae leads to an even distribution of all occurring stress fields along the vertebrae, concentrated mainly on their external surface and the vertebral laminae. The regions between vertebral laminae and the interior part of the vertebral body including thin bony struts and septa are mostly unloaded and pneumatic structures are positioned in these regions of minimal stress. The morphology of sauropod cervical vertebrae was influenced by strongly segmented axial neck muscles, which require only small attachment areas on each vertebra, and pneumatic epithelia that are able to resorb bone that is not mechanically loaded. The interaction of these soft tissues with the bony tissue of the vertebrae produced lightweight, air-filled vertebrae in which most stresses were borne by the external cortical bone. Cervical pneumaticity was therefore an important prerequisite for neck enlargement in sauropods. Thus, we expect that vertebral pneumaticity in other parts of the body to have a similar role in enabling gigantism. PMID:19801376

  4. Herbivorous ecomorphology and specialization patterns in theropod dinosaur evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanno, Lindsay E; Makovicky, Peter J

    2011-01-04

    Interpreting key ecological parameters, such as diet, of extinct organisms without the benefit of direct observation or explicit fossil evidence poses a formidable challenge for paleobiological studies. To date, dietary categorizations of extinct taxa are largely generated by means of modern analogs; however, for many species the method is subject to considerable ambiguity. Here we present a refined approach for assessing trophic habits in fossil taxa and apply the method to coelurosaurian dinosaurs--a clade for which diet is particularly controversial. Our findings detect 21 morphological features that exhibit statistically significant correlations with extrinsic fossil evidence of coelurosaurian herbivory, such as stomach contents and a gastric mill. These traits represent quantitative, extrinsically founded proxies for identifying herbivorous ecomorphology in fossils and are robust despite uncertainty in phylogenetic relationships among major coelurosaurian subclades. The distribution of these features suggests that herbivory was widespread among coelurosaurians, with six major subclades displaying morphological evidence of the diet, and that contrary to previous thought, hypercarnivory was relatively rare and potentially secondarily derived. Given the potential for repeated, independent evolution of herbivory in Coelurosauria, we also test for repetitive patterns in the appearance of herbivorous traits within sublineages using rank concordance analysis. We find evidence for a common succession of increasing specialization to herbivory in the subclades Ornithomimosauria and Oviraptorosauria, perhaps underlain by intrinsic functional and/or developmental constraints, as well as evidence indicating that the early evolution of a beak in coelurosaurians correlates with an herbivorous diet.

  5. Histological evidence for a dynamic dental battery in hadrosaurid dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bramble, Katherine; LeBlanc, Aaron R H; Lamoureux, Denis O; Wosik, Mateusz; Currie, Philip J

    2017-11-17

    The first histological study of an entire hadrosaurid dental battery provides a comprehensive look at tooth movement within this complex structure. Previous studies have focused on isolated teeth, or in-situ batteries, but this is the first study to examine an entire dental battery of any dinosaur. The absence of direct tooth-to-tooth contact across the entire battery and a unique arrangement of the dental tissues in hadrosaurids led us to compare their teeth with the ever-growing incisors of mammals. The similarity in the distributions of tissues along the incisor, coupled with continuous eruption, make for helpful comparisons to hadrosaurid teeth. The mammalian ever-growing incisor can be used as a model to extrapolate the soft tissue connections and eruptive mechanisms within the hadrosaurid dental battery. Serial sections across the adult dental battery reveal signs of gradual ontogenetic tooth migration. Extensive remodeling of the alveolar septa and the anteroposterior displacement of successive generations of teeth highlight the gradual migration of tooth generations within the battery. These eruptive and ontogenetic tooth movements would not be possible without a ligamentous connection between successive teeth and the jaws, underscoring the dynamic nature of one of the most unique and complex dental systems in vertebrate history.

  6. Decoupled form and function in disparate herbivorous dinosaur clades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan; Brassey, Charlotte A; Button, David J; Barrett, Paul M

    2016-05-20

    Convergent evolution, the acquisition of morphologically similar traits in unrelated taxa due to similar functional demands or environmental factors, is a common phenomenon in the animal kingdom. Consequently, the occurrence of similar form is used routinely to address fundamental questions in morphofunctional research and to infer function in fossils. However, such qualitative assessments can be misleading and it is essential to test form/function relationships quantitatively. The parallel occurrence of a suite of morphologically convergent craniodental characteristics in three herbivorous, phylogenetically disparate dinosaur clades (Sauropodomorpha, Ornithischia, Theropoda) provides an ideal test case. A combination of computational biomechanical models (Finite Element Analysis, Multibody Dynamics Analysis) demonstrate that despite a high degree of morphological similarity between representative taxa (Plateosaurus engelhardti, Stegosaurus stenops, Erlikosaurus andrewsi) from these clades, their biomechanical behaviours are notably different and difficult to predict on the basis of form alone. These functional differences likely reflect dietary specialisations, demonstrating the value of quantitative biomechanical approaches when evaluating form/function relationships in extinct taxa.

  7. Body Size as a Driver of Scavenging in Theropod Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Adam; Healy, Kevin; Ruxton, Graeme D; Jackson, Andrew L

    2016-06-01

    Theropod dinosaurs dominated Earth's terrestrial ecosystem as a diverse group of predators for more than 160 million years, yet little is known about their foraging ecology. Maintaining a balanced energy budget presented a major challenge for therapods, which ranged from the chicken-sized Microraptor up to the whale-sized Giganotosaurus, in the face of intense competition and the demands of ontogenetic growth. Facultative scavenging, a behavior present in almost all modern predators, may have been important in supplementing energetically expensive lifestyles. By using agent-based models based on the allometric relationship between size and foraging behaviors, we show that theropods between 27 and 1,044 kg would have gained a significant energetic advantage over individuals at both the small and large extremes of theropod body mass through their scavenging efficiency. These results were robust to rate of competition, primary productivity, and detection distance. Our models demonstrate the potential importance of facultative scavenging in theropods and the role of body size in defining its prevalence in Mesozoic terrestrial systems.

  8. Vertebral Adaptations to Large Body Size in Theropod Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, John P; Woodruff, D Cary; Gardner, Jacob D; Flora, Holley M; Horner, John R; Organ, Chris L

    2016-01-01

    Rugose projections on the anterior and posterior aspects of vertebral neural spines appear throughout Amniota and result from the mineralization of the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments via metaplasia, the process of permanent tissue-type transformation. In mammals, this metaplasia is generally pathological or stress induced, but is a normal part of development in some clades of birds. Such structures, though phylogenetically sporadic, appear throughout the fossil record of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, yet their physiological and adaptive significance has remained unexamined. Here we show novel histologic and phylogenetic evidence that neural spine projections were a physiological response to biomechanical stress in large-bodied theropod species. Metaplastic projections also appear to vary between immature and mature individuals of the same species, with immature animals either lacking them or exhibiting smaller projections, supporting the hypothesis that these structures develop through ontogeny as a result of increasing bending stress subjected to the spinal column. Metaplastic mineralization of spinal ligaments would likely affect the flexibility of the spinal column, increasing passive support for body weight. A stiff spinal column would also provide biomechanical support for the primary hip flexors and, therefore, may have played a role in locomotor efficiency and mobility in large-bodied species. This new association of interspinal ligament metaplasia in Theropoda with large body size contributes additional insight to our understanding of the diverse biomechanical coping mechanisms developed throughout Dinosauria, and stresses the significance of phylogenetic methods when testing for biological trends, evolutionary or not.

  9. Neck length and mean arterial pressure in the sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Stephen; Barry, John; Russell, Jeremy; Bell, Robert; Gurung, Som

    2016-04-15

    How blood was able to reach the heads of the long-necked sauropod dinosaurs has long been a matter of debate and several hypotheses have been presented. For example, it has been proposed that sauropods had exceptionally large hearts, multiple 'normal' sized hearts spaced at regular intervals up the neck or held their necks horizontal, or that the siphon effect was in operation. By means of an experimental model, we demonstrate that the siphon principle is able to explain how blood was able to adequately perfuse the sauropod brain. The return venous circulation may have been protected from complete collapse by a structure akin to the vertebral venous plexus. We derive an equation relating neck height and mean arterial pressure, which indicates that with a mean arterial pressure similar to that of the giraffe, the maximum safe vertical distance between heart and head would have been about 12 m. A hypothesis is presented that the maximum neck length in the fossil record is due to the siphon height limit. The equation indicates that to migrate over high ground, sauropods would have had to either significantly increase their mean arterial pressure or keep their necks below a certain height dependent on altitude. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  10. The phylogeny and evolutionary history of tyrannosauroid dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Carr, Thomas D

    2016-02-02

    Tyrannosauroids--the group of carnivores including Tyrannosaurs rex--are some of the most familiar dinosaurs of all. A surge of recent discoveries has helped clarify some aspects of their evolution, but competing phylogenetic hypotheses raise questions about their relationships, biogeography, and fossil record quality. We present a new phylogenetic dataset, which merges published datasets and incorporates recently discovered taxa. We analyze it with parsimony and, for the first time for a tyrannosauroid dataset, Bayesian techniques. The parsimony and Bayesian results are highly congruent, and provide a framework for interpreting the biogeography and evolutionary history of tyrannosauroids. Our phylogenies illustrate that the body plan of the colossal species evolved piecemeal, imply no clear division between northern and southern species in western North America as had been argued, and suggest that T. rex may have been an Asian migrant to North America. Over-reliance on cranial shape characters may explain why published parsimony studies have diverged and filling three major gaps in the fossil record holds the most promise for future work.

  11. First diagnosis of septic arthritis in a dinosaur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anné, Jennifer; Hedrick, Brandon P; Schein, Jason P

    2016-08-01

    Identification and interpretation of pathologies in the fossil record allows for unique insights into the life histories of extinct organisms. However, the rarity of such finds limits not only the sample size for palaeopathologic studies, but also the types of analyses that may be performed. In this study, we present the first occurrence of a palaeopathology in a vertebrate from the Mesozoic of the East Coast of North America (Appalachia), a pathologic ulna and radius of an indeterminate hadrosaur from the Navesink Formation (New Jersey). X-ray microtomography allowed for both detailed and more accurate diagnosis of the pathologic condition as well as virtual conservation of the specimen. Based on extant archosaurian comparisons, the hadrosaur was diagnosed with severe septic arthritis affecting the proximal ulna and radius. Diagnosis was based on erosion of the joint and highly reactive periosteal bone growth and fusion of the elements. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first recorded account of septic arthritis in dinosaurs. The severity of the pathology suggests the animal suffered with this condition for some time before death. Unfortunately, only the ulna and radius were found. Thus, the extent to which the condition spread to other parts of the body is unknown.

  12. Estimating impact forces of tail club strikes by ankylosaurid dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria Megan Arbour

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been assumed that the unusual tail club of ankylosaurid dinosaurs was used actively as a weapon, but the biological feasibility of this behaviour has not been examined in detail. Ankylosaurid tail clubs are composed of interlocking vertebrae, which form the handle, and large terminal osteoderms, which form the knob. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Computed tomographic (CT scans of several ankylosaurid tail clubs referred to Dyoplosaurus and Euoplocephalus, combined with measurements of free caudal vertebrae, provide information used to estimate the impact force of tail clubs of various sizes. Ankylosaurid tails are modeled as a series of segments for which mass, muscle cross-sectional area, torque, and angular acceleration are calculated. Free caudal vertebrae segments had limited vertical flexibility, but the tail could have swung through approximately 100 degrees laterally. Muscle scars on the pelvis record the presence of a large M. longissimus caudae, and ossified tendons alongside the handle represent M. spinalis. CT scans showed that knob osteoderms were predominantly cancellous, which would have lowered the rotational inertia of the tail club and made it easier to wield as a weapon. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Large knobs could generate sufficient force to break bone during impacts, but average and small knobs could not. Tail swinging behaviour is feasible in ankylosaurids, but it remains unknown whether the tail was used for interspecific defense, intraspecific combat, or both.

  13. A Monstrous Moscow. The Dinosaur in Moscow Postmodern Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Imbriaco

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The article offers an interpretation of the dinosaur in the Moscow imagery of the late 20th century as an allegory of the state in which the Marxist-Leninist ideology found itself in those years: more and more inflated with rhetoric, while more and more devoid of contents. In V. Aksyonov's The Burn (1975-76, in the paintings of the duo Komar and Melamid (Ancestral Portraits, Bolsheviks Returning Home After a Demonstration, 1978-82, in D. Prigov's drawing Horror (1990s and verses “For the Little George”, in V. Erofeyev's Russian Beauty (1990, and in V. Sorokin's Ice (2002, the prehistoric monster in its different inflections is the embodiment of a black humour, characterized by an ambiguity typical of both the postmodern parody described by L. Hutcheon and the grotesque realism analyzed by M. Bachtin. The artist's effort in becoming another to himself, simultaneously engaging his own culture and disengaging himself from it by way of a sharp irony, is portrayed in Prigov's Bestiary (1977-2004, where his colleagues are the more 'monstrous' the more they are 'geniuses'. The monster creates a tragicomic and destabilizing clash on different levels, thus prompting reflection about a tormented historical period and about Art's willy-nilly complicity in the rhetorical construction of the official discourses.

  14. First diagnosis of septic arthritis in a dinosaur

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anné, Jennifer; Hedrick, Brandon P.; Schein, Jason P.

    2016-08-01

    Identification and interpretation of pathologies in the fossil record allows for unique insights into the life histories of extinct organisms. However, the rarity of such finds limits not only the sample size for palaeopathologic studies, but also the types of analyses that may be performed. In this study, we present the first occurrence of a palaeopathology in a vertebrate from the Mesozoic of the East Coast of North America (Appalachia), a pathologic ulna and radius of an indeterminate hadrosaur from the Navesink Formation (New Jersey). X-ray microtomography allowed for both detailed and more accurate diagnosis of the pathologic condition as well as virtual conservation of the specimen. Based on extant archosaurian comparisons, the hadrosaur was diagnosed with severe septic arthritis affecting the proximal ulna and radius. Diagnosis was based on erosion of the joint and highly reactive periosteal bone growth and fusion of the elements. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first recorded account of septic arthritis in dinosaurs. The severity of the pathology suggests the animal suffered with this condition for some time before death. Unfortunately, only the ulna and radius were found. Thus, the extent to which the condition spread to other parts of the body is unknown.

  15. Investigation of the age and geological thermal history of the strata containing dinosaurs fossil in Tianzhen county of Shanxi Province

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang Tiesheng; Wang Lanfen; Wang Shicheng; Cheng Zhengwu

    1996-01-01

    The age and thermal history of the strata containing dinosaurs fossil in Tianzhen County of Shanxi Province have been studied using apatite and zircon fission track analysis. It is shown that the burial age of dinosaurs skeletons is not earlier than Late Cretaceous. The provenance area of the strata had experienced heating events with temperature higher than 200-250 degree C 73 Ma ago. But the strata has been at environmental temperature and never been affected by heating events since the dinosaurs skeletons were buried

  16. Investigation of the age and geological thermal history of the strata containing dinosaurs fossil in Tianzhen county of Shanxi Province

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tiesheng, Kang; Lanfen, Wang; Shicheng, Wang [Academia Sinica, Beijing, BJ (China). Inst. of High Energy Physics; Qiqing, Pang [Hebei College of Geology, Shijiazhuang (China); Zhengwu, Cheng [Institute of Geology, MGMR, Beijing (China)

    1996-10-01

    The age and thermal history of the strata containing dinosaurs fossil in Tianzhen County of Shanxi Province have been studied using apatite and zircon fission track analysis. It is shown that the burial age of dinosaurs skeletons is not earlier than Late Cretaceous. The provenance area of the strata had experienced heating events with temperature higher than 200-250 degree C 73 Ma ago. But the strata has been at environmental temperature and never been affected by heating events since the dinosaurs skeletons were buried.

  17. The functional and palaeoecological implications of tooth morphology and wear for the megaherbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian of Alberta, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan C Mallon

    Full Text Available Megaherbivorous dinosaurs were exceptionally diverse on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia, and a growing body of evidence suggests that this diversity was facilitated by dietary niche partitioning. We test this hypothesis using the fossil megaherbivore assemblage from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian of Alberta as a model. Comparative tooth morphology and wear, including the first use of quantitative dental microwear analysis in the context of Cretaceous palaeosynecology, are used to infer the mechanical properties of the foods these dinosaurs consumed. The phylliform teeth of ankylosaurs were poorly adapted for habitually processing high-fibre plant matter. Nevertheless, ankylosaur diets were likely more varied than traditionally assumed: the relatively large, bladed teeth of nodosaurids would have been better adapted to processing a tougher, more fibrous diet than the smaller, cusp-like teeth of ankylosaurids. Ankylosaur microwear is characterized by a preponderance of pits and scratches, akin to modern mixed feeders, but offers no support for interspecific dietary differences. The shearing tooth batteries of ceratopsids are much better adapted to high-fibre herbivory, attested by their scratch-dominated microwear signature. There is tentative microwear evidence to suggest differences in the feeding habits of centrosaurines and chasmosaurines, but statistical support is not significant. The tooth batteries of hadrosaurids were capable of both shearing and crushing functions, suggestive of a broad dietary range. Their microwear signal overlaps broadly with that of ankylosaurs, and suggests possible dietary differences between hadrosaurines and lambeosaurines. Tooth wear evidence further indicates that all forms considered here exhibited some degree of masticatory propaliny. Our findings reveal that tooth morphology and wear exhibit different, but complimentary, dietary signals that combine to support the hypothesis

  18. The functional and palaeoecological implications of tooth morphology and wear for the megaherbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, Jordan C; Anderson, Jason S

    2014-01-01

    Megaherbivorous dinosaurs were exceptionally diverse on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia, and a growing body of evidence suggests that this diversity was facilitated by dietary niche partitioning. We test this hypothesis using the fossil megaherbivore assemblage from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta as a model. Comparative tooth morphology and wear, including the first use of quantitative dental microwear analysis in the context of Cretaceous palaeosynecology, are used to infer the mechanical properties of the foods these dinosaurs consumed. The phylliform teeth of ankylosaurs were poorly adapted for habitually processing high-fibre plant matter. Nevertheless, ankylosaur diets were likely more varied than traditionally assumed: the relatively large, bladed teeth of nodosaurids would have been better adapted to processing a tougher, more fibrous diet than the smaller, cusp-like teeth of ankylosaurids. Ankylosaur microwear is characterized by a preponderance of pits and scratches, akin to modern mixed feeders, but offers no support for interspecific dietary differences. The shearing tooth batteries of ceratopsids are much better adapted to high-fibre herbivory, attested by their scratch-dominated microwear signature. There is tentative microwear evidence to suggest differences in the feeding habits of centrosaurines and chasmosaurines, but statistical support is not significant. The tooth batteries of hadrosaurids were capable of both shearing and crushing functions, suggestive of a broad dietary range. Their microwear signal overlaps broadly with that of ankylosaurs, and suggests possible dietary differences between hadrosaurines and lambeosaurines. Tooth wear evidence further indicates that all forms considered here exhibited some degree of masticatory propaliny. Our findings reveal that tooth morphology and wear exhibit different, but complimentary, dietary signals that combine to support the hypothesis of dietary niche

  19. Evolutionary Trends in the Jaw Adductor Mechanics of Ornithischian Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabavizadeh, Ali

    2016-03-01

    Jaw mechanics in ornithischian dinosaurs have been widely studied for well over a century. Most of these studies, however, use only one or few taxa within a given ornithischian clade as a model for feeding mechanics across the entire clade. In this study, mandibular mechanical advantages among 52 ornithischian genera spanning all subclades are calculated using 2D lever arm methods. These lever arm calculations estimate the effect of jaw shape and difference in adductor muscle line of action on relative bite forces along the jaw. Results show major instances of overlap between taxa in tooth positions at which there was highest mechanical advantage. A relatively low bite force is seen across the tooth row among thyreophorans (e.g., stegosaurs and ankylosaurs), with variation among taxa. A convergent transition occurs from a more evenly distributed bite force along the jaw in basal ornithopods and basal marginocephalians to a strong distal bite force in hadrosaurids and ceratopsids, respectively. Accordingly, adductor muscle vector angles show repeated trends from a mid-range caudodorsal orientation in basal ornithischians to a decrease in vector angles indicating more caudally oriented jaw movements in derived taxa (e.g., derived thyreophorans, basal ornithopods, lambeosaurines, pachycephalosaurs, and derived ceratopsids). Analyses of hypothetical jaw morphologies were also performed, indicating that both the coronoid process and lowered jaw joint increase moment arm length therefore increasing mechanical advantage of the jaw apparatus. Adaptive trends in craniomandibular anatomy show that ornithischians evolved more complex feeding apparatuses within different clades as well as morphological convergences between clades. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Restoring Maximum Vertical Browsing Reach in Sauropod Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Gregory S

    2017-10-01

    The ongoing controversy centered on neck posture and function in sauropod dinosaurs is misplaced for a number of reasons. Because of an absence of pertinent data it is not possible to accurately restore the posture and range of motion in long necked fossil animals, only gross approximations are possible. The existence of a single "neutral posture" in animals with long, slender necks may not exist, and its relationship to feeding habits is weak. Restorations of neutral osteological neck posture based on seemingly detailed diagrams of cervical articulations are not reliable because the pictures are not sufficiently accurate due to a combination of illustration errors, and distortion of the fossil cervicals. This is all the more true because fossil cervical series lack the critical inter-centra cartilage. Maximum vertical reach is more readily restorable and biologically informative for long necked herbivores. Modest extension of 10° between each caudal cervical allowed high shouldered sauropods to raise the cranial portion of their necks to vertical postures that allowed them to reach floral resources far higher than seen in the tallest mammals. This hypothesis is supported by the dorsally extended articulation of the only known co-fused sauropod cervicals. Many sauropods appear to have been well adapted for rearing in order to boost vertical reach, some possessed retroverted pelves that may have allowed them to walk slowly while bipedal. A combination of improved high browsing abilities and sexual selection probably explains the unusually long necks of tall ungulates and super tall sauropods. Anat Rec, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Anat Rec, 300:1802-1825, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Tail-assisted pitch control in lizards, robots and dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libby, Thomas; Moore, Talia Y; Chang-Siu, Evan; Li, Deborah; Cohen, Daniel J; Jusufi, Ardian; Full, Robert J

    2012-01-04

    In 1969, a palaeontologist proposed that theropod dinosaurs used their tails as dynamic stabilizers during rapid or irregular movements, contributing to their depiction as active and agile predators. Since then the inertia of swinging appendages has been implicated in stabilizing human walking, aiding acrobatic manoeuvres by primates and rodents, and enabling cats to balance on branches. Recent studies on geckos suggest that active tail stabilization occurs during climbing, righting and gliding. By contrast, studies on the effect of lizard tail loss show evidence of a decrease, an increase or no change in performance. Application of a control-theoretic framework could advance our general understanding of inertial appendage use in locomotion. Here we report that lizards control the swing of their tails in a measured manner to redirect angular momentum from their bodies to their tails, stabilizing body attitude in the sagittal plane. We video-recorded Red-Headed Agama lizards (Agama agama) leaping towards a vertical surface by first vaulting onto an obstacle with variable traction to induce a range of perturbations in body angular momentum. To examine a known controlled tail response, we built a lizard-sized robot with an active tail that used sensory feedback to stabilize pitch as it drove off a ramp. Our dynamics model revealed that a body swinging its tail experienced less rotation than a body with a rigid tail, a passively compliant tail or no tail. To compare a range of tails, we calculated tail effectiveness as the amount of tailless body rotation a tail could stabilize. A model Velociraptor mongoliensis supported the initial tail stabilization hypothesis, showing as it did a greater tail effectiveness than the Agama lizards. Leaping lizards show that inertial control of body attitude can advance our understanding of appendage evolution and provide biological inspiration for the next generation of manoeuvrable search-and-rescue robots.

  2. Great Lakes Science Center

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Since 1927, Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) research has provided critical information for the sound management of Great Lakes fish populations and other important...

  3. Origin attachments of the caudofemoralis longus muscle in the Jurassic dinosaur Allosaurus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Cau

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The caudofemoralis longus muscle (CFL is the primary limb retractor among non-avian sauropsids, and underwent a dramatic reduction along the dinosaur lineage leading to birds. The osteological correlates of the CFL among fossil reptiles have been controversial, because, contrary to traditional interpretations, the extent of the muscle is not necessarily related to the distribution of the caudal ribs. In some Cretaceous dinosaurs, the extent of the CFL has been inferred based on the preserved bony septa between the CFL and other tail muscles. Here, we describe a series of tail vertebrae of the Jurassic dinosaur Allosaurus, each showing a previously-unreported feature: a sulcus, formed by a regular pattern of tightly packed horizontal slits, that runs vertically along the lateral surfaces of the centra and neural arches. These sulci are interpreted as the origin attachment sites of the CFL, allowing for direct determination of the muscle extent along the tail of this dinosaur. Anteriorly to the 18th caudal vertebra, the sulcus runs along most of the centrum and neural arch, then it progressively reduces its vertical extent, and disappears between caudals 24 and 32, a pattern consistent with previous CFL reconstructions in other theropods.

  4. Molecular analyses of dinosaur osteocytes support the presence of endogenous molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweitzer, Mary Higby; Zheng, Wenxia; Cleland, Timothy P; Bern, Marshall

    2013-01-01

    The discovery of soft, transparent microstructures in dinosaur bone consistent in morphology with osteocytes was controversial. We hypothesize that, if original, these microstructures will have molecular features in common with extant osteocytes. We present immunological and mass spectrometry evidence for preservation of proteins comprising extant osteocytes (Actin, Tubulin, PHEX, Histone H4) in osteocytes recovered from two non-avian dinosaurs. Furthermore, antibodies to DNA show localized binding to these microstructures, which also react positively with DNA intercalating stains propidium iodide (PI) and 4',6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI). Each antibody binds dinosaur cells in patterns similar to extant cells. These data are the first to support preservation of multiple proteins and to present multiple lines of evidence for material consistent with DNA in dinosaurs, supporting the hypothesis that these structures were part of the once living animals. We propose mechanisms for preservation of cells and component molecules, and discuss implications for dinosaurian cellular biology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Radioactive dinosaur fossil bones of Balasinor area, Kheda district, Gujarat, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maithani, P.B.; Rathaiah, Y.V.; Dwivedy, K.K.

    1993-01-01

    High-thorium (upto 0.4% ThO 2 ) bearing Dinosaur fossil remains are reported from the Infratrappeans of Balasinor area, Kheda district, Gujarat. The thorium enrichment in these fossils is confined to the osseous matter which could be attributed to either isomorphic substitution for Ca 2+ or adsorption and colloidal precipitation on the bone surfaces. (author). 5 refs., 1 fig

  6. Children's Interpretations of Computer-Animated Dinosaurs in Live Theatre: "Dinosaurus".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Jeanne M.

    To explore media theories of perceived reality regarding factuality, social, and physical realism, and "videocy" (or theatrical spectacle), 32 children in first, third, and fifth grades were individually interviewed after attending a production of "Dinosaurus" which included computer-animated dinosaurs. Contrary to beliefs that…

  7. Ontogenetic niche shifts in dinosaurs influenced size, diversity and extinction in terrestrial vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Müller, Dennis W H; Clauss, Marcus

    2012-08-23

    Given the physiological limits to egg size, large-bodied non-avian dinosaurs experienced some of the most extreme shifts in size during postnatal ontogeny found in terrestrial vertebrate systems. In contrast, mammals--the other dominant vertebrate group since the Mesozoic--have less complex ontogenies. Here, we develop a model that quantifies the impact of size-specific interspecies competition on abundances of differently sized dinosaurs and mammals, taking into account the extended niche breadth realized during ontogeny among large oviparous species. Our model predicts low diversity at intermediate size classes (between approx. 1 and 1000 kg), consistent with observed diversity distributions of dinosaurs, and of Mesozoic land vertebrates in general. It also provides a mechanism--based on an understanding of different ecological and evolutionary constraints across vertebrate groups--that explains how mammals and birds, but not dinosaurs, were able to persist beyond the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary, and how post-K-T mammals were able to diversify into larger size categories.

  8. Learning with Dinosaurs: A Study on Motivation, Cognitive Reasoning, and Making Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmi, Hannu; Thuneberg, Helena; Vainikainen, Mari-Pauliina

    2017-01-01

    Dinosaurs have been a very popular science topic since signs of their presence on earth were first discovered. They have represented so-called "edutainment" for some people. Learning from informal sources and in- an out-of-school environment can be effective and motivating. In this study, 12-year-old pupils (N = 366) visited a dinosaur…

  9. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J; Venditti, Chris

    2016-05-03

    Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event.

  10. Did Humans Live with Dinosaurs? Excavating "Man Tracks" along the Paluxy River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Randy

    2014-01-01

    The alleged "man tracks" beside dinosaur tracks near Glen Rose, Texas, are among the most enduring pieces of evidence used by young-Earth creationists to reject evolution. Despite the tracks' fame, their most persistent advocate--that is, Carl Baugh of the Creation Evidence Museum--has published neither (1) peer-reviewed papers in…

  11. Dinosaurs from the Maastrichtian-type area (southeastern Netherlands, northeastern Belgium)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jagt, J. W M; Mulder, E. W. A.; Schulp, Anne S.; Dortangs, Rudi W.; Fraaije, R. H B

    In comparison to pre-1980 records of nonavian dinosaur remains from the Maastrichtian type strata, material collected during the past 20 years is both fairly common and diverse, consisting mostly of isolated cranial and post-cranial remains of hadrosaurids. With the exception of the type specimen of

  12. Study of dinosaur's egg shell by EPR method; Issledovaniya metodom EhPR skorlupy yaits dinozavrov

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tleuberdina, R A; Nasirov, R N

    1998-07-01

    Two varieties of calcium carbonate are defined on base of ESR spectra radiation-inducted signals containing in mollusc shell and dinosaur and ostrich egg shell; their spectral characters are studied by infrared-spectroscopy methods and X-ray analysis. Possibility of correlation between ESR signals intensity of CO{sub 2}-radical of investigated object and geological age is determined. (author)

  13. Hadrosauroid dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buffetaut, Eric; Hartman, Axel Frans; Al-Kindi, Mohammed; Schulp, Anne S.

    2015-01-01

    Fragmentary post-cranial remains (femora, tibia, vertebrae) of ornithischian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman are described and referred to hadrosauroids. The specimens come from the Al-Khod Conglomerate, of latest Campanian to Maastrichtian age, in the north-eastern part

  14. Dynamic locomotor capabilities revealed by early dinosaur trackmakers from southern Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Wilson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A new investigation of the sedimentology and ichnology of the Early Jurassic Moyeni tracksite in Lesotho, southern Africa has yielded new insights into the behavior and locomotor dynamics of early dinosaurs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The tracksite is an ancient point bar preserving a heterogeneous substrate of varied consistency and inclination that includes a ripple-marked riverbed, a bar slope, and a stable algal-matted bar top surface. Several basal ornithischian dinosaurs and a single theropod dinosaur crossed its surface within days or perhaps weeks of one another, but responded to substrate heterogeneity differently. Whereas the theropod trackmaker accommodated sloping and slippery surfaces by gripping the substrate with its pedal claws, the basal ornithischian trackmakers adjusted to the terrain by changing between quadrupedal and bipedal stance, wide and narrow gauge limb support (abduction range = 31 degrees , and plantigrade and digitigrade foot posture. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The locomotor adjustments coincide with changes in substrate consistency along the trackway and appear to reflect 'real time' responses to a complex terrain. It is proposed that these responses foreshadow important locomotor transformations characterizing the later evolution of the two main dinosaur lineages. Ornithischians, which shifted from bipedal to quadrupedal posture at least three times in their evolutionary history, are shown to have been capable of adopting both postures early in their evolutionary history. The substrate-gripping behavior demonstrated by the early theropod, in turn, is consistent with the hypothesized function of pedal claws in bird ancestors.

  15. A mummified duck-billed dinosaur with a soft-tissue cock's comb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Phil R; Fanti, Federico; Currie, Philip J; Arbour, Victoria M

    2014-01-06

    Among living vertebrates, soft tissues are responsible for labile appendages (combs, wattles, proboscides) that are critical for activities ranging from locomotion to sexual display [1]. However, soft tissues rarely fossilize, and such soft-tissue appendages are unknown for many extinct taxa, including dinosaurs. Here we report a remarkable "mummified" specimen of the hadrosaurid dinosaur Edmontosaurus regalis from the latest Cretaceous Wapiti Formation, Alberta, Canada, that preserves a three-dimensional cranial crest (or "comb") composed entirely of soft tissue. Previously, crest function has centered on the hypertrophied nasal passages of lambeosaurine hadrosaurids, which acted as resonance chambers during vocalization [2-4]. The fleshy comb in Edmontosaurus necessitates an alternative explanation most likely related to either social signaling or sexual selection [5-7]. This discovery provides the first view of bizarre, soft-tissue signaling structures in a dinosaur and provides additional evidence for social behavior. Crest evolution within Hadrosaurinae apparently culminated in the secondary loss of the bony crest at the terminal Cretaceous; however, the new specimen indicates that cranial ornamentation was in fact not lost but substituted in Edmontosaurus by a fleshy display structure. It also implies that visual display played a key role in the evolution of hadrosaurine crests and raises the possibility of similar soft-tissue structures among other dinosaurs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J.

    2016-05-01

    Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event.

  17. Language and Social Development in a Multilingual Classroom: A Dinosaur Project Enriched with Block Play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pate, Monique

    2009-01-01

    With the implementation of the natural approach, the dinosaur study and facilitated block play gave dual language learners many opportunities to acquire a new language, develop social skills, and improve communication abilities. Once teachers identified the barriers to children playing and talking together, they created a classroom environment…

  18. The functional origin of dinosaur bipedalism: Cumulative evidence from bipedally inclined reptiles and disinclined mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, W Scott; Currie, Philip J

    2017-05-07

    Bipedalism is a trait basal to, and widespread among, dinosaurs. It has been previously argued that bipedalism arose in the ancestors of dinosaurs for the function of freeing the forelimbs to serve as predatory weapons. However, this argument does not explain why bipedalism was retained among numerous herbivorous groups of dinosaurs. We argue that bipedalism arose in the dinosaur line for the purpose of enhanced cursoriality. Modern facultatively bipedal lizards offer an analog for the first stages in the evolution of dinosaurian bipedalism. Many extant lizards assume a bipedal stance while attempting to flee predators at maximum speed. Bipedalism, when combined with a caudofemoralis musculature, has cursorial advantages because the caudofemoralis provides a greater source of propulsion to the hindlimbs than is generally available to the forelimbs. That cursorial advantage explains the relative abundance of cursorial facultative bipeds and obligate bipeds among fossil diapsids and the relative scarcity of either among mammals. Having lost their caudofemoralis in the Permian, perhaps in the context of adapting to a fossorial lifestyle, the mammalian line has been disinclined towards bipedalism, but, having never lost the caudofemoralis of their ancestors, cursorial avemetatarsalians (bird-line archosaurs) were naturally inclined towards bipedalism. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. An evolutionary cascade model for sauropod dinosaur gigantism--overview, update and tests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Martin Sander

    Full Text Available Sauropod dinosaurs are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs which exceeded all other terrestrial vertebrates in mean and maximal body size. Sauropod dinosaurs were also the most successful and long-lived herbivorous tetrapod clade, but no abiological factors such as global environmental parameters conducive to their gigantism can be identified. These facts justify major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals and to explain their evolutionary success and uniquely gigantic body size. Contributions to this research program have come from many fields and can be synthesized into a biological evolutionary cascade model of sauropod dinosaur gigantism (sauropod gigantism ECM. This review focuses on the sauropod gigantism ECM, providing an updated version based on the contributions to the PLoS ONE sauropod gigantism collection and on other very recent published evidence. The model consist of five separate evolutionary cascades ("Reproduction", "Feeding", "Head and neck", "Avian-style lung", and "Metabolism". Each cascade starts with observed or inferred basal traits that either may be plesiomorphic or derived at the level of Sauropoda. Each trait confers hypothetical selective advantages which permit the evolution of the next trait. Feedback loops in the ECM consist of selective advantages originating from traits higher in the cascades but affecting lower traits. All cascades end in the trait "Very high body mass". Each cascade is linked to at least one other cascade. Important plesiomorphic traits of sauropod dinosaurs that entered the model were ovipary as well as no mastication of food. Important evolutionary innovations (derived traits were an avian-style respiratory system and an elevated basal metabolic rate. Comparison with other tetrapod lineages identifies factors limiting body size.

  20. An Evolutionary Cascade Model for Sauropod Dinosaur Gigantism - Overview, Update and Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, P. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Sauropod dinosaurs are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs which exceeded all other terrestrial vertebrates in mean and maximal body size. Sauropod dinosaurs were also the most successful and long-lived herbivorous tetrapod clade, but no abiological factors such as global environmental parameters conducive to their gigantism can be identified. These facts justify major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals and to explain their evolutionary success and uniquely gigantic body size. Contributions to this research program have come from many fields and can be synthesized into a biological evolutionary cascade model of sauropod dinosaur gigantism (sauropod gigantism ECM). This review focuses on the sauropod gigantism ECM, providing an updated version based on the contributions to the PLoS ONE sauropod gigantism collection and on other very recent published evidence. The model consist of five separate evolutionary cascades (“Reproduction”, “Feeding”, “Head and neck”, “Avian-style lung”, and “Metabolism”). Each cascade starts with observed or inferred basal traits that either may be plesiomorphic or derived at the level of Sauropoda. Each trait confers hypothetical selective advantages which permit the evolution of the next trait. Feedback loops in the ECM consist of selective advantages originating from traits higher in the cascades but affecting lower traits. All cascades end in the trait “Very high body mass”. Each cascade is linked to at least one other cascade. Important plesiomorphic traits of sauropod dinosaurs that entered the model were ovipary as well as no mastication of food. Important evolutionary innovations (derived traits) were an avian-style respiratory system and an elevated basal metabolic rate. Comparison with other tetrapod lineages identifies factors limiting body size. PMID:24205267

  1. An evolutionary cascade model for sauropod dinosaur gigantism--overview, update and tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, P Martin

    2013-01-01

    Sauropod dinosaurs are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs which exceeded all other terrestrial vertebrates in mean and maximal body size. Sauropod dinosaurs were also the most successful and long-lived herbivorous tetrapod clade, but no abiological factors such as global environmental parameters conducive to their gigantism can be identified. These facts justify major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals and to explain their evolutionary success and uniquely gigantic body size. Contributions to this research program have come from many fields and can be synthesized into a biological evolutionary cascade model of sauropod dinosaur gigantism (sauropod gigantism ECM). This review focuses on the sauropod gigantism ECM, providing an updated version based on the contributions to the PLoS ONE sauropod gigantism collection and on other very recent published evidence. The model consist of five separate evolutionary cascades ("Reproduction", "Feeding", "Head and neck", "Avian-style lung", and "Metabolism"). Each cascade starts with observed or inferred basal traits that either may be plesiomorphic or derived at the level of Sauropoda. Each trait confers hypothetical selective advantages which permit the evolution of the next trait. Feedback loops in the ECM consist of selective advantages originating from traits higher in the cascades but affecting lower traits. All cascades end in the trait "Very high body mass". Each cascade is linked to at least one other cascade. Important plesiomorphic traits of sauropod dinosaurs that entered the model were ovipary as well as no mastication of food. Important evolutionary innovations (derived traits) were an avian-style respiratory system and an elevated basal metabolic rate. Comparison with other tetrapod lineages identifies factors limiting body size.

  2. Theropod Fauna from Southern Australia Indicates High Polar Diversity and Climate-Driven Dinosaur Provinciality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B. J.; Rich, Thomas H.; Vickers-Rich, Patricia; Hall, Mike

    2012-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous fauna of Victoria, Australia, provides unique data on the composition of high latitude southern hemisphere dinosaurs. We describe and review theropod dinosaur postcranial remains from the Aptian–Albian Otway and Strzelecki groups, based on at least 37 isolated bones, and more than 90 teeth from the Flat Rocks locality. Several specimens of medium- and large-bodied individuals (estimated up to ∼8.5 metres long) represent allosauroids. Tyrannosauroids are represented by elements indicating medium body sizes (∼3 metres long), likely including the holotype femur of Timimus hermani, and a single cervical vertebra represents a juvenile spinosaurid. Single specimens representing medium- and small-bodied theropods may be referrable to Ceratosauria, Ornithomimosauria, a basal coelurosaur, and at least three taxa within Maniraptora. Thus, nine theropod taxa may have been present. Alternatively, four distinct dorsal vertebrae indicate a minimum of four taxa. However, because most taxa are known from single bones, it is likely that small-bodied theropod diversity remains underestimated. The high abundance of allosauroids and basal coelurosaurs (including tyrannosauroids and possibly ornithomimosaurs), and the relative rarity of ceratosaurs, is strikingly dissimilar to penecontemporaneous dinosaur faunas of Africa and South America, which represent an arid, lower-latitude biome. Similarities between dinosaur faunas of Victoria and the northern continents concern the proportional representatation of higher clades, and may result from the prevailing temperate–polar climate of Australia, especially at high latitudes in Victoria, which is similar to the predominant warm–temperate climate of Laurasia, but distinct from the arid climate zone that covered extensive areas of Gondwana. Most dinosaur groups probably attained a near-cosmopolitan distribution in the Jurassic, prior to fragmentation of the Pangaean supercontinent, and some aspects of the

  3. A new basal sauropod dinosaur from the middle Jurassic of Niger and the early evolution of sauropoda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristian Remes

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The early evolution of sauropod dinosaurs is poorly understood because of a highly incomplete fossil record. New discoveries of Early and Middle Jurassic sauropods have a great potential to lead to a better understanding of early sauropod evolution and to reevaluate the patterns of sauropod diversification.A new sauropod from the Middle Jurassic of Niger, Spinophorosaurus nigerensis n. gen. et sp., is the most complete basal sauropod currently known. The taxon shares many anatomical characters with Middle Jurassic East Asian sauropods, while it is strongly dissimilar to Lower and Middle Jurassic South American and Indian forms. A possible explanation for this pattern is a separation of Laurasian and South Gondwanan Middle Jurassic sauropod faunas by geographic barriers. Integration of phylogenetic analyses and paleogeographic data reveals congruence between early sauropod evolution and hypotheses about Jurassic paleoclimate and phytogeography.Spinophorosaurus demonstrates that many putatively derived characters of Middle Jurassic East Asian sauropods are plesiomorphic for eusauropods, while South Gondwanan eusauropods may represent a specialized line. The anatomy of Spinophorosaurus indicates that key innovations in Jurassic sauropod evolution might have taken place in North Africa, an area close to the equator with summer-wet climate at that time. Jurassic climatic zones and phytogeography possibly controlled early sauropod diversification.

  4. The Braincase of the Basal Sauropod Dinosaur Spinophorosaurus and 3D Reconstructions of the Cranial Endocast and Inner Ear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, Fabien; Witmer, Lawrence M.; Ortega, Francisco; Ridgely, Ryan C.; Schwarz-Wings, Daniela

    2012-01-01

    Background Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest animals ever to walk on land, and, as a result, the evolution of their remarkable adaptations has been of great interest. The braincase is of particular interest because it houses the brain and inner ear. However, only a few studies of these structures in sauropods are available to date. Because of the phylogenetic position of Spinophorosaurus nigerensis as a basal eusauropod, the braincase has the potential to provide key evidence on the evolutionary transition relative to other dinosaurs. Methodology/Principal Findings The only known braincase of Spinophorosaurus (‘Argiles de l'Irhazer’, Irhazer Group; Agadez region, Niger) differs significantly from those of the Jurassic sauropods examined, except potentially for Atlasaurus imelakei (Tilougguit Formation, Morocco). The basisphenoids of Spinophorosaurus and Atlasaurus bear basipterygoid processes that are comparable in being directed strongly caudally. The Spinophorosaurus specimen was CT scanned, and 3D renderings of the cranial endocast and inner-ear system were generated. The endocast resembles that of most other sauropods in having well-marked pontine and cerebral flexures, a large and oblong pituitary fossa, and in having the brain structure obscured by the former existence of relatively thick meninges and dural venous sinuses. The labyrinth is characterized by long and proportionally slender semicircular canals. This condition recalls, in particular, that of the basal non-sauropod sauropodomorph Massospondylus and the basal titanosauriform Giraffatitan. Conclusions/Significance Spinophorosaurus has a moderately derived paleoneuroanatomical pattern. In contrast to what might be expected early within a lineage leading to plant-eating graviportal quadrupeds, Spinophorosaurus and other (but not all) sauropodomorphs show no reduction of the vestibular apparatus of the inner ear. This character-state is possibly a primitive retention in Spinophorosaurus, but due

  5. The braincase of the basal sauropod dinosaur Spinophorosaurus and 3D reconstructions of the cranial endocast and inner ear.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien Knoll

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest animals ever to walk on land, and, as a result, the evolution of their remarkable adaptations has been of great interest. The braincase is of particular interest because it houses the brain and inner ear. However, only a few studies of these structures in sauropods are available to date. Because of the phylogenetic position of Spinophorosaurus nigerensis as a basal eusauropod, the braincase has the potential to provide key evidence on the evolutionary transition relative to other dinosaurs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The only known braincase of Spinophorosaurus ('Argiles de l'Irhazer', Irhazer Group; Agadez region, Niger differs significantly from those of the Jurassic sauropods examined, except potentially for Atlasaurus imelakei (Tilougguit Formation, Morocco. The basisphenoids of Spinophorosaurus and Atlasaurus bear basipterygoid processes that are comparable in being directed strongly caudally. The Spinophorosaurus specimen was CT scanned, and 3D renderings of the cranial endocast and inner-ear system were generated. The endocast resembles that of most other sauropods in having well-marked pontine and cerebral flexures, a large and oblong pituitary fossa, and in having the brain structure obscured by the former existence of relatively thick meninges and dural venous sinuses. The labyrinth is characterized by long and proportionally slender semicircular canals. This condition recalls, in particular, that of the basal non-sauropod sauropodomorph Massospondylus and the basal titanosauriform Giraffatitan. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Spinophorosaurus has a moderately derived paleoneuroanatomical pattern. In contrast to what might be expected early within a lineage leading to plant-eating graviportal quadrupeds, Spinophorosaurus and other (but not all sauropodomorphs show no reduction of the vestibular apparatus of the inner ear. This character-state is possibly a primitive retention in

  6. Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon

    OpenAIRE

    Rowe, Timothy B.; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Reisz, Robert R.

    2010-01-01

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America...

  7. Dinosaur tracks in Lower Jurassic coastal plain sediments (Sose Bugt Member, Rønne Formation) on Bornholm, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Lars B; Milàn, Jesper; Pedersen, Gunver K

    2014-01-01

    Fluvial palaeochannels of coastal plain sediments of the Lower Jurassic Sose Bugt Member of the Rønne Formation exposed in the coastal cliffs at Sose Bugt, Bornholm, contain abundant dinosaur or other large vertebrate tracks in the form of deformation structures exposed in vertical section...... track. Contemporary Upper Triassic – Lower Jurassic strata from southern Sweden and Poland contain a diverse track fauna, supporting our interpretation. This is the earliest evidence of dinosaur activity in Denmark....

  8. The last dinosaurs of Brazil: The Bauru Group and its implications for the end-Cretaceous mass extinction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    STEPHEN L. BRUSATTE

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The non-avian dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous, ~66 million years ago, after an asteroid impact. The prevailing hypothesis is that the effects of the impact suddenly killed the dinosaurs, but the poor fossil record of latest Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian dinosaurs from outside Laurasia (and even more particularly, North America makes it difficult to test specific extinction scenarios. Over the past few decades, a wealth of new discoveries from the Bauru Group of Brazil has revealed a unique window into the evolution of terminal Cretaceous dinosaurs from the southern continents. We review this record and demonstrate that there was a diversity of dinosaurs, of varying body sizes, diets, and ecological roles, that survived to the very end of the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian: 72-66 million years ago in Brazil, including a core fauna of titanosaurian sauropods and abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods, along with a variety of small-to-mid-sized theropods. We argue that this pattern best fits the hypothesis that southern dinosaurs, like their northern counterparts, were still diversifying and occupying prominent roles in their ecosystems before the asteroid suddenly caused their extinction. However, this hypothesis remains to be tested with more refined paleontological and geochronological data, and we give suggestions for future work.

  9. A new mass mortality of juvenile Protoceratops and size-segregated aggregation behaviour in juvenile non-avian dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David W E Hone

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Monodominant bonebeds are a relatively common occurrence for non-avian dinosaurs, and have been used to infer associative, and potentially genuinely social, behavior. Previously known assemblages are characterized as either mixed size-classes (juvenile and adult-sized specimens together or single size-classes of individuals (only juveniles or only adult-sized individuals within the assemblage. In the latter case, it is generally unknown if these kinds of size-segregated aggregations characterize only a particular size stage or represent aggregations that happened at all size stages. Ceratopsians ("horned dinosaurs" are known from both types of assemblages. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we describe a new specimen of the ceratopsian dinosaur Protoceratops andrewsi, Granger and Gregory 1923 from Mongolia representing an aggregation of four mid-sized juvenile animals. In conjunction with existing specimens of groups of P. andrewsi that includes size-clustered aggregations of young juveniles and adult-sized specimens, this new material provides evidence for some degree of size-clustered aggregation behaviour in Protoceratops throughout ontogeny. This continuity of size-segregated (and presumably age-clustered aggregation is previously undocumented in non-avian dinosaurs. CONCLUSIONS: The juvenile group fills a key gap in the available information on aggregations in younger ceratopsians. Although we support the general hypothesis that many non-avian dinosaurs were gregarious and even social animals, we caution that evidence for sociality has been overstated and advocate a more conservative interpretation of some data of 'sociality' in dinosaurs.

  10. The last dinosaurs of Brazil: The Bauru Group and its implications for the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Candeiro, Carlos R A; Simbras, Felipe M

    2017-01-01

    The non-avian dinosaurs died out at the end of the Cretaceous, ~66 million years ago, after an asteroid impact. The prevailing hypothesis is that the effects of the impact suddenly killed the dinosaurs, but the poor fossil record of latest Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian) dinosaurs from outside Laurasia (and even more particularly, North America) makes it difficult to test specific extinction scenarios. Over the past few decades, a wealth of new discoveries from the Bauru Group of Brazil has revealed a unique window into the evolution of terminal Cretaceous dinosaurs from the southern continents. We review this record and demonstrate that there was a diversity of dinosaurs, of varying body sizes, diets, and ecological roles, that survived to the very end of the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian: 72-66 million years ago) in Brazil, including a core fauna of titanosaurian sauropods and abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods, along with a variety of small-to-mid-sized theropods. We argue that this pattern best fits the hypothesis that southern dinosaurs, like their northern counterparts, were still diversifying and occupying prominent roles in their ecosystems before the asteroid suddenly caused their extinction. However, this hypothesis remains to be tested with more refined paleontological and geochronological data, and we give suggestions for future work.

  11. A new mass mortality of juvenile Protoceratops and size-segregated aggregation behaviour in juvenile non-avian dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hone, David W E; Farke, Andrew A; Watabe, Mahito; Shigeru, Suzuki; Tsogtbaatar, Khishigjav

    2014-01-01

    Monodominant bonebeds are a relatively common occurrence for non-avian dinosaurs, and have been used to infer associative, and potentially genuinely social, behavior. Previously known assemblages are characterized as either mixed size-classes (juvenile and adult-sized specimens together) or single size-classes of individuals (only juveniles or only adult-sized individuals within the assemblage). In the latter case, it is generally unknown if these kinds of size-segregated aggregations characterize only a particular size stage or represent aggregations that happened at all size stages. Ceratopsians ("horned dinosaurs") are known from both types of assemblages. Here we describe a new specimen of the ceratopsian dinosaur Protoceratops andrewsi, Granger and Gregory 1923 from Mongolia representing an aggregation of four mid-sized juvenile animals. In conjunction with existing specimens of groups of P. andrewsi that includes size-clustered aggregations of young juveniles and adult-sized specimens, this new material provides evidence for some degree of size-clustered aggregation behaviour in Protoceratops throughout ontogeny. This continuity of size-segregated (and presumably age-clustered) aggregation is previously undocumented in non-avian dinosaurs. The juvenile group fills a key gap in the available information on aggregations in younger ceratopsians. Although we support the general hypothesis that many non-avian dinosaurs were gregarious and even social animals, we caution that evidence for sociality has been overstated and advocate a more conservative interpretation of some data of 'sociality' in dinosaurs.

  12. InGen Inconsistencies: The "Dinosaurs" Of Jurassic Park May Not Be What The Corporation Claims

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haupt, R. J.; Traer, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    InGen has made and continues to make dubious claims about proprietary technology developed to clone non-avian dinosaurs for exhibition within their "Jurassic Park." Notably, there are several inconsistencies between their claims for how their technology works and what has been observed within the park. Here we investigate several of these inconsistencies in the hopes that it will push for increased transparency between corporations and academia. First, we highlight a disconnect between supposedly Jurassic amber used for dinosaur DNA extraction and the overwhelming presence of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs within the park. Further, InGen's mining operations only publicly operate in Jurassic-aged formations of the Dominican Republic, which clashes with the presence of Velociraptor and Gallimimus, known only from Mongolia. Second, the park contains seemingly full-grown adult specimens despite InGen's claims that they first successfully cloned a prehistoric animal in 1984, though there is no publicly available information as to what animal this was. That the park was nearly ready to open by 1993 precludes the presence of fully mature dinosaurs and suggests that InGen might be misrepresenting their technologies. Third, we must point out that fossil DNA denatures to the point of uselessness within thousands, not millions, of years. Additionally, the use of anuran DNA to fill in gaps from fossil dinosaurian DNA is a dubious choice given that more closely related organisms are available. Either there is an unexplained reason for this choice, or little attention has been paid to dinosaurian phylogeny by InGen geneticists. Finally, rumors of a secret InGen project to produce a dinosaur not currently known to paleontologists suggests one of two things: they were able to find DNA from a dinosaur previously unknown in the fossil record, which is highly plausible if their techniques are valid, or that InGen is able to artificially manipulate DNA to a degree far beyond what other

  13. Isotopic ordering in eggshells reflects body temperatures and suggests differing thermophysiology in two Cretaceous dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagle, Robert A.; Enriquez, Marcus; Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Pérez-Huerta, Alberto; Hu, David; Tütken, Thomas; Montanari, Shaena; Loyd, Sean J.; Ramirez, Pedro; Tripati, Aradhna K.; Kohn, Matthew J.; Cerling, Thure E.; Chiappe, Luis M.; Eiler, John M.

    2015-10-01

    Our understanding of the evolutionary transitions leading to the modern endothermic state of birds and mammals is incomplete, partly because tools available to study the thermophysiology of extinct vertebrates are limited. Here we show that clumped isotope analysis of eggshells can be used to determine body temperatures of females during periods of ovulation. Late Cretaceous titanosaurid eggshells yield temperatures similar to large modern endotherms. In contrast, oviraptorid eggshells yield temperatures lower than most modern endotherms but ~6 °C higher than co-occurring abiogenic carbonates, implying that this taxon did not have thermoregulation comparable to modern birds, but was able to elevate its body temperature above environmental temperatures. Therefore, we observe no strong evidence for end-member ectothermy or endothermy in the species examined. Body temperatures for these two species indicate that variable thermoregulation likely existed among the non-avian dinosaurs and that not all dinosaurs had body temperatures in the range of that seen in modern birds.

  14. Calcium isotopes offer clues on resource partitioning among Cretaceous predatory dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, A; Martin, J E; Amiot, R; Tacail, T; Godet, F Arnaud; Allain, R; Balter, V

    2018-04-11

    Large predators are overabundant in mid-Cretaceous continental dinosaur assemblages of North Africa. Such unbalanced ecosystem structure involves, among predatory dinosaurs, typical abelisaurid or carcharodontosaurid theropods co-occurring with long-snouted spinosaurids of debated ecology. Here, we report calcium (Ca) isotope values from tooth enamel (expressed as δ 44/42 Ca) to investigate resource partitioning in mid-Cretaceous assemblages from Niger (Gadoufaoua) and Morocco (Kem Kem Beds). In both assemblages, spinosaurids display a distinct isotopic signature, the most negative in our dataset. This distinct taxonomic clustering in Ca isotope values observed between spinosaurids and other predators provides unambiguous evidence for niche partitioning at the top of the trophic chains: spinosaurids foraged on aquatic environments while abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods relied almost exclusively on terrestrial resources. © 2018 The Author(s).

  15. What do giant titanosaur dinosaurs and modern Australasian megapodes have in common?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hechenleitner, E Martín; Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Fiorelli, Lucas E

    2015-01-01

    Titanosauria is a globally distributed clade of sometimes extremely large Mesozoic herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs. On the basis of current evidence these giant dinosaurs seem to have reproduced in specific and localized nesting sites. However, no investigations have been performed to understand the possible ecological and geological biases that acted for the selection of these nesting sites worldwide. In this study, observations were performed on the best-known Cretaceous nesting sites around the world. Our observations strongly suggest their eggs were incubated with environmental sources of heat, in burial conditions. Taking into account the clutch composition and geometry, the nature and properties of the sediments, the eggshells' structures and conductance, it would appear that titanosaurs adopted nesting behaviors comparable to the modern Australasian megapodes, using burrow-nesting in diverse media and mound-building strategies.

  16. Novel insight into the origin of the growth dynamics of sauropod dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignacio Alejandro Cerda

    Full Text Available Sauropod dinosaurs include the largest terrestrial animals and are considered to have uninterrupted rapid rates of growth, which differs from their more basal relatives, which have a slower cyclical growth. Here we examine the bone microstructure of several sauropodomorph dinosaurs, including basal taxa, as well as the more derived sauropods. Although our results agree that the plesiomorphic condition for Sauropodomorpha is cyclical growth dynamics, we found that the hypothesized dichotomy between the growth patterns of basal and more derived sauropodomorphs is not supported. Here, we show that sauropod-like growth dynamics of uninterrupted rapid growth also occurred in some basal sauropodomorphs, and that some basal sauropods retained the plesiomorphic cyclical growth patterns. Among the sauropodomorpha it appears that the basal taxa exploited different growth strategies, but the more derived Eusauropoda successfully utilized rapid, uninterrupted growth strategies.

  17. What do giant titanosaur dinosaurs and modern Australasian megapodes have in common?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Martín Hechenleitner

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Titanosauria is a globally distributed clade of sometimes extremely large Mesozoic herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs. On the basis of current evidence these giant dinosaurs seem to have reproduced in specific and localized nesting sites. However, no investigations have been performed to understand the possible ecological and geological biases that acted for the selection of these nesting sites worldwide. In this study, observations were performed on the best-known Cretaceous nesting sites around the world. Our observations strongly suggest their eggs were incubated with environmental sources of heat, in burial conditions. Taking into account the clutch composition and geometry, the nature and properties of the sediments, the eggshells’ structures and conductance, it would appear that titanosaurs adopted nesting behaviors comparable to the modern Australasian megapodes, using burrow-nesting in diverse media and mound-building strategies.

  18. Multiple taxon multiple locality approach to providing oxygen isotope evidence for warm-blooded theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricke, Henry C.; Rogers, Raymond R.

    2000-09-01

    Oxygen isotope ratios of fossil remains of coexisting taxa from several different localities can be used to help investigate dinosaur thermoregulation. Focusing on the Late Cretaceous, oxygen isotope ratios of crocodile tooth enamel from four separate localities exhibit less of a decrease with latitude than do ratios of tooth enamel from coexisting theropod dinosaurs. A shallower latitudinal gradient for crocodiles is consistent with how oxygen isotope ratios should vary for heterothermic animals having body temperatures coupled with their environments (“cold blooded”), while a steeper gradient for theropods is consistent with how these ratios should vary for homeothermic animals having constant body temperatures independent of their environments (“warm blooded”). This inferred homoethermy in theropods is likely due to higher rates of metabolic heat production relative to crocodiles and is not an artifact of body size.

  19. Trace element composition and distribution in micron area of dinosaur eggshell fossils determined by proton microprobe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Youhong; Zhu Jieqing; Wang Xiaohong; Wang Yimin

    1997-01-01

    The scanning proton microprobe and micro-PIXE quantitative analysis technique have been used to determine composition and distribution of the trace elements in micron areas of dinosaur eggshell fossils from the stratum of Upper Cretaceous system at Nanxiong Basin in Guangdong Province, China. The study shows that the trace elements mainly include Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Sb, Ba and Pb in the micron area, but they present different distributions. While the element Sr is mainly enriched in the near surface layer, others mainly reside in the near inner layer. A preliminary discussion on the reason of the dinosaur extinction is given based on the above study

  20. Novel insight into the origin of the growth dynamics of sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerda, Ignacio Alejandro; Chinsamy, Anusuya; Pol, Diego; Apaldetti, Cecilia; Otero, Alejandro; Powell, Jaime Eduardo; Martínez, Ricardo Nestor

    2017-01-01

    Sauropod dinosaurs include the largest terrestrial animals and are considered to have uninterrupted rapid rates of growth, which differs from their more basal relatives, which have a slower cyclical growth. Here we examine the bone microstructure of several sauropodomorph dinosaurs, including basal taxa, as well as the more derived sauropods. Although our results agree that the plesiomorphic condition for Sauropodomorpha is cyclical growth dynamics, we found that the hypothesized dichotomy between the growth patterns of basal and more derived sauropodomorphs is not supported. Here, we show that sauropod-like growth dynamics of uninterrupted rapid growth also occurred in some basal sauropodomorphs, and that some basal sauropods retained the plesiomorphic cyclical growth patterns. Among the sauropodomorpha it appears that the basal taxa exploited different growth strategies, but the more derived Eusauropoda successfully utilized rapid, uninterrupted growth strategies.

  1. Bony cranial ornamentation linked to rapid evolution of gigantic theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates, Terry A.; Organ, Chris; Zanno, Lindsay E.

    2016-09-01

    Exaggerated cranial structures such as crests and horns, hereafter referred to collectively as ornaments, are pervasive across animal species. These structures perform vital roles in visual communication and physical interactions within and between species. Yet the origin and influence of ornamentation on speciation and ecology across macroevolutionary time scales remains poorly understood for virtually all animals. Here, we explore correlative evolution of osseous cranial ornaments with large body size in theropod dinosaurs using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We find that body size evolved directionally toward phyletic giantism an order of magnitude faster in theropod species possessing ornaments compared with unadorned lineages. In addition, we find a body mass threshold below which bony cranial ornaments do not originate. Maniraptoriform dinosaurs generally lack osseous cranial ornaments despite repeatedly crossing this body size threshold. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for a shift in selective pressures on socio-sexual display mechanisms in theropods coincident with the evolution of pennaceous feathers.

  2. Trace element composition and distribution in micron area of dinosaur eggshell fossils determined by proton microprobe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Youhong; Zhu Jieqing; Wang Xiaohong; Wang Yimin

    1997-01-01

    The scanning proton microprobe and micro-PIXE quantitative analysis technique have been used to determine composition and distribution of the trace elements in micron areas of dinosaur eggshell fossils from the stratum of Upper Cretaceous system at Nanxiong Basin in Guangdong Province, China. The study shows that the trace elements mainly include Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Sb, Ba and Pb in the micron area, but they present different distributions. While the elements Sr is mainly enriched in the near surface layer, others mainly reside in the near inner layer. A preliminary discussion on the reason of the dinosaur extinction is given based on the above study

  3. A new troodontid dinosaur from China with avian-like sleeping posture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xing; Norell, Mark A

    2004-10-14

    Discovering evidence of behaviour in fossilized vertebrates is rare. Even rarer is evidence of behaviour in non-avialan dinosaurs that directly relates to stereotypical behaviour seen in extant birds (avians) and not previously predicted in non-avialan dinosaurs. Here we report the discovery of a new troodontid taxon from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China. Numerous other three-dimensionally preserved vertebrate fossils have been recovered recently at this locality, including some specimens preserving behavioural information. The new troodontid preserves several features that have been implicated in avialan origins. Notably, the specimen is preserved in the stereotypical sleeping or resting posture found in extant Aves. Evidence of this behaviour outside of the crown group Aves further demonstrates that many bird features occurred early in dinosaurian evolution.

  4. Dinosaur tracks from the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Arches National Park, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockley, Martin G.; White, Diane K.; Kirkland, James I.; Santucci, Vincent L.

    2004-01-01

    The seventh and largest known dinosaur tracksite from the Cedar Mountain Formation is reported from two important stratigraphic levels in the Ruby Ranch Member within the boundaries of Arches National Park. Previous reports of sites with a few isolated tracks are of limited utility in indicating the fauna represented by track makers. The Arches site reveals evidence of several theropod morphotypes, including a possible match for the coelurosaur Nedcolbertia and an apparently didactyl Utahraptor-like dromeosaurid. Sauropod tracks indicate a wide-gauge morphotype (cf. Brontopodus). Ornithischian tracks suggest the presence of an iguandontid-like ornithopod and a large ankylosaur. Dinosaur track diversity is high in comparison with other early Cretaceous vertebrate ichnofaunas, and it correlates well with faunal lists derived from skeletal remains, thus providing a convincing census of the known fauna.

  5. Evolution of parental incubation behaviour in dinosaurs cannot be inferred from clutch mass in birds

    OpenAIRE

    Birchard, Geoffrey F.; Ruta, Marcello; Deeming, D. Charles

    2013-01-01

    A recent study proposed that incubation behaviour (i.e. type of parental care) in theropod dinosaurs can be inferred from an allometric analysis of clutch volume in extant birds. However, the study in question failed to account for factors known to affect egg and clutch size in living bird species. A new scaling analysis of avian clutch mass demonstrates that type of parental care cannot be distinguished by conventional allometry because of the confounding effects of phylogeny and hatchling m...

  6. Cartilaginous epiphyses in extant archosaurs and their implications for reconstructing limb function in dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casey M Holliday

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Extinct archosaurs, including many non-avian dinosaurs, exhibit relatively simply shaped condylar regions in their appendicular bones, suggesting potentially large amounts of unpreserved epiphyseal (articular cartilage. This "lost anatomy" is often underappreciated such that the ends of bones are typically considered to be the joint surfaces, potentially having a major impact on functional interpretation. Extant alligators and birds were used to establish an objective basis for inferences about cartilaginous articular structures in such extinct archosaur clades as non-avian dinosaurs. Limb elements of alligators, ostriches, and other birds were dissected, disarticulated, and defleshed. Lengths and condylar shapes of elements with intact epiphyses were measured. Limbs were subsequently completely skeletonized and the measurements repeated. Removal of cartilaginous condylar regions resulted in statistically significant changes in element length and condylar breadth. Moreover, there was marked loss of those cartilaginous structures responsible for joint architecture and congruence. Compared to alligators, birds showed less dramatic, but still significant changes. Condylar morphologies of dinosaur limb bones suggest that most non-coelurosaurian clades possessed large cartilaginous epiphyses that relied on the maintenance of vascular channels that are otherwise eliminated early in ontogeny in smaller-bodied tetrapods. A sensitivity analysis using cartilage correction factors (CCFs obtained from extant taxa indicates that whereas the presence of cartilaginous epiphyses only moderately increases estimates of dinosaur height and speed, it has important implications for our ability to infer joint morphology, posture, and the complicated functional movements in the limbs of many extinct archosaurs. Evidence suggests that the sizes of sauropod epiphyseal cartilages surpassed those of alligators, which account for at least 10% of hindlimb length. These data

  7. Cartilaginous epiphyses in extant archosaurs and their implications for reconstructing limb function in dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holliday, Casey M; Ridgely, Ryan C; Sedlmayr, Jayc C; Witmer, Lawrence M

    2010-09-30

    Extinct archosaurs, including many non-avian dinosaurs, exhibit relatively simply shaped condylar regions in their appendicular bones, suggesting potentially large amounts of unpreserved epiphyseal (articular) cartilage. This "lost anatomy" is often underappreciated such that the ends of bones are typically considered to be the joint surfaces, potentially having a major impact on functional interpretation. Extant alligators and birds were used to establish an objective basis for inferences about cartilaginous articular structures in such extinct archosaur clades as non-avian dinosaurs. Limb elements of alligators, ostriches, and other birds were dissected, disarticulated, and defleshed. Lengths and condylar shapes of elements with intact epiphyses were measured. Limbs were subsequently completely skeletonized and the measurements repeated. Removal of cartilaginous condylar regions resulted in statistically significant changes in element length and condylar breadth. Moreover, there was marked loss of those cartilaginous structures responsible for joint architecture and congruence. Compared to alligators, birds showed less dramatic, but still significant changes. Condylar morphologies of dinosaur limb bones suggest that most non-coelurosaurian clades possessed large cartilaginous epiphyses that relied on the maintenance of vascular channels that are otherwise eliminated early in ontogeny in smaller-bodied tetrapods. A sensitivity analysis using cartilage correction factors (CCFs) obtained from extant taxa indicates that whereas the presence of cartilaginous epiphyses only moderately increases estimates of dinosaur height and speed, it has important implications for our ability to infer joint morphology, posture, and the complicated functional movements in the limbs of many extinct archosaurs. Evidence suggests that the sizes of sauropod epiphyseal cartilages surpassed those of alligators, which account for at least 10% of hindlimb length. These data suggest that

  8. Quantifying the effect of intervertebral cartilage on neutral posture in the necks of sauropod dinosaurs

    OpenAIRE

    Taylor, Michael P.

    2014-01-01

    Attempts to reconstruct the neutral neck posture of sauropod dinosaurs, or indeed any tetrapod, are doomed to failure when based only on the geometry of the bony cervical vertebrae. The thickness of the articular cartilage between the centra of adjacent vertebrae affects posture. It extends (raises) the neck by an amount roughly proportional to the thickness of the cartilage. It is possible to quantify the angle of extension at an intervertebral joint: it is roughly equal, in radians, to the ...

  9. Ornithopod and Sauropod Dinosaur Remains from the Maastrichtian Al-Khod Conglomerate, Sultanate of Oman

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann S. Schulp

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Fieldwork in the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian Al-Khod Conglomerates in the Sultanate of Oman led to the discovery of a large bone fragment tentatively identified as a partial distal left humerus of a sauropod and an ornithopod dorsal vertebra. The very fragmentary state of preservation of the dorsal vertebra makes specific attribution difficult, but it shows remarkable similarities to the rhabdodontid dinosaurs Rhabdodon and Zalmoxes.

  10. A dinosaur community composition dataset for the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Basin of Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.F. Funston

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Dinosaur community composition data for eleven fossil localities in the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Basin of Mongolia are compiled from field observations and records in the literature. Counts were generated from skeletons and represent numbers of individuals preserved in each locality. These data were used in the analyses of Funston et al. [1] “Oviraptorosaur anatomy, diversity, and ecology in the Nemegt Basin” in the Nemegt Ecosystems Special Issue of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, where the results are discussed.

  11. Theropoda dinosaurs tracks from Triassic basin nd Ischigualasto - Villa Union, western Argentina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Contreras, V.; Bracco, A.

    2004-01-01

    The Anchisauripus isp. and Theropoda indet. dinosaurs tracks from the Triassic Los Rastros and Ischigualasto formations, at the Ischigualasto-Villa Union Basin, Western Argentina, are described in this paper. This record completes the paleontological data provided by rest of bones and increases the stratigraphic range of some taxa in which bones are either missing or scarse. On the other hand, this report also allows us to enlarge the faunistic assemblage of some vertebrate assemblages [es

  12. The Death of the Dinosaurs: 27 Years Later (LBNL Summer Lecture Series)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muller, Rich [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Physics

    2006-06-30

    Summer Lecture Series 2006: Rich Muller, a Berkeley Lab physicist, discusses Nobel laureate Luis Alvarez and colleagues' 1979 discovery that an asteroid impact killed the dinosaurs. He also discusses what scientists have learned in the subsequent 27 years. Alvarez's team detected unusual amounts of iridium in sedimentary layers. They attributed the excess iridium to an impact from a large asteroid. His talk was presented June 30, 2006.

  13. Intraskeletal histovariability, allometric growth patterns, and their functional implications in bird-like dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prondvai, Edina; Godefroit, Pascal; Adriaens, Dominique; Hu, Dong-Yu

    2018-01-10

    With their elongated forelimbs and variable aerial skills, paravian dinosaurs, a clade also comprising modern birds, are in the hotspot of vertebrate evolutionary research. Inferences on the early evolution of flight largely rely on bone and feather morphology, while osteohistological traits are usually studied to explore life-history characteristics. By sampling and comparing multiple homologous fore- and hind limb elements, we integrate for the first time qualitative and quantitative osteohistological approaches to get insight into the intraskeletal growth dynamics and their functional implications in five paravian dinosaur taxa, Anchiornis, Aurornis, Eosinopteryx, Serikornis, and Jeholornis. Our qualitative assessment implies a considerable diversity in allometric/isometric growth patterns among these paravians. Quantitative analyses show that neither taxa nor homologous elements have characteristic histology, and that ontogenetic stage, element size and the newly introduced relative element precocity only partially explain the diaphyseal histovariability. Still, Jeholornis, the only avialan studied here, is histologically distinct from all other specimens in the multivariate visualizations raising the hypothesis that its bone tissue characteristics may be related to its superior aerial capabilities compared to the non-avialan paravians. Our results warrant further research on the osteohistological correlates of flight and developmental strategies in birds and bird-like dinosaurs.

  14. A fossil protein chimera; difficulties in discriminating dinosaur peptide sequences from modern cross-contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Michael; Warwood, Stacey; van Dongen, Bart; Kitchener, Andrew C; Manning, Phillip L

    2017-05-31

    A decade ago, reports that organic-rich soft tissue survived from dinosaur fossils were apparently supported by proteomics-derived sequence information of exceptionally well-preserved bone. This initial claim to the sequencing of endogenous collagen peptides from an approximately 68 Myr Tyrannosaurus rex fossil was highly controversial, largely on the grounds of potential contamination from either bacterial biofilms or from laboratory practice. In a subsequent study, collagen peptide sequences from an approximately 78 Myr Brachylophosaurus canadensis fossil were reported that have remained largely unchallenged. However, the endogeneity of these sequences relies heavily on a single peptide sequence, apparently unique to both dinosaurs. Given the potential for cross-contamination from modern bone analysed by the same team, here we extract collagen from bone samples of three individuals of ostrich, Struthio camelus The resulting LC-MS/MS data were found to match all of the proposed sequences for both the original Tyrannosaurus and Brachylophosaurus studies. Regardless of the true nature of the dinosaur peptides, our finding highlights the difficulty of differentiating such sequences with confidence. Our results not only imply that cross-contamination cannot be ruled out, but that appropriate measures to test for endogeneity should be further evaluated. © 2017 The Authors.

  15. A fossil protein chimera; difficulties in discriminating dinosaur peptide sequences from modern cross-contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warwood, Stacey; van Dongen, Bart; Kitchener, Andrew C.; Manning, Phillip L.

    2017-01-01

    A decade ago, reports that organic-rich soft tissue survived from dinosaur fossils were apparently supported by proteomics-derived sequence information of exceptionally well-preserved bone. This initial claim to the sequencing of endogenous collagen peptides from an approximately 68 Myr Tyrannosaurus rex fossil was highly controversial, largely on the grounds of potential contamination from either bacterial biofilms or from laboratory practice. In a subsequent study, collagen peptide sequences from an approximately 78 Myr Brachylophosaurus canadensis fossil were reported that have remained largely unchallenged. However, the endogeneity of these sequences relies heavily on a single peptide sequence, apparently unique to both dinosaurs. Given the potential for cross-contamination from modern bone analysed by the same team, here we extract collagen from bone samples of three individuals of ostrich, Struthio camelus. The resulting LC–MS/MS data were found to match all of the proposed sequences for both the original Tyrannosaurus and Brachylophosaurus studies. Regardless of the true nature of the dinosaur peptides, our finding highlights the difficulty of differentiating such sequences with confidence. Our results not only imply that cross-contamination cannot be ruled out, but that appropriate measures to test for endogeneity should be further evaluated. PMID:28566488

  16. Anomalously high variation in postnatal development is ancestral for dinosaurs but lost in birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Christopher T.; Nesbitt, Sterling J.

    2016-12-01

    Compared with all other living reptiles, birds grow extremely fast and possess unusually low levels of intraspecific variation during postnatal development. It is now clear that birds inherited their high rates of growth from their dinosaurian ancestors, but the origin of the avian condition of low variation during development is poorly constrained. The most well-understood growth trajectories of later Mesozoic theropods (e.g., Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus) show similarly low variation to birds, contrasting with higher variation in extant crocodylians. Here, we show that deep within Dinosauria, among the earliest-diverging dinosaurs, anomalously high intraspecific variation is widespread but then is lost in more derived theropods. This style of development is ancestral for dinosaurs and their closest relatives, and, surprisingly, this level of variation is far higher than in living crocodylians. Among early dinosaurs, this variation is widespread across Pangaea in the Triassic and Early Jurassic, and among early-diverging theropods (ceratosaurs), this variation is maintained for 165 million years to the end of the Cretaceous. Because the Late Triassic environment across Pangaea was volatile and heterogeneous, this variation may have contributed to the rise of dinosaurian dominance through the end of the Triassic Period.

  17. A new chasmosaurine from northern Laramidia expands frill disparity in ceratopsid dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Michael J; Evans, David C; Currie, Philip J; Loewen, Mark A

    2014-06-01

    A new taxon of chasmosaurine ceratopsid demonstrates unexpected disparity in parietosquamosal frill shape among ceratopsid dinosaurs early in their evolutionary radiation. The new taxon is described based on two apomorphic squamosals collected from approximately time equivalent (approximately 77 million years old) sections of the upper Judith River Formation, Montana, and the lower Dinosaur Park Formation of Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta. It is referred to Chasmosaurinae based on the inferred elongate morphology. The typical chasmosaurine squamosal forms an obtuse triangle in dorsal view that tapers towards the posterolateral corner of the frill. In the dorsal view of the new taxon, the lateral margin of the squamosal is hatchet-shaped with the posterior portion modified into a constricted narrow bar that would have supported the lateral margin of a robust parietal. The new taxon represents the oldest chasmosaurine from Canada, and the first pre-Maastrichtian ceratopsid to have been collected on both sides of the Canada-US border, with a minimum north-south range of 380 km. This squamosal morphology would have given the frill of the new taxon a unique dorsal profile that represents evolutionary experimentation in frill signalling near the origin of chasmosaurine ceratopsids and reinforces biogeographic differences between northern and southern faunal provinces in the Campanian of North America.

  18. A Dome-Headed Stem Archosaur Exemplifies Convergence among Dinosaurs and Their Distant Relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocker, Michelle R; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Criswell, Katharine E; Parker, William G; Witmer, Lawrence M; Rowe, Timothy B; Ridgely, Ryan; Brown, Matthew A

    2016-10-10

    Similarities in body plan evolution, such as wings in pterosaurs, birds, and bats or limblessness in snakes and amphisbaenians, can be recognized as classical examples of convergence among animals [1-3]. We introduce a new Triassic stem archosaur that is unexpectedly and remarkably convergent with the "dome-headed" pachycephalosaur dinosaurs that lived over 100 million years later. Surprisingly, numerous additional taxa in the same assemblage (the Otis Chalk assemblage from the Dockum Group of Texas) demonstrate the early acquisition of morphological novelties that were later convergently evolved by post-Triassic dinosaurs. As one of the most successful clades of terrestrial vertebrates, dinosaurs came to occupy an extensive morphospace throughout their diversification in the Mesozoic Era [4, 5], but their distant relatives were first to evolve many of those "dinosaurian" body plans in the Triassic Period [6-8]. Our analysis of convergence between archosauromorphs from the Triassic Period and post-Triassic archosaurs demonstrates the early and extensive exploration of morphospace captured in a single Late Triassic assemblage, and we hypothesize that many of the "novel" morphotypes interpreted to occur among archosaurs later in the Mesozoic already were in place during the initial Triassic archosauromorph, largely non-dinosaurian, radiation and only later convergently evolved in diverse dinosaurian lineages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Dark matter and the dinosaurs the astounding interconnectedness of the universe

    CERN Document Server

    Randall, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth. Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs. Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin ...

  20. Pathological phalanges in a camarasaurid sauropod dinosaur and implications on behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel Tschopp

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Several types of pathological bony overgrowth are known from various dinosaur taxa but, except for stress fractures, are rarely reported from appendicular elements. Herein we describe pathological manual and pedal phalanges of a camarasaurid sauropod (SMA 0002, which show features rarely recognised in non-avian dinosaurs. They include lateral osteophytes and smoothing of phalangeal articular surfaces, a deep pit, proximal enthesophytes in pedal unguals, distal overgrowth associated with a fracture, and a knob-like overgrowth lateral to the distal condyles of a pedal phalanx. Their causes were assessed by means of visual examination, CT scans, and bone histology, where possible. The lateral osteophytes are interpreted as symptoms of osteoarthritis. The ossified tendon insertions in the unguals are most probably the result of prolonged, heavy use of the pedal claws, possibly for scratchdigging. The distal overgrowth is interpreted to have developed due to changed stress regimes, and to be the cause for the fracture. The deep pit represents most likely a case of osteochondrosis, whereas the knob-like overgrowth likely represents a post-traumatic phenomenon not previously reported in dinosaurs. The study confirms that a rigorous assessment of pathologies can yield information about behaviour in long-extinct animals.

  1. Stable Isotopes Reveal Rapid Enamel Elongation (Amelogenesis) Rates for the Early Cretaceous Iguanodontian Dinosaur Lanzhousaurus magnidens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, Celina A; You, Hai-Lu; Suarez, Marina B; Li, Da-Qing; Trieschmann, J B

    2017-11-10

    Lanzhousaurus magnidens, a large non-hadrosauriform iguanodontian dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group of Gansu Province, China has the largest known herbivorous dinosaur teeth. Unlike its hadrosauriform relatives possessing tooth batteries of many small teeth, Lanzhousaurus utilized a small number (14) of very large teeth (~10 cm long) to create a large, continuous surface for mastication. Here we investigate the significance of Lanzhousaurus in the evolutionary history of iguanodontian-hadrosauriform transition by using a combination of stable isotope analysis and CT imagery. We infer that Lanzhousaurus had a rapid rate of tooth enamel elongation or amelogenesis at 0.24 mm/day with dental tissues common to other Iguanodontian dinosaurs. Among ornithopods, high rates of amelogenesis have been previously observed in hadrosaurids, where they have been associated with a sophisticated masticatory apparatus. These data suggest rapid amelogenesis evolved among non-hadrosauriform iguanodontians such as Lanzhousaurus, representing a crucial step that was exapted for the evolution of the hadrosaurian feeding mechanism.

  2. Fungal Ferromanganese Mineralisation in Cretaceous Dinosaur Bones from the Gobi Desert, Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owocki, Krzysztof; Kremer, Barbara; Wrzosek, Beata; Królikowska, Agata; Kaźmierczak, Józef

    2016-01-01

    Well-preserved mycelia of fungal- or saprolegnia-like biota mineralised by ferromanganese oxides were found for the first time in long bones of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs from the Gobi Desert (Nemegt Valley, Mongolia). The mycelia formed a biofilm on the wall of the bone marrow cavity and penetrated the osteon channels of the nearby bone tissue. Optical microscopy, Raman, SEM/EDS, SEM/BSE, electron microprobe and cathodoluminescence analyses revealed that the mineralisation of the mycelia proceeded in two stages. The first stage was early post-mortem mineralisation of the hyphae by Fe/Mn-oxide coatings and microconcretions. Probably this proceeded in a mildly acidic to circumneutral environment, predominantly due to heterotrophic bacteria degrading the mycelial necromass and liberating Fe and Mn sorbed by the mycelia during its lifetime. The second stage of mineralisation, which proceeded much later following the final burial of the bones in an alkaline environment, resulted from the massive precipitation of calcite and occasionally barite on the iron/manganese-oxide-coated mycelia. The mineral phases produced by fungal biofilms colonising the interiors of decaying dinosaur bones not only enhance the preservation (fossilisation) of fungal remains but can also be used as indicators of the geochemistry of the dinosaur burial sites.

  3. The earliest bird-line archosaurs and the assembly of the dinosaur body plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbitt, Sterling J; Butler, Richard J; Ezcurra, Martín D; Barrett, Paul M; Stocker, Michelle R; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Smith, Roger M H; Sidor, Christian A; Niedźwiedzki, Grzegorz; Sennikov, Andrey G; Charig, Alan J

    2017-04-27

    The relationship between dinosaurs and other reptiles is well established, but the sequence of acquisition of dinosaurian features has been obscured by the scarcity of fossils with transitional morphologies. The closest extinct relatives of dinosaurs either have highly derived morphologies or are known from poorly preserved or incomplete material. Here we describe one of the stratigraphically lowest and phylogenetically earliest members of the avian stem lineage (Avemetatarsalia), Teleocrater rhadinus gen. et sp. nov., from the Middle Triassic epoch. The anatomy of T. rhadinus provides key information that unites several enigmatic taxa from across Pangaea into a previously unrecognized clade, Aphanosauria. This clade is the sister taxon of Ornithodira (pterosaurs and birds) and shortens the ghost lineage inferred at the base of Avemetatarsalia. We demonstrate that several anatomical features long thought to characterize Dinosauria and dinosauriforms evolved much earlier, soon after the bird-crocodylian split, and that the earliest avemetatarsalians retained the crocodylian-like ankle morphology and hindlimb proportions of stem archosaurs and early pseudosuchians. Early avemetatarsalians were substantially more species-rich, widely geographically distributed and morphologically diverse than previously recognized. Moreover, several early dinosauromorphs that were previously used as models to understand dinosaur origins may represent specialized forms rather than the ancestral avemetatarsalian morphology.

  4. Telling Apart Ornithopod and Theropod Trackways : A Closer Look at a Large, Late Jurassic Tridactyl Dinosaur Trackway at Serwah, Republic of Yemen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, Anne S.; Al-Wosabi, Mohammed

    2012-01-01

    A large bipedal tridactyl dinosaur trackway from the Late Jurassic of Serwah, near Madar, Arhab district, Republic of Yemen, has been attributed to an ornithopod trackmaker. As the distinction between theropod and ornithopod dinosaurs can pose a challenge, we present additional data to support and

  5. Dinosaur origin of egg color: oviraptors laid blue-green eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiemann, Jasmina; Yang, Tzu-Ruei; Sander, Philipp N; Schneider, Marion; Engeser, Marianne; Kath-Schorr, Stephanie; Müller, Christa E; Sander, P Martin

    2017-01-01

    Protoporphyrin (PP) and biliverdin (BV) give rise to the enormous diversity in avian egg coloration. Egg color serves several ecological purposes, including post-mating signaling and camouflage. Egg camouflage represents a major character of open-nesting birds which accomplish protection of their unhatched offspring against visually oriented predators by cryptic egg coloration. Cryptic coloration evolved to match the predominant shades of color found in the nesting environment. Such a selection pressure for the evolution of colored or cryptic eggs should be present in all open nesting birds and relatives. Many birds are open-nesting, but protect their eggs by continuous brooding, and thus exhibit no or minimal eggshell pigmentation. Their closest extant relatives, crocodiles, protect their eggs by burial and have unpigmented eggs. This phylogenetic pattern led to the assumption that colored eggs evolved within crown birds. The mosaic evolution of supposedly avian traits in non-avian theropod dinosaurs, however, such as the supposed evolution of partially open nesting behavior in oviraptorids, argues against this long-established theory. Using a double-checking liquid chromatography ESI-Q-TOF mass spectrometry routine, we traced the origin of colored eggs to their non-avian dinosaur ancestors by providing the first record of the avian eggshell pigments protoporphyrin and biliverdin in the eggshells of Late Cretaceous oviraptorid dinosaurs. The eggshell parataxon Macroolithus yaotunensis can be assigned to the oviraptor Heyuannia huangi based on exceptionally preserved, late developmental stage embryo remains. The analyzed eggshells are from three Late Cretaceous fluvial deposits ranging from eastern to southernmost China. Reevaluation of these taphonomic settings, and a consideration of patterns in the porosity of completely preserved eggs support an at least partially open nesting behavior for oviraptorosaurs. Such a nest arrangement corresponds with our

  6. Dinosaur origin of egg color: oviraptors laid blue-green eggs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasmina Wiemann

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Protoporphyrin (PP and biliverdin (BV give rise to the enormous diversity in avian egg coloration. Egg color serves several ecological purposes, including post-mating signaling and camouflage. Egg camouflage represents a major character of open-nesting birds which accomplish protection of their unhatched offspring against visually oriented predators by cryptic egg coloration. Cryptic coloration evolved to match the predominant shades of color found in the nesting environment. Such a selection pressure for the evolution of colored or cryptic eggs should be present in all open nesting birds and relatives. Many birds are open-nesting, but protect their eggs by continuous brooding, and thus exhibit no or minimal eggshell pigmentation. Their closest extant relatives, crocodiles, protect their eggs by burial and have unpigmented eggs. This phylogenetic pattern led to the assumption that colored eggs evolved within crown birds. The mosaic evolution of supposedly avian traits in non-avian theropod dinosaurs, however, such as the supposed evolution of partially open nesting behavior in oviraptorids, argues against this long-established theory. Using a double-checking liquid chromatography ESI-Q-TOF mass spectrometry routine, we traced the origin of colored eggs to their non-avian dinosaur ancestors by providing the first record of the avian eggshell pigments protoporphyrin and biliverdin in the eggshells of Late Cretaceous oviraptorid dinosaurs. The eggshell parataxon Macroolithus yaotunensis can be assigned to the oviraptor Heyuannia huangi based on exceptionally preserved, late developmental stage embryo remains. The analyzed eggshells are from three Late Cretaceous fluvial deposits ranging from eastern to southernmost China. Reevaluation of these taphonomic settings, and a consideration of patterns in the porosity of completely preserved eggs support an at least partially open nesting behavior for oviraptorosaurs. Such a nest arrangement corresponds

  7. Dinosaur ichnofauna of the Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceous of the Paraná Basin (Brazil and Uruguay)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francischini, H.; Dentzien–Dias, P. C.; Fernandes, M. A.; Schultz, C. L.

    2015-11-01

    Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous sedimentary layers are represented in the Brazilian Paraná Basin by the fluvio-aeolian Guará Formation and the Botucatu Formation palaeoerg, respectively, overlapped by the volcanic Serra Geral Formation. In Uruguay, the corresponding sedimentary units are named Batoví and Rivera Members (both from the Tacuarembó Formation), and the lava flows constitute the Arapey Formation (also in Paraná Basin). Despite the lack of body fossils in the mentioned Brazilian formations, Guará/Batoví dinosaur fauna is composed of theropod, ornithopod and wide-gauge sauropod tracks and isolated footprints, as well as theropod teeth. In turn, the Botucatu/Rivera dinosaur fauna is represented by theropod and ornithopod ichnofossils smaller than those from the underlying units. The analysis of these dinosaur ichnological records and comparisons with other global Mesozoic ichnofauna indicates that there is a size reduction in dinosaur fauna in the more arid Botucatu/Rivera environment, which is dominated by aeolian dunes. The absence of sauropod trackways in the Botucatu Sandstone fits with the increasingly arid conditions because it is difficult for heavy animals to walk on sandy dunes, as well as to obtain the required amount of food resources. This comparison between the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous dinosaur fauna in south Brazil and Uruguay demonstrates the influence of aridization on the size of animals occupying each habitat.

  8. Age constraints on the dispersal of dinosaurs in the Late Triassic from magnetochronology of the Los Colorados Formation (Argentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Dennis V; Santi Malnis, Paula; Colombi, Carina E; Alcober, Oscar A; Martínez, Ricardo N

    2014-06-03

    A measured magnetozone sequence defined by 24 sampling sites with normal polarity and 28 sites with reverse polarity characteristic magnetizations was established for the heretofore poorly age-constrained Los Colorados Formation and its dinosaur-bearing vertebrate fauna in the Ischigualasto-Villa Union continental rift basin of Argentina. The polarity pattern in this ∼600-m-thick red-bed section can be correlated to Chrons E7r to E15n of the Newark astrochronological polarity time scale. This represents a time interval from 227 to 213 Ma, indicating that the Los Colorados Formation is predominantly Norian in age, ending more than 11 My before the onset of the Jurassic. The magnetochronology confirms that the underlying Ischigualasto Formation and its vertebrate assemblages including some of the earliest known dinosaurs are of Carnian age. The oldest dated occurrences of vertebrate assemblages with dinosaurs in North America (Chinle Formation) are younger (Norian), and thus the rise of dinosaurs was diachronous across the Americas. Paleogeography of the Ischigualasto and Los Colorados Formations indicates prolonged residence in the austral temperate humid belt where a provincial vertebrate fauna with early dinosaurs may have incubated. Faunal dispersal across the Pangean supercontinent in the development of more cosmopolitan vertebrate assemblages later in the Norian may have been in response to reduced contrasts between climate zones and lowered barriers resulting from decreasing atmospheric pCO2 levels.

  9. Lower limits of ornithischian dinosaur body size inferred from a new Upper Jurassic heterodontosaurid from North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Richard J.; Galton, Peter M.; Porro, Laura B.; Chiappe, Luis M.; Henderson, Donald M.; Erickson, Gregory M.

    2010-01-01

    The extremes of dinosaur body size have long fascinated scientists. The smallest (dinosaurs are carnivorous saurischian theropods, and similarly diminutive herbivorous or omnivorous ornithischians (the other major group of dinosaurs) are unknown. We report a new ornithischian dinosaur, Fruitadens haagarorum, from the Late Jurassic of western North America that rivals the smallest theropods in size. The largest specimens of Fruitadens represent young adults in their fifth year of development and are estimated at just 65–75 cm in total body length and 0.5–0.75 kg body mass. They are thus the smallest known ornithischians. Fruitadens is a late-surviving member of the basal dinosaur clade Heterodontosauridae, and is the first member of this clade to be described from North America. The craniodental anatomy and diminutive body size of Fruitadens suggest that this taxon was an ecological generalist with an omnivorous diet, thus providing new insights into morphological and palaeoecological diversity within Dinosauria. Late-surviving (Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous) heterodontosaurids are smaller and less ecologically specialized than Early (Late Triassic and Early Jurassic) heterodontosaurids, and this ecological generalization may account in part for the remarkable 100-million-year-long longevity of the clade. PMID:19846460

  10. Great Lakes Literacy Principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortner, Rosanne W.; Manzo, Lyndsey

    2011-03-01

    Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Erie together form North America's Great Lakes, a region that contains 20% of the world's fresh surface water and is home to roughly one quarter of the U.S. population (Figure 1). Supporting a $4 billion sport fishing industry, plus $16 billion annually in boating, 1.5 million U.S. jobs, and $62 billion in annual wages directly, the Great Lakes form the backbone of a regional economy that is vital to the United States as a whole (see http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/downloads/economy/11-708-Great-Lakes-Jobs.pdf). Yet the grandeur and importance of this freshwater resource are little understood, not only by people in the rest of the country but also by many in the region itself. To help address this lack of knowledge, the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes, supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, developed literacy principles for the Great Lakes to serve as a guide for education of students and the public. These “Great Lakes Literacy Principles” represent an understanding of the Great Lakes' influences on society and society's influences on the Great Lakes.

  11. The Next Great Generation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownstein, Andrew

    2000-01-01

    Discusses ideas from a new book, "Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation," (by Neil Howe and William Strauss) suggesting that youth culture is on the cusp of a radical shift with the generation beginning with this year's college freshmen who are typically team oriented, optimistic, and poised for greatness on a global scale. Includes a…

  12. New Insights into Non-Avian Dinosaur Reproduction and Their Evolutionary and Ecological Implications: Linking Fossil Evidence to Allometries of Extant Close Relatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Jan; Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2013-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that a high reproductive output contributes to the unique gigantism in large dinosaur taxa. In order to infer more information on dinosaur reproduction, we established allometries between body mass and different reproductive traits (egg mass, clutch mass, annual clutch mass) for extant phylogenetic brackets (birds, crocodiles and tortoises) of extinct non-avian dinosaurs. Allometries were applied to nine non-avian dinosaur taxa (theropods, hadrosaurs, and sauropodomorphs) for which fossil estimates on relevant traits are currently available. We found that the reproductive traits of most dinosaurs conformed to similar-sized or scaled-up extant reptiles or birds. The reproductive traits of theropods, which are considered more bird-like, were indeed consistent with birds, while the traits of sauropodomorphs conformed better to reptiles. Reproductive traits of hadrosaurs corresponded to both reptiles and birds. Excluding Massospondylus carinatus , all dinosaurs studied had an intermediary egg to body mass relationship to reptiles and birds. In contrast, dinosaur clutch masses fitted with either the masses predicted from allometries of birds (theropods) or to the masses of reptiles (all other taxa). Theropods studied had probably one clutch per year. For sauropodomorphs and hadrosaurs, more than one clutch per year was predicted. Contrary to current hypotheses, large dinosaurs did not have exceptionally high annual egg numbers (AEN). Independent of the extant model, the estimated dinosaur AEN did not exceed 850 eggs (75,000 kg sauropod) for any of the taxa studied. This estimated maximum is probably an overestimation due to unrealistic assumptions. According to most AEN estimations, the dinosaurs studied laid less than 200 eggs per year. Only some AEN estimates obtained for medium to large sized sauropods were higher (200-400 eggs). Our results provide new (testable) hypotheses, especially for reproductive traits that are insufficiently

  13. New insights into non-avian dinosaur reproduction and their evolutionary and ecological implications: linking fossil evidence to allometries of extant close relatives.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Werner

    Full Text Available It has been hypothesized that a high reproductive output contributes to the unique gigantism in large dinosaur taxa. In order to infer more information on dinosaur reproduction, we established allometries between body mass and different reproductive traits (egg mass, clutch mass, annual clutch mass for extant phylogenetic brackets (birds, crocodiles and tortoises of extinct non-avian dinosaurs. Allometries were applied to nine non-avian dinosaur taxa (theropods, hadrosaurs, and sauropodomorphs for which fossil estimates on relevant traits are currently available. We found that the reproductive traits of most dinosaurs conformed to similar-sized or scaled-up extant reptiles or birds. The reproductive traits of theropods, which are considered more bird-like, were indeed consistent with birds, while the traits of sauropodomorphs conformed better to reptiles. Reproductive traits of hadrosaurs corresponded to both reptiles and birds. Excluding Massospondyluscarinatus, all dinosaurs studied had an intermediary egg to body mass relationship to reptiles and birds. In contrast, dinosaur clutch masses fitted with either the masses predicted from allometries of birds (theropods or to the masses of reptiles (all other taxa. Theropods studied had probably one clutch per year. For sauropodomorphs and hadrosaurs, more than one clutch per year was predicted. Contrary to current hypotheses, large dinosaurs did not have exceptionally high annual egg numbers (AEN. Independent of the extant model, the estimated dinosaur AEN did not exceed 850 eggs (75,000 kg sauropod for any of the taxa studied. This estimated maximum is probably an overestimation due to unrealistic assumptions. According to most AEN estimations, the dinosaurs studied laid less than 200 eggs per year. Only some AEN estimates obtained for medium to large sized sauropods were higher (200-400 eggs. Our results provide new (testable hypotheses, especially for reproductive traits that are insufficiently

  14. New insights into non-avian dinosaur reproduction and their evolutionary and ecological implications: linking fossil evidence to allometries of extant close relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Jan; Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2013-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that a high reproductive output contributes to the unique gigantism in large dinosaur taxa. In order to infer more information on dinosaur reproduction, we established allometries between body mass and different reproductive traits (egg mass, clutch mass, annual clutch mass) for extant phylogenetic brackets (birds, crocodiles and tortoises) of extinct non-avian dinosaurs. Allometries were applied to nine non-avian dinosaur taxa (theropods, hadrosaurs, and sauropodomorphs) for which fossil estimates on relevant traits are currently available. We found that the reproductive traits of most dinosaurs conformed to similar-sized or scaled-up extant reptiles or birds. The reproductive traits of theropods, which are considered more bird-like, were indeed consistent with birds, while the traits of sauropodomorphs conformed better to reptiles. Reproductive traits of hadrosaurs corresponded to both reptiles and birds. Excluding Massospondyluscarinatus, all dinosaurs studied had an intermediary egg to body mass relationship to reptiles and birds. In contrast, dinosaur clutch masses fitted with either the masses predicted from allometries of birds (theropods) or to the masses of reptiles (all other taxa). Theropods studied had probably one clutch per year. For sauropodomorphs and hadrosaurs, more than one clutch per year was predicted. Contrary to current hypotheses, large dinosaurs did not have exceptionally high annual egg numbers (AEN). Independent of the extant model, the estimated dinosaur AEN did not exceed 850 eggs (75,000 kg sauropod) for any of the taxa studied. This estimated maximum is probably an overestimation due to unrealistic assumptions. According to most AEN estimations, the dinosaurs studied laid less than 200 eggs per year. Only some AEN estimates obtained for medium to large sized sauropods were higher (200-400 eggs). Our results provide new (testable) hypotheses, especially for reproductive traits that are insufficiently documented

  15. Direct U-Pb dating of Cretaceous and Paleocene dinosaur bones, San Juan Basin, New Mexico: COMMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Alan E.; Lucas, Spencer G.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Heckert, Andrew B.; Sullivan, Robert M.; Jasinski, Steven E.; Fowler, Denver W.

    2012-01-01

    Based on U-Pb dating of two dinosaur bones from the San Juan Basin of New Mexico (United States), Fassett et al. (2011) claim to provide the first successful direct dating of fossil bones and to establish the presence of Paleocene dinosaurs. Fassett et al. ignore previously published work that directly questions their stratigraphic interpretations (Lucas et al., 2009), and fail to provide sufficient descriptions of instrumental, geochronological, and statistical treatments of the data to allow evaluation of the potentially complex diagenetic and recrystallization history of bone. These shortcomings lead us to question the validity of the U-Pb dates published by Fassett et al. and their conclusions regarding the existence of Paleocene dinosaurs.

  16. Great Indoors Awards 2007

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2007-01-01

    Hollandis Maastrichtis jagati 17. XI esimest korda rahvusvahelist auhinda The Great Indoors Award. Aasta sisekujundusfirmaks valiti Masamichi Katayama asutatud Wonderwall. Auhinna said veel Zaha Hadid, Heatherwick Studio, Ryui Nakamura Architects ja Item Idem

  17. Great Lakes Bathymetry

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Bathymetry of Lakes Michigan, Erie, Saint Clair, Ontario and Huron has been compiled as a component of a NOAA project to rescue Great Lakes lake floor geological and...

  18. Dinosaur Census Reveals Abundant Tyrannosaurus and Rare Ontogenetic Stages in the Upper Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation (Maastrichtian), Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horner, John R.; Goodwin, Mark B.; Myhrvold, Nathan

    2011-01-01

    Background A dinosaur census recorded during the Hell Creek Project (1999–2009) incorporates multiple lines of evidence from geography, taphohistory, stratigraphy, phylogeny and ontogeny to investigate the relative abundance of large dinosaurs preserved in the Upper Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation of northeastern Montana, USA. Overall, the dinosaur skeletal assemblages in the Hell Creek Formation (excluding lag-influenced records) consist primarily of subadult or small adult size individuals. Small juveniles and large adults are both extremely rare, whereas subadult individuals are relatively common. We propose that mature individuals of at least some dinosaur taxa either lived in a separate geographic locale analogous to younger individuals inhabiting an upland environment where sedimentation rates were relatively less, or these taxa experienced high mortality before reaching terminal size where late stage and often extreme cranial morphology is expressed. Methodology/Principal Findings Tyrannosaurus skeletons are as abundant as Edmontosaurus, an herbivore, in the upper Hell Creek Formation and nearly twice as common in the lower third of the formation. Smaller, predatory dinosaurs (e.g., Troodon and dromaeosaurids) are primarily represented by teeth found in microvertebrate localities and their skeletons or identifiable lag specimens were conspicuously absent. This relative abundance suggests Tyrannosaurus was not a typical predator and likely benefited from much wider food choice opportunities than exclusively live prey and/or specific taxa. Tyrannosaurus adults may not have competed with Tyrannosaurus juveniles if the potential for selecting carrion increased with size during ontogeny. Conclusions/Significance Triceratops is the most common dinosaur and isolated skulls contribute to a significant portion of this census. Associated specimens of Triceratops consisting of both cranial and postcranial elements remain relatively rare. This rarity may be explained

  19. New dinosaur fossils from ANA locality, Arcillas de Morella Formation (Aptian, Lower Cretaceous, Cinctorres, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Cubedo, A.; de Santisteban, C.; Suñer, M.; Galobart, A.

    2009-04-01

    Ana is one of the several dinosaur bone sites located in the Arcillas de Morella Formation (Aptian, Lower Cretaceous; eastern Iberian Chain, Spain). This site was discovered in 1998, but it remained unexcavated until 2002, when a palaeontologist team formed by members of the Institut Paleontología Miquel Crusafont from Sabadell and the Grup Guix from Vila-real unearthed the first fossil from the locality. Nowadays there are five hundred fossils collected, including vertebrate and invertebrate species. Dinosaur bones (Theropoda and Ornithopoda) are abundant in this assemblage and in the last field season bones determined as Sauropoda were found. Taxonomically, Ana is dominated by disarticulated remains of Ornithopoda, which are usually fragmentary and abraded. Many of the elements may have been reworked (spatial averaging and/or time averaging), and the fossil concentration constitutes an autochthonous to parautochthonous association, in a spatial sense. The remains found in the Ana fossils site are placed in sandstones and limes containing marine autochthonous fauna. These deposits were formed during the transgressive infilling of an incised valley. Sedimentological features indicate that fossils were finally deposited in starved shallow estuarine environment. Mineralogically, the sediment including the fossils contains grains of quartz, illite/mica, kaolinite/clorite, K-feldspar and plagioclase, distributed in two mainly grain populations, a silty-clay and a coarse sand size grain, indicating that the sediments were bedded in a low-medium energy depositional environment. Nowadays we identified in Ana, teeth of Theropoda indet. and Baryonychinae indet., and bones of Iguanodon sp. Herein, we report new fossil findings from Ana site. These materials have been determined as Iguanodontia, Titanosauriformes and Theropoda. These new findings will help to understand the dinosaur fauna present in the Lower Cretaceous of Els Ports (Castellón, Spain). Acknowledgments This

  20. Assessment of diagenetic alteration of dinosaur eggshells through petrography and geochemical analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enriquez, M. V.; Eagle, R.; Eiler, J. M.; Tripati, A. K.; Ramirez, P. C.; Loyd, S. J.; Chiappe, L.; Montanari, S.; Norell, M.; Tuetken, T.

    2012-12-01

    Carbonate clumped isotope analysis of fossil eggshells has the potential to constrain both the physiology of extinct animals and, potentially, paleoenvironmental conditions, especially when coupled with isotopic measurements of co-occurring soil carbonates. Eggshell samples from both modern vertebrates and Cretaceous Hadrosaurid, Oviraptorid, Titanosaur, Hypselosaurus, Faveoolithus, dinosaur fossils have been collected from Auca Mahuevo, Argentina and Rousett, France, amongst other locations, for geochemical analysis to determine if isotopic signatures could be used to indicate warm- or cold-bloodedness. In some locations soil carbonates were also analyzed to constrain environmental temperatures. In order to test the validity of the geochemical results, an extensive study was undertaken to establish degree of diagenetic alteration. Petrographic and cathodoluminescence characterization of the eggshells were used to assess diagenetic alteration. An empirical 1-5 point scale was used to assign each sample an alteration level, and the observations were then compared with the geochemical results. Specimens displayed a wide range of alteration states. Some of which were well preserved and others highly altered. Another group seemed to be structural intact and only under cathodoluminescence was alteration clearly observed. In the majority of samples, alteration level was found to be predictably related to geochemical results. From specimens with little evidence for diagenesis, carbonate clumped isotope signatures support high (37-40°C) body temperature for Titanosaurid dinosaurs, but potentially lower body temperatures for other taxa. If these data do, in fact, represent original eggshell growth temperatures, these results support variability in body temperature amongst Cretaceous dinosaurs and potentially are consistent with variations between adult body temperature and size — a characteristic of 'gigantothermy'.

  1. Terrestrial ecosystem collapse associated to the K-Pg boundary and dinosaur extinction: palynological evidences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bercovici, A.; Vajda, V.; Lyson, T. R.; Chester, S. G. B.; Sargis, E. J.; Pearson, D. A.; Joyce, W. G.

    2012-04-01

    We report here the discovery of the stratigraphically youngest in situ dinosaur specimen. This ceratopsian brow horn was found in southeastern Montana, in the Western Interior of the United States in a poorly rooted, silty mudstone floodplain deposit and only 13 centimeters below the palynologically defined K-Pg boundary. The boundary is identified using three criteria: 1) substantial decrease in diversity and abundance of Cretaceous pollen and spore taxa that completely disappear from the palynological record a few meters above the boundary, 2) the presence of a "fern spike", and 3) palynostratigraphical correlation to a nearby section where primary extraterrestrial impact markers are present (e.g., iridium anomaly, spherules and shocked quartz). The palynological record in the rock sequence immediately following the K-Pg boundary consistently indicates a sudden and major loss of the Cretaceous components across the North American record. During this rapid decline, the palynological assemblages are dominated by freshwater ferns (Azolla) and algae (usually Pediastrum sp. and Penetetrapites sp.) indicating generalized flooding in the area. The onset of the Paleocene sedimentation is subsequently announced by the presence of variegated beds, multiple lignite seams and small scale meandering river systems, starting with palynological associations that attest for reworking and erosion. The destabilization of terrestrial ecosystems is coincident with the markers of the K-Pg boundary, supporting a catastrophic event taking place over a very short duration. The in situ ceratopsian brow horn demonstrates that a gap devoid of non-avian dinosaur fossils in the last meters of the Cretaceous is artificial and thus inconsistent with the hypothesis that non-avian dinosaurs were extinct prior to the K-Pg boundary asteroid impact event.

  2. Torosaurus is not Triceratops: ontogeny in chasmosaurine ceratopsids as a case study in dinosaur taxonomy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R Longrich

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In horned dinosaurs, taxonomy is complicated by the fact that the cranial ornament that distinguishes species changes with age. Based on this observation, it has been proposed that the genera Triceratops and Torosaurus are in fact synonymous, with specimens identified as Torosaurus representing the adult form of Triceratops. The hypothesis of synonymy makes three testable predictions: 1 the species in question should have similar geographic and stratigraphic distributions, 2 specimens assigned to Torosaurus should be more mature than those assigned to Triceratops, and 3 intermediates should exist that combine features of Triceratops and Torosaurus. The first condition appears to be met, but it remains unclear whether the other predictions are borne out by the fossil evidence. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We assessed the relative maturity of Torosaurus and Triceratops specimens by coding skulls for characters that vary with maturity, and then using a clustering analysis to arrange them into a growth series. We found that a well-defined sequence of changes exists in horned dinosaurs: development of cranial ornament occurs in juveniles, followed by fusion of the skull roof in subadults, and finally, the epoccipitals, epijugals, and rostral fuse to the skull in adults. Using this scheme, we identified mature and immature individuals of both Torosaurus and Triceratops. Furthermore, we describe the ventral depressions on the frill of Triceratops, and show that they differ in shape and position from the parietal fenestrae of Torosaurus. Thus, we conclude that these structures are not intermediates between the solid frill of Triceratops and the fenestrated frill of Torosaurus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Torosaurus is a distinct genus of horned dinosaur, not the adult of Triceratops. Our method provides a framework for assessing the hypothesis of synonymy through ontogeny in the fossil record.

  3. A new horned dinosaur reveals convergent evolution in cranial ornamentation in Ceratopsidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Caleb M; Henderson, Donald M

    2015-06-15

    Ceratopsid (horned) dinosaurs are an iconic group of large-bodied, quadrupedal, herbivorous dinosaurs that evolved in the Late Cretaceous and were largely restricted to western North America [1-5]. Ceratopsids are easily recognized by their cranial ornamentation in the form of nasal and postorbital horns and frill (capped by epiossifications); these structures show high morphological disparity and also represent the largest cranial display structures known to have evolved [2, 4]. Despite their restricted occurrence in time and space, this group has one of the best fossil records within Dinosauria, showing a rapid diversification in horn and frill morphology [1]. Here a new genus and species of chasmosaurine ceratopsid is described based on a nearly complete and three-dimensionally preserved cranium recovered from the uppermost St. Mary River Formation (Maastrichtian) of southwestern Alberta. Regaliceratops peterhewsi gen. et sp. nov. exhibits many unique characters of the frill and is characterized by a large nasal horncore, small postorbital horncores, and massive parietal epiossifications. Cranial morphology, particularly the epiossifications, suggests close affinity with the late Campanian/early Maastrichian taxon Anchiceratops, as well as with the late Maastrichtian taxon Triceratops. A median epiparietal necessitates a reassessment of epiossification homology and results in a more resolved phylogeny. Most surprisingly, Regaliceratops exhibits a suite of cranial ornamentations that are superficially similar to Campanian centrosaurines, indicating both exploration of novel display morphospace in Chasmosaurinae, especially Maastrichtian forms, and convergent evolution in horn morphology with the recently extinct Centrosaurinae. This marks the first time that evolutionary convergence in horn-like display structures has been demonstrated between dinosaur clades, similar to those seen in fossil and extant mammals [6]. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  4. Plate motions, Gondwana dinosaurs, Noah's arks, beached Viking funeral ships, ghost ships, and landspans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Louis L; Strganac, Christopher; Scotese, Christopher

    2011-03-01

    Gondwana landmasses have served as large-scale biogeographic Noah's Arks and Beached Viking Funeral Ships, as defined by McKenna. The latitudinal trajectories of selected Gondwana dinosaur localities were traced through time in order to evaluate their movement through climate zones relative to those in which they originally formed. The dispersal of fauna during the breakup of Gondwana may have been facilitated by the presence of offshelf islands forming landspans (sensu Iturralde-Vinent and MacPhee) in the Equatorial Atlantic Gateway and elsewhere.

  5. Evolution of parental incubation behaviour in dinosaurs cannot be inferred from clutch mass in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birchard, Geoffrey F; Ruta, Marcello; Deeming, D Charles

    2013-08-23

    A recent study proposed that incubation behaviour (i.e. type of parental care) in theropod dinosaurs can be inferred from an allometric analysis of clutch volume in extant birds. However, the study in question failed to account for factors known to affect egg and clutch size in living bird species. A new scaling analysis of avian clutch mass demonstrates that type of parental care cannot be distinguished by conventional allometry because of the confounding effects of phylogeny and hatchling maturity. Precociality of young but not paternal care in the theropod ancestors of birds is consistent with the available data.

  6. A comparison of fossilized dinosaur bone and the surrounding rock using PIXE analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neilsen, D.W.; Rees, L.B.; Mangelson, N.F.; Hill, M.W.

    1992-01-01

    Six samples of fossilized dinosaur bone and surrounding rock were analyzed by PIXE to investigate general relations between the bone and rock. The powdered samples were brought into an acid solution by a lithium metaborate fusion process. The data were analyzed with chemometric methods to successfully differentiate the bone samples from the complementary rock samples. The Sr/Ca ratio is consistently higher in fossilized bone than the surrounding rock. Ba, Y and U, when found in the rock, appear in significantly higher concentrations in the bone. S and Ti, elements commonly found in rock samples, are not found in the bone samples. (author)

  7. Tithonian age of dinosaur fossils in central Patagonian, Chile: U-Pb SHRIMP geochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, Manuel; De La Cruz, Rita; Fanning, Mark; Novas, Fernando; Salgado, Leonardo

    2016-11-01

    Three Tithonian concordant U-Pb SHRIMP zircon ages of 148.7 ± 1.4, 147.9 ± 1.5 and 147.0 ± 1.0 from tuffs intercalated in a clastic sedimentary succession with exceptional dinosaur bones including the new taxon Chilesaurus diegosuarezi gen. et sp. nov. exposed in central Chilean Patagonia (ca. 46°30'S) are reported herein. The fossiliferous beds accumulated in a synvolcanic fan delta reaching a shallow marine basin as indicated by glauconite present in some of the beds, and coeval with the beginning of the transgression of the Aysén Basin.

  8. The GREAT3 challenge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miyatake, H; Mandelbaum, R; Rowe, B

    2014-01-01

    The GRavitational lEnsing Accuracy Testing 3 (GREAT3) challenge is an image analysis competition that aims to test algorithms to measure weak gravitational lensing from astronomical images. The challenge started in October 2013 and ends 30 April 2014. The challenge focuses on testing the impact on weak lensing measurements of realistically complex galaxy morphologies, realistic point spread function, and combination of multiple different exposures. It includes simulated ground- and space-based data. The details of the challenge are described in [1], and the challenge website and its leader board can be found at http://great3challenge.info and http://great3.projects.phys.ucl.ac.uk/leaderboard/, respectively

  9. Nothing Great Is Easy

    OpenAIRE

    Stansbie, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    A solo exhibition of 13 pieces of art work.\\ud \\ud Nothing Great is Easy is an exhibition of sculpture, film, drawing and photography that proposes reconstructed narratives using the sport of swimming and in particular the collective interaction and identity of the channel swimmer. The work utilises the processes, rituals/rules, language and the apparatus of sport.\\ud \\ud “Nothing great is easy” are the words on the memorial to Captain Matthew Webb who was the first man to swim the English ch...

  10. The Great Mathematician Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Sabrina R.

    2013-01-01

    The Great Mathematician Project (GMP) introduces both mathematically sophisticated and struggling students to the history of mathematics. The rationale for the GMP is twofold: first, mathematics is a uniquely people-centered discipline that is used to make sense of the world; and second, students often express curiosity about the history of…

  11. What great managers do.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckingham, Marcus

    2005-03-01

    Much has been written about the qualities that make a great manager, but most of the literature overlooks a fundamental question: What does a great manager actually do? While there are countless management styles, one thing underpins the behavior of all great managers. Above all, an exceptional manager comes to know and value the particular quirks and abilities of her employees. She figures out how to capitalize on her staffers' strengths and tweaks her environment to meet her larger goals. Such a specialized approach may seem like a lot of work. But in fact, capitalizing on each person's uniqueness can save time. Rather than encourage employees to conform to strict job descriptions that may include tasks they don't enjoy and aren't good at, a manager who develops positions for his staff members based on their unique abilities will be rewarded with behaviors that are far more efficient and effective than they would be otherwise. This focus on individuals also makes employees more accountable. Because staffers are evaluated on their particular strengths and weaknesses, they are challenged to take responsibility for their abilities and to hone them. Capitalizing on a person's uniqueness also builds a stronger sense of team. By taking the time to understand what makes each employee tick, a great manager shows that he sees his people for who they are. This personal investment not only motivates individuals but also galvanizes the entire team. Finally, this approach shakes up existing hierarchies, which leads to more creative thinking. To take great managing from theory to practice, the author says, you must know three things about a person: her strengths, the triggers that activate those strengths, and how she learns. By asking the right questions, squeezing the right triggers, and becoming aware of your employees' learning styles, you will discover what motivates each person to excel.

  12. The World of Coelophysis - A New York Dinosaur of 200 Million Years Ago. Geological Survey: Circular 49.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Donald W.

    Coelophysis was an ostrich-like, meat-eating dinosaur that inhabitated southwestern New York State approximately 200 million years ago. At that time the region was semi-tropical and hosted a bizarre array of amphibians, reptiles, and plants while experiencing unrest in the form of basin settling, earthquakes, faults, and intrusions and outpourings…

  13. A Late Cretaceous diversification of Asian oviraptorid dinosaurs: evidence from a new species preserved in an unusual posture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Junchang; Chen, Rongjun; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Zhu, Yangxiao; Shen, Caizhi

    2016-11-01

    Oviraptorosaurs are a bizarre group of bird-like theropod dinosaurs, the derived forms of which have shortened, toothless skulls, and which diverged from close relatives by developing peculiar feeding adaptations. Although once among the most mysterious of dinosaurs, oviraptorosaurs are becoming better understood with the discovery of many new fossils in Asia and North America. The Ganzhou area of southern China is emerging as a hotspot of oviraptorosaur discoveries, as over the past half decade five new monotypic genera have been found in the latest Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) deposits of this region. We here report a sixth diagnostic oviraptorosaur from Ganzhou, Tongtianlong limosus gen. et sp. nov., represented by a remarkably well-preserved specimen in an unusual splayed-limb and raised-head posture. Tongtianlong is a derived oviraptorid oviraptorosaur, differentiated from other species by its unique dome-like skull roof, highly convex premaxilla, and other features of the skull. The large number of oviraptorosaurs from Ganzhou, which often differ in cranial morphologies related to feeding, document an evolutionary radiation of these dinosaurs during the very latest Cretaceous of Asia, which helped establish one of the last diverse dinosaur faunas before the end-Cretaceous extinction.

  14. Healed or non-healed? computed tomography (CT) visualisation of morphology of bite trace ichnotaxa on a dinosaur bone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland; Lauridsen, Henrik; Fiirgaard, Bente

    2015-01-01

    . Ichnotaxa defined by theropod bite traces can provide useful information for understanding feeding behaviour. However, objective interpretation of possible bite traces can be difficult using traditional visual inspection. In this study, the bite traces on a fossilised dinosaur bone were comprehensively...

  15. A New Oviraptorid Dinosaur (Dinosauria: Oviraptorosauria) from the Late Cretaceous of Southern China and Its Paleobiogeographical Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Junchang; Pu, Hanyong; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu; Xu, Li; Chang, Huali; Shang, Yuhua; Liu, Di; Lee, Yuong-Nam; Kundrát, Martin; Shen, Caizhi

    2015-07-02

    The Ganzhou area of Jiangxi Province, southern China is becoming one of the most productive oviraptorosaurian localities in the world. A new oviraptorid dinosaur was unearthed from the uppermost Upper Cretaceous Nanxiong Formation of Ganzhou area. It is characterized by an anterodorsally sloping occiput and quadrate (a feature shared with Citipati), a circular supratemporal fenestra that is much smaller than the lower temporal fenestra, and a dentary in which the dorsal margin above the external mandibular fenestra is strongly concave ventrally. The position of the anteroventral corner of the external naris in relation to the posterodorsal corner of the antorbital fenestra provides new insight into the craniofacial evolution of oviraptorosaurid dinosaurs. A phylogenetic analysis recovers the new taxon as closely related to the Mongolian Citipati. Six oviraptorid dinosaurs from the Nanxiong Formation (Ganzhou and Nanxiong) are distributed within three clades of the family. Each of the three clades from the Nanxiong Formation has close relatives in Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, and in both places each clade may have had a specific diet or occupied a different ecological niche. Oviraptorid dinosaurs were geographically widespread across Asia in the latest Cretaceous and were an important component of terrestrial ecosystems during this time.

  16. How many dinosaur species were there? Fossil bias and true richness estimated using a Poisson sampling model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starrfelt, Jostein; Liow, Lee Hsiang

    2016-04-05

    The fossil record is a rich source of information about biological diversity in the past. However, the fossil record is not only incomplete but has also inherent biases due to geological, physical, chemical and biological factors. Our knowledge of past life is also biased because of differences in academic and amateur interests and sampling efforts. As a result, not all individuals or species that lived in the past are equally likely to be discovered at any point in time or space. To reconstruct temporal dynamics of diversity using the fossil record, biased sampling must be explicitly taken into account. Here, we introduce an approach that uses the variation in the number of times each species is observed in the fossil record to estimate both sampling bias and true richness. We term our technique TRiPS (True Richness estimated using a Poisson Sampling model) and explore its robustness to violation of its assumptions via simulations. We then venture to estimate sampling bias and absolute species richness of dinosaurs in the geological stages of the Mesozoic. Using TRiPS, we estimate that 1936 (1543-2468) species of dinosaurs roamed the Earth during the Mesozoic. We also present improved estimates of species richness trajectories of the three major dinosaur clades: the sauropodomorphs, ornithischians and theropods, casting doubt on the Jurassic-Cretaceous extinction event and demonstrating that all dinosaur groups are subject to considerable sampling bias throughout the Mesozoic. © 2016 The Authors.

  17. Dinosaur Footprints and Other Ichnofauna from the Cretaceous Kem Kem Beds of Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Nizar; Varricchio, David J.; Sereno, Paul C.; Wilson, Jeff A.; Dutheil, Didier B.; Martill, David M.; Baidder, Lahssen; Zouhri, Samir

    2014-01-01

    We describe an extensive ichnofossil assemblage from the likely Cenomanian-age ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ units of the ‘Kem Kem beds’ in southeastern Morocco. In the lower unit, trace fossils include narrow vertical burrows in cross-bedded sandstones and borings in dinosaur bone, with the latter identified as the insect ichnotaxon Cubiculum ornatus. In the upper unit, several horizons preserve abundant footprints from theropod dinosaurs. Sauropod and ornithischian footprints are much rarer, similar to the record for fossil bone and teeth in the Kem Kem assemblage. The upper unit also preserves a variety of invertebrate traces including Conichnus (the resting trace of a sea-anemone), Scolicia (a gastropod trace), Beaconites (a probable annelid burrow), and subvertical burrows likely created by crabs for residence and detrital feeding on a tidal flat. The ichnofossil assemblage from the Upper Cretaceous Kem Kem beds contributes evidence for a transition from predominantly terrestrial to marine deposition. Body fossil and ichnofossil records together provide a detailed view of faunal diversity and local conditions within a fluvial and deltaic depositional setting on the northwestern coast of Africa toward the end of the Cretaceous. PMID:24603467

  18. Evidence of reworked Cretaceous fossils and their bearing on the existence of Tertiary dinosaurs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eaton, J.G. (Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff (USA)); Kirkland, J.I. (Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln (USA)); Doi, K. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (USA))

    1989-06-01

    The Paleocene Shotgun fauna of Wyoming includes marine sharks as well as mammals. It has been suggested that the sharks were introduced from the Cannonball Sea. It is more likely that these sharks were reworked from a Cretaceous rock sequence that included both marine and terrestrial deposits as there is a mixture of marine and freshwater taxa. These taxa have not been recorded elsewhere after the Cretaceous and are not known from the Cannonball Formation. Early Eocene localities at Raven Ridge, Utah, similarly contain teeth of Cretaceous marine and freshwater fish, dinosaurs, and Eocene mammals. The Cretaceous teeth are well preserved, variably abraded, and serve to cast doubts on criteria recently used to claim that dinosaur teeth recovered from the Paleocene of Montana are not reworked. Another Eocene locality in the San Juan Basin has produced an Eocene mammalian fauna with diverse Cretaceous marine sharks. Neither the nature of preservation nor the degree of abrasion could be used to distinguish reworked from contemporaneous material. The mixed environments represented by the fish taxa and recognition of the extensive pre-Tertiary extinction of both marine and freshwater fish were employed to recognize reworked specimens.

  19. Late Triassic tropical climate of Pangea: Carbon isotopic and other insights into the rise of dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteside, J. H.; Lindström, S.; Irmis, R. B.; Glasspool, I.; Schaller, M. F.; Dunlavey, M.; Nesbitt, S. J.; Smith, N. D.; Turner, A. H.

    2015-12-01

    The rarity and species-poor nature of early dinosaurs and their relatives at low paleolatitudes persisted for 30 million years after their origin and 10-15 million years after they became abundant and speciose at higher latitudes. New environmental reconstructions from stable carbon isotope ratios of preserved organic matter (δ13Corg), atmospheric pCO2 data based on the δ13C of soil carbonate, palynological, and wildfire data from charcoal from early dinosaur-bearing strata at low paleolatitudes in western North America show that variations in δ13Corg and palynomorph ecotypes are tightly correlated, displaying large and high-frequency excursions. These variations occurred within an environment characterized by elevated and increasing atmospheric pCO2, pervasive wildfires, and rapidly fluctuating extreme climatic conditions. Whereas pseudosuchian archosaur-dominated communities were able to persist in these same regions until the end-Triassic, the large-bodied, fast-growing tachymetabolic dinosaurian herbivores were not. We hypothesize that the greater resources required by the herbivores made it difficult from them to adapt to the unstable conditions at low paleolatitudes in the Late Triassic.

  20. Hadrosauroid Dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Buffetaut

    Full Text Available Fragmentary post-cranial remains (femora, tibia, vertebrae of ornithischian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman are described and referred to hadrosauroids. The specimens come from the Al-Khod Conglomerate, of latest Campanian to Maastrichtian age, in the north-eastern part of the country. Although the fragmentary condition of the fossils precludes a precise identification, various characters, including the shape of the fourth trochanter of the femur and the morphology of its distal end, support an attribution to hadrosauroids. With the possible exception of a possible phalanx from Angola, this group of ornithopod dinosaurs, which apparently originated in Laurasia, was hitherto unreported from the Afro-Arabian plate. From a paleobiogeographical point of view, the presence of hadrosauroids in Oman in all likelihood is a result of trans-Tethys dispersal from Asia or Europe, probably by way of islands in the Tethys shown on all recent paleogeographical maps of that area. Whether hadrosauroids were widespread on the Afro-Arabian landmass in the latest Cretaceous, or where restricted to the « Oman island » shown on some paleogeographical maps, remains to be determined.

  1. Limb bone allometry during postnatal ontogeny in non-avian dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbourne, Brandon M; Makovicky, Peter J

    2010-01-01

    Although the interspecific scaling of tetrapods is well understood, remarkably little work has been done on the ontogenetic scaling within tetrapod species, whether fossil or recent. Here the ontogenetic allometry of the femur, humerus, and tibia was determined for 23 species of non-avian dinosaur by regressing log-transformed length against log-transformed circumference for each bone using reduced major axis bivariate regression. The femora of large theropod species became more robust during ontogeny, whereas growth in the femora of sauropodomorphs and most ornithischians was not significantly different from isometry. Hadrosaur hindlimb elements became significantly more gracile during ontogeny. Scaling constants were higher in all theropods than in any non-theropod taxa. Such clear taxonomically correlated divisions were not evident in the ontogenetic allometry of the tibia and hindlimb bones did not scale uniformly within larger taxonomic groups. For taxa in which the ontogenetic allometry of the humerus was studied, only Riojasaurus incertus exhibited a significant departure from isometry. Using independent contrasts, the regression of femoral allometry against the log of adult body mass was found to have a significant negative correlation but such a relationship could not be established for other limb elements or growth parameters, mainly due to the small sample size. The intraspecific scaling patterns observed in dinosaurs and other amniotes do not support earlier hypotheses that intraspecific scaling differs between endothermic and ectothermic taxa. PMID:20557400

  2. First Reported Cases of Biomechanically Adaptive Bone Modeling in Non-Avian Dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Cubo

    Full Text Available Predator confrontation or predator evasion frequently produces bone fractures in potential prey in the wild. Although there are reports of healed bone injuries and pathologies in non-avian dinosaurs, no previously published instances of biomechanically adaptive bone modeling exist. Two tibiae from an ontogenetic sample of fifty specimens of the herbivorous dinosaur Maiasaura peeblesorum (Ornithopoda: Hadrosaurinae exhibit exostoses. We show that these outgrowths are cases of biomechanically adaptive periosteal bone modeling resulting from overstrain on the tibia after a fibula fracture. Histological and biomechanical results are congruent with predictions derived from this hypothesis. Histologically, the outgrowths are constituted by radial fibrolamellar periosteal bone tissue formed at very high growth rates, as expected in a process of rapid strain equilibration response. These outgrowths show greater compactness at the periphery, where tensile and compressive biomechanical constraints are higher. Moreover, these outgrowths increase the maximum bending strength in the direction of the stresses derived from locomotion. They are located on the antero-lateral side of the tibia, as expected in a presumably bipedal one year old individual, and in the posterior position of the tibia, as expected in a presumably quadrupedal individual at least four years of age. These results reinforce myological evidence suggesting that Maiasaura underwent an ontogenetic shift from the primitive ornithischian bipedal condition when young to a derived quadrupedal posture when older.

  3. The earliest evidence for a supraorbital salt gland in dinosaurs in new Early Cretaceous ornithurines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Huang, Jiandong; Hu, Yuanchao; Liu, Xiaoyu; Peteya, Jennifer; Clarke, Julia A

    2018-03-05

    Supraorbital fossae occur when salt glands are well developed, a condition most pronounced in marine and desert-dwelling taxa in which salt regulation is key. Here, we report the first specimens from lacustrine environments of the Jehol Biota that preserve a distinct fossa above the orbit, where the salt gland fossa is positioned in living birds. The Early Cretaceous ornithurine bird specimens reported here are about 40 million years older than previously reported Late Cretaceous marine birds and represent the earliest described occurrence of the fossa. We find no evidence of avian salt gland fossae in phylogenetically earlier stem birds or non-avialan dinosaurs, even in those argued to be predominantly marine or desert dwelling. The apparent absence of this feature in more basal dinosaurs may indicate that it is only after miniaturization close to the origin of flight that excretory mechanisms were favored over exclusively renal mechanisms of salt regulation resulting in an increase in gland size leaving a bony trace. The ecology of ornithurine birds is more diverse than in other stem birds and may have included seasonal shifts in foraging range, or, the environments of some of the Jehol lakes may have included more pronounced periods of high salinity.

  4. Convergent evolution of jaws between spinosaurid dinosaurs and pike conger eels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romain Vullo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Spinosaurs represent a group of peculiar theropod dinosaurs that have often been described as “crocodile-mimic”, predominantly fish-eating predators, and recently claimed to have been semi-aquatic animals. Here we report a suite of craniodental characters unexpectedly shared by spinosaurs and pike conger eels. Pike conger eels are predatory, mainly piscivorous bottom-dwelling anguilliform fishes that inhabit marine and brackish environments. These two groups of dinosaurs and fishes show a mediolaterally compressed, elongated rostrum, a terminal “rosette” bearing enlarged teeth in both upper and lower jaws, and a notch posterior to the premaxillary “rosette” characterized by the presence of reduced teeth. The morphological convergence observed in the jaws of these two distantly related groups of vertebrates may result from similar feeding behaviours. This typical jaw morphology likely represents an effective biomechanical adaptation for biting and grabbing elusive prey items in low-light aquatic environments. Associated with this specialized snout morphology, numerous integumentary mechanoreceptors involved in prey detection are present in both spinosaurs and pike congers. Our new observations provide an additional convincing argument regarding the decades-long and widely debated lifestyle of spinosaurs.

  5. A Middle Jurassic heterodontosaurid dinosaur from Patagonia and the evolution of heterodontosaurids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pol, Diego; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.; Becerra, Marcos

    2011-05-01

    Heterodontosauridae is a morphologically divergent group of dinosaurs that has recently been interpreted as one of the most basal clades of Ornithischia. Heterodontosaurid remains were previously known from the Early Jurassic of southern Africa, but recent discoveries and studies have significantly increased the geographical and temporal range for this clade. Here, we report a new ornithischian dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic Cañadón Asfalto Formation in central Patagonia, Argentina. This new taxon, Manidens condorensis gen. et sp. nov., includes well-preserved craniomandibular and postcranial remains and represents the only diagnostic ornithischian specimen yet discovered in the Jurassic of South America so far. Derived features of its anatomy indicate that Manidens belongs to Heterodontosauridae, as the sister taxon of Heterodontosaurus and other South African heterodontosaurids. The presence of posterior dentary teeth with high crowns but lacking extensive wear facets in Manidens suggests that this form represents an intermediate stage in the development of the remarkable adaptations to herbivory described for Heterodontosaurus. The dentition of Manidens condorensis also has autapomorphies, such as asymmetrically arranged denticles in posterior teeth and a mesially projected denticle in the posteriormost teeth. At an estimated total length of 60-75 cm, Manidens furthermore confirms the small size of basal heterodontosaurids.

  6. Hadrosauroid Dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffetaut, Eric; Hartman, Axel-Frans; Al-Kindi, Mohammed; Schulp, Anne S

    2015-01-01

    Fragmentary post-cranial remains (femora, tibia, vertebrae) of ornithischian dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of the Sultanate of Oman are described and referred to hadrosauroids. The specimens come from the Al-Khod Conglomerate, of latest Campanian to Maastrichtian age, in the north-eastern part of the country. Although the fragmentary condition of the fossils precludes a precise identification, various characters, including the shape of the fourth trochanter of the femur and the morphology of its distal end, support an attribution to hadrosauroids. With the possible exception of a possible phalanx from Angola, this group of ornithopod dinosaurs, which apparently originated in Laurasia, was hitherto unreported from the Afro-Arabian plate. From a paleobiogeographical point of view, the presence of hadrosauroids in Oman in all likelihood is a result of trans-Tethys dispersal from Asia or Europe, probably by way of islands in the Tethys shown on all recent paleogeographical maps of that area. Whether hadrosauroids were widespread on the Afro-Arabian landmass in the latest Cretaceous, or where restricted to the « Oman island » shown on some paleogeographical maps, remains to be determined.

  7. Unexpected Convergent Evolution of Nasal Domes between Pleistocene Bovids and Cretaceous Hadrosaur Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Haley D; Faith, J Tyler; Jenkins, Kirsten E; Peppe, Daniel J; Plummer, Thomas W; Jacobs, Zenobia L; Li, Bo; Joannes-Boyau, Renaud; Price, Gilbert; Feng, Yue-Xing; Tryon, Christian A

    2016-02-22

    The fossil record provides tangible, historical evidence for the mode and operation of evolution across deep time. Striking patterns of convergence are some of the strongest examples of these operations, whereby, over time, similar environmental and/or behavioral pressures precipitate similarity in form and function between disparately related taxa. Here we present fossil evidence for an unexpected convergence between gregarious plant-eating mammals and dinosaurs. Recent excavations of Late Pleistocene deposits on Rusinga Island, Kenya, have uncovered a catastrophic assemblage of the wildebeest-like bovid Rusingoryx atopocranion. Previously known from fragmentary material, these new specimens reveal large, hollow, osseous nasal crests: a craniofacial novelty for mammals that is remarkably comparable to the nasal crests of lambeosaurine hadrosaur dinosaurs. Using adult and juvenile material from this assemblage, as well as computed tomographic imaging, we investigate this convergence from morphological, developmental, functional, and paleoenvironmental perspectives. Our detailed analyses reveal broad parallels between R. atopocranion and basal Lambeosaurinae, suggesting that osseous nasal crests may require a highly specific combination of ontogeny, evolution, and environmental pressures in order to develop. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Early crocodylomorph increases top tier predator diversity during rise of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanno, Lindsay E; Drymala, Susan; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Schneider, Vincent P

    2015-03-19

    Triassic predatory guild evolution reflects a period of ecological flux spurred by the catastrophic end-Permian mass extinction and terminating with the global ecological dominance of dinosaurs in the early Jurassic. In responding to this dynamic ecospace, terrestrial predator diversity attained new levels, prompting unique trophic webs with a seeming overabundance of carnivorous taxa and the evolution of entirely new predatory clades. Key among these was Crocodylomorpha, the largest living reptiles and only one of two archosaurian lineages that survive to the present day. In contrast to their existing role as top, semi-aquatic predators, the earliest crocodylomorphs were generally small-bodied, terrestrial faunivores, occupying subsidiary (meso) predator roles. Here we describe Carnufex carolinensis a new, unexpectedly large-bodied taxon with a slender and ornamented skull from the Carnian Pekin Formation (~231 Ma), representing one of the oldest and earliest diverging crocodylomorphs described to date. Carnufex bridges a problematic gap in the early evolution of pseudosuchians by spanning key transitions in bauplan evolution and body mass near the origin of Crocodylomorpha. With a skull length of >50 cm, the new taxon documents a rare instance of crocodylomorphs ascending to top-tier predator guilds in the equatorial regions of Pangea prior to the dominance of dinosaurs.

  9. Does morphological convergence imply functional similarity? A test using the evolution of quadrupedalism in ornithischian dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maidment, Susannah C R; Barrett, Paul M

    2012-09-22

    Convergent morphologies are thought to indicate functional similarity, arising because of a limited number of evolutionary or developmental pathways. Extant taxa displaying convergent morphologies are used as analogues to assess function in extinct taxa with similar characteristics. However, functional studies of extant taxa have shown that functional similarity can arise from differing morphologies, calling into question the paradigm that form and function are closely related. We test the hypothesis that convergent skeletal morphology indicates functional similarity in the fossil record using ornithischian dinosaurs. The rare transition from bipedality to quadrupedality occurred at least three times independently in this clade, resulting in a suite of convergent osteological characteristics. We use homology rather than analogy to provide an independent line of evidence about function, reconstructing soft tissues using the extant phylogenetic bracket and applying biomechanical concepts to produce qualitative assessments of muscle leverage. We also optimize character changes to investigate the sequence of character acquisition. Different lineages of quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaur stood and walked differently from each other, falsifying the hypothesis that osteological convergence indicates functional similarity. The acquisition of features correlated with quadrupedalism generally occurs in the same order in each clade, suggesting underlying developmental mechanisms that act as evolutionary constraints.

  10. Turning semicircular canal function on its head: dinosaurs and a novel vestibular analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgi, Justin A; Sipla, Justin S; Forster, Catherine A

    2013-01-01

    Previous investigations have correlated vestibular function to locomotion in vertebrates by scaling semicircular duct radius of curvature to body mass. However, this method fails to discriminate bipedal from quadrupedal non-avian dinosaurs. Because they exhibit a broad range of relative head sizes, we use dinosaurs to test the hypothesis that semicircular ducts scale more closely with head size. Comparing the area enclosed by each semicircular canal to estimated body mass and to two different measures of head size, skull length and estimated head mass, reveals significant patterns that corroborate a connection between physical parameters of the head and semicircular canal morphology. Head mass more strongly correlates with anterior semicircular canal size than does body mass and statistically separates bipedal from quadrupedal taxa, with bipeds exhibiting relatively larger canals. This morphologic dichotomy likely reflects adaptations of the vestibular system to stability demands associated with terrestrial locomotion on two, versus four, feet. This new method has implications for reinterpreting previous studies and informing future studies on the connection between locomotion type and vestibular function.

  11. Walking like dinosaurs: chickens with artificial tails provide clues about non-avian theropod locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossi, Bruno; Iriarte-Díaz, José; Larach, Omar; Canals, Mauricio; Vásquez, Rodrigo A

    2014-01-01

    Birds still share many traits with their dinosaur ancestors, making them the best living group to reconstruct certain aspects of non-avian theropod biology. Bipedal, digitigrade locomotion and parasagittal hindlimb movement are some of those inherited traits. Living birds, however, maintain an unusually crouched hindlimb posture and locomotion powered by knee flexion, in contrast to the inferred primitive condition of non-avian theropods: more upright posture and limb movement powered by femur retraction. Such functional differences, which are associated with a gradual, anterior shift of the centre of mass in theropods along the bird line, make the use of extant birds to study non-avian theropod locomotion problematic. Here we show that, by experimentally manipulating the location of the centre of mass in living birds, it is possible to recreate limb posture and kinematics inferred for extinct bipedal dinosaurs. Chickens raised wearing artificial tails, and consequently with more posteriorly located centre of mass, showed a more vertical orientation of the femur during standing and increased femoral displacement during locomotion. Our results support the hypothesis that gradual changes in the location of the centre of mass resulted in more crouched hindlimb postures and a shift from hip-driven to knee-driven limb movements through theropod evolution. This study suggests that, through careful experimental manipulations during the growth phase of ontogeny, extant birds can potentially be used to gain important insights into previously unexplored aspects of bipedal non-avian theropod locomotion.

  12. Edentulism, beaks, and biomechanical innovations in the evolution of theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan; Witmer, Lawrence M; Altangerel, Perle; Rayfield, Emily J

    2013-12-17

    Maniraptoriformes, the speciose group of derived theropod dinosaurs that ultimately gave rise to modern birds, display a diverse and remarkable suite of skeletal adaptations. Apart from the evolution of flight, a large-scale change in dietary behavior appears to have been one of the main triggers for specializations in the bauplan of these derived theropods. Among the different skeletal specializations, partial or even complete edentulism and the development of keratinous beaks form a recurring and persistent trend in from the evolution of derived nonavian dinosaurs. Therizinosauria is an enigmatic maniraptoriform clade, whose members display these and other osteological characters thought to be correlated with the shift from carnivory to herbivory. This makes therizinosaurians prime candidates to assess the functional significance of these morphological characters. Based on a highly detailed biomechanical model of Erlikosaurus andrewsi, a therizinosaurid from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia, different morphological configurations incorporating soft-tissue structures, such as a keratinous rhamphotheca, are evaluated for their biomechanical performance. Our results indicate that the development of beaks and the presence of a keratinous rhamphotheca would have helped to dissipate stress and strain, making the rostral part of the skull less susceptible to bending and displacement, and this benefit may extend to other vertebrate clades that possess rhamphothecae. Keratinous beaks, paralleled by edentulism, thus represent an evolutionary innovation developed early in derived theropods to enhance cranial stability, distinct to postulated mass-saving benefits associated with the origin of flight.

  13. First Reported Cases of Biomechanically Adaptive Bone Modeling in Non-Avian Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubo, Jorge; Woodward, Holly; Wolff, Ewan; Horner, John R

    2015-01-01

    Predator confrontation or predator evasion frequently produces bone fractures in potential prey in the wild. Although there are reports of healed bone injuries and pathologies in non-avian dinosaurs, no previously published instances of biomechanically adaptive bone modeling exist. Two tibiae from an ontogenetic sample of fifty specimens of the herbivorous dinosaur Maiasaura peeblesorum (Ornithopoda: Hadrosaurinae) exhibit exostoses. We show that these outgrowths are cases of biomechanically adaptive periosteal bone modeling resulting from overstrain on the tibia after a fibula fracture. Histological and biomechanical results are congruent with predictions derived from this hypothesis. Histologically, the outgrowths are constituted by radial fibrolamellar periosteal bone tissue formed at very high growth rates, as expected in a process of rapid strain equilibration response. These outgrowths show greater compactness at the periphery, where tensile and compressive biomechanical constraints are higher. Moreover, these outgrowths increase the maximum bending strength in the direction of the stresses derived from locomotion. They are located on the antero-lateral side of the tibia, as expected in a presumably bipedal one year old individual, and in the posterior position of the tibia, as expected in a presumably quadrupedal individual at least four years of age. These results reinforce myological evidence suggesting that Maiasaura underwent an ontogenetic shift from the primitive ornithischian bipedal condition when young to a derived quadrupedal posture when older.

  14. Isotopic ordering in eggshells reflects body temperatures and suggests differing thermophysiology in two Cretaceous dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagle, Robert A; Enriquez, Marcus; Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Pérez-Huerta, Alberto; Hu, David; Tütken, Thomas; Montanari, Shaena; Loyd, Sean J; Ramirez, Pedro; Tripati, Aradhna K; Kohn, Matthew J; Cerling, Thure E; Chiappe, Luis M; Eiler, John M

    2015-10-13

    Our understanding of the evolutionary transitions leading to the modern endothermic state of birds and mammals is incomplete, partly because tools available to study the thermophysiology of extinct vertebrates are limited. Here we show that clumped isotope analysis of eggshells can be used to determine body temperatures of females during periods of ovulation. Late Cretaceous titanosaurid eggshells yield temperatures similar to large modern endotherms. In contrast, oviraptorid eggshells yield temperatures lower than most modern endotherms but ∼ 6 °C higher than co-occurring abiogenic carbonates, implying that this taxon did not have thermoregulation comparable to modern birds, but was able to elevate its body temperature above environmental temperatures. Therefore, we observe no strong evidence for end-member ectothermy or endothermy in the species examined. Body temperatures for these two species indicate that variable thermoregulation likely existed among the non-avian dinosaurs and that not all dinosaurs had body temperatures in the range of that seen in modern birds.

  15. A Middle Jurassic abelisaurid from Patagonia and the early diversification of theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pol, Diego; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2012-08-22

    Abelisaurids are a clade of large, bizarre predatory dinosaurs, most notable for their high, short skulls and extremely reduced forelimbs. They were common in Gondwana during the Cretaceous, but exceedingly rare in the Northern Hemisphere. The oldest definitive abelisaurids so far come from the late Early Cretaceous of South America and Africa, and the early evolutionary history of the clade is still poorly known. Here, we report a new abelisaurid from the Middle Jurassic of Patagonia, Eoabelisaurus mefi gen. et sp. nov., which predates the so far oldest known secure member of this lineage by more than 40 Myr. The almost complete skeleton reveals the earliest evolutionary stages of the distinctive features of abelisaurids, such as the modification of the forelimb, which started with a reduction of the distal elements. The find underlines the explosive radiation of theropod dinosaurs in the Middle Jurassic and indicates an unexpected diversity of ceratosaurs at that time. The apparent endemism of abelisauroids to southern Gondwana during Pangean times might be due to the presence of a large, central Gondwanan desert. This indicates that, apart from continent-scale geography, aspects such as regional geography and climate are important to reconstruct the biogeographical history of Mesozoic vertebrates.

  16. The latest succession of dinosaur tracksites in Europe: Hadrosaur ichnology, track production and palaeoenvironments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernat Vila

    Full Text Available A comprehensive review and study of the rich dinosaur track record of the Tremp Formation in the southern Pyrenees of Spain (Southwestern Europe shows a unique succession of footprint localities prior to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event. A description of some 30 new tracksites and data on sedimentary environments, track occurrence and preservation, ichnology and chronostratigraphy are provided. These new track localities represent various facies types within a diverse set of fluvial environments. The footprint discoveries mostly represent hadrosaurian and, less abundantly, to sauropod dinosaurs. The hadrosaur tracks are significantly smaller in size than, but morphologically similar to, those of North America and Asia and are attributable to the ichnogenus Hadrosauropodus. The track succession, with more than 40 distinct track levels, indicates that hadrosaur footprints in the Ibero-Armorican region occur predominantly in the late Maaastrichtian (at least above the early Maastrichtian-late Maastrichtian boundary. The highest abundance is found noticeably found in the late Maastrichtian, with tracks occurring in the C29r magnetochron, within about the latest 300,000 years of the Cretaceous.

  17. Walking like dinosaurs: chickens with artificial tails provide clues about non-avian theropod locomotion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Grossi

    Full Text Available Birds still share many traits with their dinosaur ancestors, making them the best living group to reconstruct certain aspects of non-avian theropod biology. Bipedal, digitigrade locomotion and parasagittal hindlimb movement are some of those inherited traits. Living birds, however, maintain an unusually crouched hindlimb posture and locomotion powered by knee flexion, in contrast to the inferred primitive condition of non-avian theropods: more upright posture and limb movement powered by femur retraction. Such functional differences, which are associated with a gradual, anterior shift of the centre of mass in theropods along the bird line, make the use of extant birds to study non-avian theropod locomotion problematic. Here we show that, by experimentally manipulating the location of the centre of mass in living birds, it is possible to recreate limb posture and kinematics inferred for extinct bipedal dinosaurs. Chickens raised wearing artificial tails, and consequently with more posteriorly located centre of mass, showed a more vertical orientation of the femur during standing and increased femoral displacement during locomotion. Our results support the hypothesis that gradual changes in the location of the centre of mass resulted in more crouched hindlimb postures and a shift from hip-driven to knee-driven limb movements through theropod evolution. This study suggests that, through careful experimental manipulations during the growth phase of ontogeny, extant birds can potentially be used to gain important insights into previously unexplored aspects of bipedal non-avian theropod locomotion.

  18. Turning semicircular canal function on its head: dinosaurs and a novel vestibular analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin A Georgi

    Full Text Available Previous investigations have correlated vestibular function to locomotion in vertebrates by scaling semicircular duct radius of curvature to body mass. However, this method fails to discriminate bipedal from quadrupedal non-avian dinosaurs. Because they exhibit a broad range of relative head sizes, we use dinosaurs to test the hypothesis that semicircular ducts scale more closely with head size. Comparing the area enclosed by each semicircular canal to estimated body mass and to two different measures of head size, skull length and estimated head mass, reveals significant patterns that corroborate a connection between physical parameters of the head and semicircular canal morphology. Head mass more strongly correlates with anterior semicircular canal size than does body mass and statistically separates bipedal from quadrupedal taxa, with bipeds exhibiting relatively larger canals. This morphologic dichotomy likely reflects adaptations of the vestibular system to stability demands associated with terrestrial locomotion on two, versus four, feet. This new method has implications for reinterpreting previous studies and informing future studies on the connection between locomotion type and vestibular function.

  19. A gigantic new dinosaur from Argentina and the evolution of the sauropod hind foot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González Riga, Bernardo J; Lamanna, Matthew C; Ortiz David, Leonardo D; Calvo, Jorge O; Coria, Juan P

    2016-01-18

    Titanosauria is an exceptionally diverse, globally-distributed clade of sauropod dinosaurs that includes the largest known land animals. Knowledge of titanosaurian pedal structure is critical to understanding the stance and locomotion of these enormous herbivores and, by extension, gigantic terrestrial vertebrates as a whole. However, completely preserved pedes are extremely rare among Titanosauria, especially as regards the truly giant members of the group. Here we describe Notocolossus gonzalezparejasi gen. et sp. nov. from the Upper Cretaceous of Mendoza Province, Argentina. With a powerfully-constructed humerus 1.76 m in length, Notocolossus is one of the largest known dinosaurs. Furthermore, the complete pes of the new taxon exhibits a strikingly compact, homogeneous metatarsus--seemingly adapted for bearing extraordinary weight--and truncated unguals, morphologies that are otherwise unknown in Sauropoda. The pes underwent a near-progressive reduction in the number of phalanges along the line to derived titanosaurs, eventually resulting in the reduced hind foot of these sauropods.

  20. Lowland-upland migration of sauropod dinosaurs during the Late Jurassic epoch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricke, Henry C; Hencecroth, Justin; Hoerner, Marie E

    2011-10-26

    Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest vertebrates ever to walk the Earth, and as mega-herbivores they were important parts of terrestrial ecosystems. In the Late Jurassic-aged Morrison depositional basin of western North America, these animals occupied lowland river-floodplain settings characterized by a seasonally dry climate. Massive herbivores with high nutritional and water needs could periodically experience nutritional and water stress under these conditions, and thus the common occurrence of sauropods in this basin has remained a paradox. Energetic arguments and mammalian analogues have been used to suggest that migration allowed sauropods access to food and water resources over a wide region or during times of drought or both, but there has been no direct support for these hypotheses. Here we compare oxygen isotope ratios (δ(18)O) of tooth-enamel carbonate from the sauropod Camarasaurus with those of ancient soil, lake and wetland (that is, 'authigenic') carbonates that formed in lowland settings. We demonstrate that certain populations of these animals did in fact undertake seasonal migrations of several hundred kilometres from lowland to upland environments. This ability to describe patterns of sauropod movement will help to elucidate the role that migration played in the ecology and evolution of gigantism of these and associated dinosaurs.

  1. Great magnetic storms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsurutani, B.T.; Yen Te Lee; Tang, F.; Gonzalez, W.D.

    1992-01-01

    The five largest magnetic storms that occurred between 1971 and 1986 are studied to determine their solar and interplanetary causes. All of the events are found to be associated with high speed solar wind streams led by collisionless shocks. The high speed streams are clearly related to identifiable solar flares. It is found that (1) it is the extreme values of the southward interplanetary magnetic fields rather than solar wind speeds that are the primary causes of great magnetic storms, (2) shocked and draped sheath fields preceding the driver gas (magnetic cloud) are at least as effective in causing the onset of great magnetic storms (3 of 5 events ) as the strong fields within the driver gas itself, and (3) precursor southward fields ahead of the high speed streams allow the shock compression mechanism (item 2) to be particularly geoeffective

  2. The great intimidators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Roderick M

    2006-02-01

    After Disney's Michael Eisner, Miramax's Harvey Weinstein, and Hewlett-Packard's Carly Fiorina fell from their heights of power, the business media quickly proclaimed thatthe reign of abrasive, intimidating leaders was over. However, it's premature to proclaim their extinction. Many great intimidators have done fine for a long time and continue to thrive. Their modus operandi runs counter to a lot of preconceptions about what it takes to be a good leader. They're rough, loud, and in your face. Their tactics include invading others' personal space, staging tantrums, keeping people guessing, and possessing an indisputable command of facts. But make no mistake--great intimidators are not your typical bullies. They're driven by vision, not by sheer ego or malice. Beneath their tough exteriors and sharp edges are some genuine, deep insights into human motivation and organizational behavior. Indeed, these leaders possess political intelligence, which can make the difference between paralysis and successful--if sometimes wrenching--organizational change. Like socially intelligent leaders, politically intelligent leaders are adept at sizing up others, but they notice different things. Those with social intelligence assess people's strengths and figure out how to leverage them; those with political intelligence exploit people's weaknesses and insecurities. Despite all the obvious drawbacks of working under them, great intimidators often attract the best and brightest. And their appeal goes beyond their ability to inspire high performance. Many accomplished professionals who gravitate toward these leaders want to cultivate a little "inner intimidator" of their own. In the author's research, quite a few individuals reported having positive relationships with intimidating leaders. In fact, some described these relationships as profoundly educational and even transformational. So before we throw out all the great intimidators, the author argues, we should stop to consider what

  3. Great Lakes Energy Institute

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alexander, J. Iwan [Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States)

    2012-11-18

    The vision of the Great Lakes Energy Institute is to enable the transition to advanced, sustainable energy generation, storage, distribution and utilization through coordinated research, development, and education. The Institute will place emphasis on translating leading edge research into next generation energy technology. The Institute’s research thrusts focus on coordinated research in decentralized power generation devices (e.g. fuel cells, wind turbines, solar photovoltaic devices), management of electrical power transmission and distribution, energy storage, and energy efficiency.

  4. The physiology of dinosaurs: circulatory and respiratory function in the largest animals ever to walk the earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, David J

    2009-07-01

    The cardiopulmonary physiology of dinosaurs-and especially of the long-necked sauropods, which grew much larger than any land animals before or since-should be inherently fascinating to anyone involved in respiratory care. What would the blood pressure be in an animal 12 m (40 ft) tall? How could airway resistance and dead space be overcome while breathing through a trachea 9 m (30 ft) long? The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in evidence bearing on these questions. Insight has come not only from new fossil discoveries but also from comparative studies of living species, clarification of evolutionary relationships, new evaluation techniques, computer modeling, and discoveries about the earth's ancient atmosphere. Pumping a vertical column of blood 8 m (26 ft) above the heart would probably require an arterial blood pressure > 600 mm Hg, and the implications of this for cardiac size and function have led to the proposal of several alternative cardiopulmonary designs. Diverse lines of evidence suggest that the giant sauropods were probably warm-blooded and metabolically active when young, but slowed their metabolism as they approached adult size, which diminished the load on the circulatory system. Circulatory considerations leave little doubt that the dinosaurs had 4-chambered hearts. Birds evolved from dinosaurs, and the avian-type air-sac respiratory system, which is more efficient than its mammalian counterpart, may hold the answer to the breathing problems posed by the sauropods' very long necks. Geochemical and other data indicate that, at the time the dinosaurs first appeared, the atmospheric oxygen concentration was only about half of what it is today, and development of the avian-type respiratory system may have been key in the dinosaurs' evolutionary success, enabling them to out-compete the mammals and dominate the land for 150 million years.

  5. Idiopathic great saphenous phlebosclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmadreza Jodati

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Arterial sclerosis has been extensively described but reports on venous sclerosis are very sparse. Phlebosclerosis refers to the thickening and hardening of the venous wall. Despite its morphological similarities with arteriosclerosis and potential morbid consequences, phlebosclerosis has gained only little attention. We report a 72 year old male with paralysis and atrophy of the right leg due to childhood poliomyelitis who was referred for coronary artery bypass surgery. The great saphenous vein, harvested from the left leg, showed a hardened cord-like obliterated vein. Surprisingly, harvested veins from the atrophic limb were normal and successfully used for grafting.

  6. Great software debates

    CERN Document Server

    Davis, A

    2004-01-01

    The industry’s most outspoken and insightful critic explains how the software industry REALLY works. In Great Software Debates, Al Davis, shares what he has learned about the difference between the theory and the realities of business and encourages you to question and think about software engineering in ways that will help you succeed where others fail. In short, provocative essays, Davis fearlessly reveals the truth about process improvement, productivity, software quality, metrics, agile development, requirements documentation, modeling, software marketing and sales, empiricism, start-up financing, software research, requirements triage, software estimation, and entrepreneurship.

  7. Making Psychotherapy Great Again?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plakun, Eric M

    2017-05-01

    Psychotherapy never stopped being as "great" as other treatments. This column explores the evidence base for both psychotherapy and medications, using depression as a specific example. The limitations are comparable for psychotherapy and medication, with much of the evidence based on small degrees of "statistically significant" rather than "clinically meaningful" change. Our field's biomedical emphasis leads to a false assumption that most patients present with single disorders, when comorbidity is the rule rather than the exception. This false assumption contributes to limitations in the evidence base and in our ability to treat patients optimally.

  8. The systematic relationships and biogeographic history of ornithischian dinosaurs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clint A. Boyd

    2015-12-01

    two later dispersals to Asia and one to South America. However, when ghost lineages are considered, an alternate dispersal hypothesis has thescelosaurines dispersing from Asia into South America (via North America during the Early Cretaceous, then back into North America in the latest Cretaceous. The latter hypothesis may explain the dominance of orodromine taxa prior to the Maastrichtian in North America and the sudden appearance and wide distribution of thescelosaurines in North America beginning in the early Maastrichtian. While the diversity of parksosaurids has greatly increased over the last fifteen years, a ghost lineage of over 40 myr is present between the base of Parksosauridae and Cerapoda, indicating that much of the early history and diversity of this clade is yet to be discovered. This new phylogenetic hypothesis provides a comprehensive framework for testing further hypotheses regarding evolutionary patterns and processes within Ornithischia.

  9. The systematic relationships and biogeographic history of ornithischian dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Clint A

    2015-01-01

    Asia and one to South America. However, when ghost lineages are considered, an alternate dispersal hypothesis has thescelosaurines dispersing from Asia into South America (via North America) during the Early Cretaceous, then back into North America in the latest Cretaceous. The latter hypothesis may explain the dominance of orodromine taxa prior to the Maastrichtian in North America and the sudden appearance and wide distribution of thescelosaurines in North America beginning in the early Maastrichtian. While the diversity of parksosaurids has greatly increased over the last fifteen years, a ghost lineage of over 40 myr is present between the base of Parksosauridae and Cerapoda, indicating that much of the early history and diversity of this clade is yet to be discovered. This new phylogenetic hypothesis provides a comprehensive framework for testing further hypotheses regarding evolutionary patterns and processes within Ornithischia.

  10. Oology and the evolution of thermophysiology in saurischian dinosaurs: homeotherm and endotherm deinonychosaurians?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald Grellet-Tinner

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The origin of avian endothermy is a long-held question the answer of which cannot be provided by first level observations. Oological and reproductive characters have collectively provided a new source of data useful for phylogenetic analyses and paleobiological inferences. In addition, the observations of reproductive and oological evolutionary trends in saurischian dinosaurs lead to the interpretation that not only, the thermophysiology of these dinosaurs progressively became more avian-like but after re-examination allows to infer that deinonychosaurians represented here by three troodontids and one dromaeosaurid might already have developed an avian-like endothermy, thus predating the rise of avians. These results based on reproductive traits are independently corroborated by the discoveries of troodontid dinosaurs 1 in high latitudes, 2 covered with feathers in Chinese Lagerstätten, and recently 3 fossilized in a death pose identical to an avian sleeping posture.A origem da endotermia nas aves é uma questão há muito discutida e sua resposta não pode ser encontrada através de observações superficiais. Caracteres oológicos e reprodutivos surgiram como uma nova fonte de dados relevantes tanto para análises filogenéticas quanto para inferências paleobiológicas dos dinossauros Saurischia. Além disso, as observações das tendências evolutivas reprodutivas e oológicas nos dinossauros Saurischia nos levam a inferir que não apenas, como anteriormente a termofisiologia deste grupo de dinossauros tornou-se progressivamente ornítica, mas um posterior reexame nos permitiu concluir que os deinonicossauros, representados aqui por dois troodontídeos e um dromeossaurídeo, provavelmente já haviam desenvolvido uma endotermia semelhante a das aves, anterior, portanto, ao seu surgimento. Estes resultados baseados em características reprodutivas são independentemente corroborados pela descoberta dos dinossauros troodontídeos 1 em altas

  11. Computational modelling of locomotor muscle moment arms in the basal dinosaur Lesothosaurus diagnosticus: assessing convergence between birds and basal ornithischians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bates, Karl T; Maidment, Susannah C R; Allen, Vivian; Barrett, Paul M

    2012-03-01

    Ornithischia (the 'bird-hipped' dinosaurs) encompasses bipedal, facultative quadrupedal and quadrupedal taxa. Primitive ornithischians were small bipeds, but large body size and obligate quadrupedality evolved independently in all major ornithischian lineages. Numerous pelvic and hind limb features distinguish ornithischians from the majority of other non-avian dinosaurs. However, some of these features, notably a retroverted pubis and elongate iliac preacetabular process, appeared convergently in maniraptoran theropods, and were inherited by their avian descendants. During maniraptoran/avian evolution these pelvic modifications led to significant changes in the functions of associated muscles, involving alterations to the moment arms and the activation patterns of pelvic musculature. However, the functions of these features in ornithischians and their influence on locomotion have not been tested and remain poorly understood. Here, we provide quantitative tests of bipedal ornithischian muscle function using computational modelling to estimate 3D hind limb moment arms for the most complete basal ornithischian, Lesothosaurus diagnosticus. This approach enables sensitivity analyses to be carried out to explore the effects of uncertainties in muscle reconstructions of extinct taxa, and allows direct comparisons to be made with similarly constructed models of other bipedal dinosaurs. This analysis supports some previously proposed qualitative inferences of muscle function in basal ornithischians. However, more importantly, this work highlights ambiguities in the roles of certain muscles, notably those inserting close to the hip joint. Comparative analysis reveals that moment arm polarities and magnitudes in Lesothosaurus, basal tetanuran theropods and the extant ostrich are generally similar. However, several key differences are identified, most significantly in comparisons between the moment arms of muscles associated with convergent osteological features in

  12. Great Britain at CERN

    CERN Multimedia

    2006-01-01

    From 14 to 16 November 2006 Administration Building, Bldg. 60/61 - ground and 1st floor 09.30 - 17.30 Fifteen companies will present their latest technologies at the 'Great Britain at CERN' exhibition. British industry will exhibit products and technologies related to the field of particle physics. The main fields represented will be computing technologies, electrical engineering, electronics, mechanical engineering, vacuum & low temperature technologies and particle detectors. The exhibition is organised by BEAMA Exhibitions (the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association). Below you will find: a list of the exhibitors. A detailed programme will be available in due course: from your Departmental secretariat, from the Reception information desk, Building 33, at the exhibition itself. A detailed list of the companies is available at the following FI link: http://fi-dep.web.cern.ch/fi-dep/structure/memberstates/exhibitions_visits.htm LIST OF EXHIBITORS 3D Metrics Almat...

  13. Great Britain at CERN

    CERN Multimedia

    2006-01-01

    From 14 to 16 November 2006 Administration Building, Bldg. 60/61 - ground and 1st floor 09.30 - 17.30 Fifteen companies will present their latest technologies at the 'Great Britain at CERN' exhibition. British industry will exhibit products and technologies related to the field of particle physics. The main fields represented will be computing technologies, electrical engineering, electronics, mechanical engineering, vacuum & low temperature technologies and particle detectors. The exhibition is organised by BEAMA Exhibitions (the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association). Below you will find: a list of the exhibitors. A detailed programme will be available in due course: from your Departmental secretariat, from the Reception information desk, Building 33, at the exhibition itself. A detailed list of the companies is available at the following FI link: http://fi-dep.web.cern.ch/fi-dep/structure/memberstates/exhibitions_visits.htm LIST OF EXHIBITORS 3D Metrics Alma...

  14. A Gigantic, Exceptionally Complete Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from Southern Patagonia, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacovara, Kenneth J.; Lamanna, Matthew C.; Ibiricu, Lucio M.; Poole, Jason C.; Schroeter, Elena R.; Ullmann, Paul V.; Voegele, Kristyn K.; Boles, Zachary M.; Carter, Aja M.; Fowler, Emma K.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Moyer, Alison E.; Coughenour, Christopher L.; Schein, Jason P.; Harris, Jerald D.; Martínez, Rubén D.; Novas, Fernando E.

    2014-01-01

    Titanosaurian sauropod dinosaurs were the most diverse and abundant large-bodied herbivores in the southern continents during the final 30 million years of the Mesozoic Era. Several titanosaur species are regarded as the most massive land-living animals yet discovered; nevertheless, nearly all of these giant titanosaurs are known only from very incomplete fossils, hindering a detailed understanding of their anatomy. Here we describe a new and gigantic titanosaur, Dreadnoughtus schrani, from Upper Cretaceous sediments in southern Patagonia, Argentina. Represented by approximately 70% of the postcranial skeleton, plus craniodental remains, Dreadnoughtus is the most complete giant titanosaur yet discovered, and provides new insight into the morphology and evolutionary history of these colossal animals. Furthermore, despite its estimated mass of about 59.3 metric tons, the bone histology of the Dreadnoughtus type specimen reveals that this individual was still growing at the time of death. PMID:25186586

  15. Tyrant dinosaur evolution tracks the rise and fall of Late Cretaceous oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loewen, Mark A; Irmis, Randall B; Sertich, Joseph J W; Currie, Philip J; Sampson, Scott D

    2013-01-01

    The Late Cretaceous (∼95-66 million years ago) western North American landmass of Laramidia displayed heightened non-marine vertebrate diversity and intracontinental regionalism relative to other latest Cretaceous Laurasian ecosystems. Processes generating these patterns during this interval remain poorly understood despite their presumed role in the diversification of many clades. Tyrannosauridae, a clade of large-bodied theropod dinosaurs restricted to the Late Cretaceous of Laramidia and Asia, represents an ideal group for investigating Laramidian patterns of evolution. We use new tyrannosaurid discoveries from Utah--including a new taxon which represents the geologically oldest member of the clade--to investigate the evolution and biogeography of Tyrannosauridae. These data suggest a Laramidian origin for Tyrannosauridae, and implicate sea-level related controls in the isolation, diversification, and dispersal of this and many other Late Cretaceous vertebrate clades.

  16. The first reported ceratopsid dinosaur from eastern North America (Owl Creek Formation, Upper Cretaceous, Mississippi, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farke, Andrew A; Phillips, George E

    2017-01-01

    Ceratopsids ("horned dinosaurs") are known from western North America and Asia, a distribution reflecting an inferred subaerial link between the two landmasses during the Late Cretaceous. However, this clade was previously unknown from eastern North America, presumably due to limited outcrop of the appropriate age and depositional environment as well as the separation of eastern and western North America by the Western Interior Seaway during much of the Late Cretaceous. A dentary tooth from the Owl Creek Formation (late Maastrichtian) of Union County, Mississippi, represents the first reported occurrence of Ceratopsidae from eastern North America. This tooth shows a combination of features typical of Ceratopsidae, including a double root and a prominent, blade-like carina. Based on the age of the fossil, we hypothesize that it is consistent with a dispersal of ceratopsids into eastern North America during the very latest Cretaceous, presumably after the two halves of North America were reunited following the retreat of the Western Interior Seaway.

  17. Diets of giants: the nutritional value of herbivorous dinosaur diet during the Mesozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Fiona; Hummel, Juergen; Sharifi, Reza; Lee, Alexandra; Lomax, Barry

    2017-04-01

    A major uncertainty in estimating energy budgets and population densities of extinct animals is the carrying capacity of their ecosystems, constrained by net primary productivity (NPP) and digestible energy content of that NPP. The hypothesis that increases in NPP of land plants due to elevated atmospheric CO2 contributed to the unparalleled size of the sauropods, the largest ever land animals, has recently been rejected, based on modern studies on herbivorous insects. However, the nutritional value of plants grown under elevated CO2 levels might be very different for vertebrate megaherbivores with more complex digestive systems and different protein:energy requirements than insects. Here we show that the metabolisable energy (ME) value of five species of potential dinosaur food plants does not decline consistently with increasing CO2 growth concentrations, with maxima observed at 1200 ppm CO2. Our data potentially rebut the hypothesis of constraints on herbivore diet quality in the Mesozoic due to CO2 levels.

  18. Two astroblems in Ukraine - witnesses of the last days of dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2017-05-01

    Moor then 65 million years ago an asteroid with a few kilometers in size with mass of 1 trillion tons created a crater Chicxulub with a diameter of 170 km on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Then the dinosaurs died out. The largest of Ukrainian astroblems is Manevichska, located in Volyn region. It has a diameter of 45 km and occurred about 65 million years ago too. In the central part of Ukraine on the border of Kirovograd and Cherkassy regions, there is Boltyshka astrobleme. The crater has diameter 25 km and depth of more than 1 km. Boltyshka crater also appeared more than 65 million years ago. These dating of the occurrence of astroblems indicates the close age of these two craters with formation of Chicxulub. If almost coinciding formation time of two or more impact structures, it is significantly increases the effect of impact on the environment and living beings.

  19. Elemental investigation on Spanish dinosaur bones by x-ray fluorescence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brunetti, Antonio; Golosio, Bruno; Stegel, Giovanni; Piga, Giampaolo; Lasio, Barbara; Oliva, Piernicola; Enzo, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we examine the chemical composition results obtained on a collection of 18 dinosaur fossil bones from Spain studied using a portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer together with a reverse Monte Carlo numerical technique of data analysis. This approach is applied to the hypothesis of arbitrarily rough surfaces in order to account for the influence of the surface state of specimens on the chemical content evaluation. It is confirmed that the chemical content of elements is essential for understanding the changes brought about by diagenetic and taphonomic processes. However, for precise knowledge of what changes fossil bones have undergone after animal life and burial, it is necessary to use a multi-technique approach making use of other instruments like x-ray diffraction in order to describe accurately the transformations undergone by the mineralogical and bioinorganic phases and the properties of specific molecular groups. (paper)

  20. Developmental and evolutionary novelty in the serrated teeth of theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brink, K S; Reisz, R R; LeBlanc, A R H; Chang, R S; Lee, Y C; Chiang, C C; Huang, T; Evans, D C

    2015-07-28

    Tooth morphology and development can provide valuable insights into the feeding behaviour and evolution of extinct organisms. The teeth of Theropoda, the only clade of predominantly predatory dinosaurs, are characterized by ziphodonty, the presence of serrations (denticles) on their cutting edges. Known today only in varanid lizards, ziphodonty is much more pervasive in the fossil record. Here we present the first model for the development of ziphodont teeth in theropods through histological, SEM, and SR-FTIR analyses, revealing that structures previously hypothesized to prevent tooth breakage instead first evolved to shape and maintain the characteristic denticles through the life of the tooth. We show that this novel complex of dental morphology and tissues characterizes Theropoda, with the exception of species with modified feeding behaviours, suggesting that these characters are important for facilitating the hypercarnivorous diet of most theropods. This adaptation may have played an important role in the initial radiation and subsequent success of theropods as terrestrial apex predators.

  1. A new dinosaur ichnotaxon from the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Weems, Robert E.; Lockley, Martin G.

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, numerous dinosaur footprints have been discovered on bedding surfaces within the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia. Among these, distinctive small tracks that display a combination of small manus with five digit impressions and a relatively much larger pes with four toe impressions evidently were made by animals belonging to the ornithischian family Hypsilophodontidae. These tracks differ from any ornithischian ichnotaxon previously described. We here name them Hypsiloichnus marylandicus and provide a description of their diagnostic characteristics. Although hypsilophodontid skeletal remains have not been found in the Patuxent, their skeletal remains are known from Lower Cretaceous strata of similar age in both western North America and Europe. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that an Early Cretaceous representative of this family also existed in eastern North America.

  2. Spectroscopic Analysis of a Theropod Dinosaur (Reptilia, Archosauria from the Ipubi Formation, Araripe Basin, Northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Hermínio da Silva

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Araripe Sedimentary Basin is known by the excellence of its fossils, regarding the preservation, diversity, and quantity. Here, we present a spectroscopic analysis using several experimental techniques (X-ray energy dispersion spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy as well as X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric analysis applied in small fragments of bones from the posterior members of a theropod dinosaur. The results agree regarding the different composition of the stone matrix and the fossilized bone, indicating a partial substitution of the material by elements present in the depositional environment. However, differently from what is believed to occur, there is evidence that pyritization is not the only mechanism of fossilization for a specimen of Ipubi formation, but calcification, additionally, plays an important role in the fossil production of this Formation.

  3. Disparities in correlating microstructural to nanostructural preservation of dinosaur femoral bones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jung-Kyun; Kwon, Yong-Eun; Lee, Sang-Gil; Lee, Ji-Hyun; Kim, Jin-Gyu; Huh, Min; Lee, Eunji; Kim, Youn-Joong

    2017-03-01

    Osteohistological researches on dinosaurs are well documented, but descriptions of direct correlations between the bone microstructure and corresponding nanostructure are currently lacking. By applying correlative microscopy, we aimed to verify that well-preserved osteohistological features correlate with pristine fossil bone nanostructures from the femoral bones of Koreanosaurus boseongensis. The quality of nanostructural preservation was evaluated based on the preferred orientation level of apatite crystals obtained from selected area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns and by measuring the “arcs” from the {100} and {002} diffraction rings. Unlike our expectations, our results revealed that well-preserved microstructures do not guarantee pristine nanostructures and vice versa. Structural preservation of bone from macro- to nanoscale primarily depends on original bioapatite density, and subsequent taphonomical factors such as effects from burial, pressure, influx of external elements and the rate of diagenetic alteration of apatite crystals. Our findings suggest that the efficient application of SAED analysis opens the opportunity for comprehensive nanostructural investigations of bone.

  4. The Predentary Bone and Its Significance in the Evolution of Feeding Mechanisms in Ornithischian Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabavizadeh, Ali; Weishampel, David B

    2016-10-01

    The characteristic predentary bone in ornithischian dinosaurs is a unique, unpaired element located at the midline of the mandibular symphysis. Although traditionally thought to only be a plant "nipping" bone, the true functional significance of this bone among feeding mechanisms of ornithischian dinosaurs is poorly known. Recent studies of a select few ornithischian genera have suggested rotation of the mandibular corpora around their long axes relative to their midline joint articulation with the predentary bone. This study aims to re-evaluate these hypotheses as well as provide in-depth qualitative comparative descriptions of predentary bone morphology in ornithischian genera throughout all subclades, including heterodontosaurids, thyreophorans, ornithopods, and marginocephalians. Descriptions evaluate overall shape of the predentary, its articular surfaces contacting the rostral ends of the dentaries, and the morphology of the rostral extent of the dentaries and their midline symphysis. Functionally relevant morphologies in each predentary morphotype are accentuated for further speculation of feeding mechanisms. Three predentary morphotypes are described throughout ornithischian subclades and each plays a unique role in feeding adaptations. Most notably, the predentary likely evolved as a midline axial point of the mandibular symphysis for simultaneous variable movement or rotation of the mandibular corpora in many, but not all, taxa. This simultaneous movement of the hemimandibles would have aided in feeding on both sides of the jaw at once. The function of the predentary as well as other jaw adaptations is discussed for genera throughout all subclades, focusing on both general shape and joint morphology. Anat Rec, 299:1358-1388, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Dinosaur bone beds and mass mortality: Implications for the K-T extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Kenneth

    1988-01-01

    Mass accumulations of fossilized large terrestrial vertebrate skeletons (bone beds: BB) provide a test for K-T catastrophic extinction hypotheses. The two major factors contributing to BB formation are mode of death and sedimentation rate. Catastrophic mass mortality (CMM) is the sudden death of numerous individuals where species, age, health, gender, or social ranking offer no survivorship advantage. Noncatastrophic mass mortality (NCMM) occurs over time and is strongly influenced by species, age, or gender. In addition to cause of death, sedimentation rate is also important in BB formation. Models of BBs can be made. The CMM drops all individuals in their tracks, therefore, the BB should reflect the living population with respect to species, age, or gender. The NCMM results in monospecific BBs skewed in the direction of the less fit, usually the very young or very old, or towards a specific gender. The NCMM and AM BBs may become more similar the more spread out over time NCMM deaths occur because carcasses are widely scattered requiring hydraulic accumulation, and the greater time allows for more disarticulation and weathering. The CMM and NCMM BB appear to be dominated by social animals. Applying this and the characteristics of mortality patterns to the uppermost Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation indicates that only NCMM and AM BB occur. Furthermore, NCMM BB are rare in the upper third of the Hell Creek. Near the K-T boundary, only AM BB are known. The absence of CMM and NCMM BB appears to be real reflecting a decrease in population levels of some dinosaurs prior to the K-T event. The absence of CMM suggests that the K-T event did not lead to an instantaneous extinction of dinosaurs. Nor was there a protracted die-off due to an asteroid impact winter, because no NCMM BB are known at or near the K-T boundary.

  6. Seasonal bone growth and physiology in endotherms shed light on dinosaur physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, Meike; Marín-Moratalla, Nekane; Jordana, Xavier; Aanes, Ronny

    2012-07-19

    Cyclical growth leaves marks in bone tissue that are in the forefront of discussions about physiologies of extinct vertebrates. Ectotherms show pronounced annual cycles of growth arrest that correlate with a decrease in body temperature and metabolic rate; endotherms are assumed to grow continuously until they attain maturity because of their constant high body temperature and sustained metabolic rate. This apparent dichotomy has driven the argument that zonal bone denotes ectotherm-like physiologies, thus fuelling the controversy on dinosaur thermophysiology and the evolution of endothermy in birds and mammal-like reptiles. Here we show, from a comprehensive global study of wild ruminants from tropical to polar environments, that cyclical growth is a universal trait of homoeothermic endotherms. Growth is arrested during the unfavourable season concurrently with decreases in body temperature, metabolic rate and bone-growth-mediating plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 levels, forming part of a plesiomorphic thermometabolic strategy for energy conservation. Conversely, bouts of intense tissue growth coincide with peak metabolic rates and correlated hormonal changes at the beginning of the favourable season, indicating an increased efficiency in acquiring and using seasonal resources. Our study supplies the strongest evidence so far that homeothermic endotherms arrest growth seasonally, which precludes the use of lines of arrested growth as an argument in support of ectothermy. However, high growth rates are a distinctive trait of mammals, suggesting the capacity for endogenous heat generation. The ruminant annual cycle provides an extant model on which to base inferences regarding the thermophysiology of dinosaurs and other extinct taxa.

  7. A new Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem from Gondwana with the description of a new sauropod dinosaur

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge O. Calvo

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available A unique site at the northern area of Patagonia (Neuquén, Argentina reveals a terrestrial ecosystem preserved in a detail never reported before in a Late Cretaceous deposit. An extraordinary diversity and abundance of fossils was found concentrated in a 0.5 m horizon in the same quarry, including a new titanosaur sauropod, Futalognkosaurus dukei n.gen., n.sp, which is the most complete giant dinosaur known so far. Several plant leaves, showing a predominance of angiosperms over gymnosperms that likely constituted the diet of F. dukei were found too. Other dinosaurs (sauropods, theropods, ornithopods, crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, and fishes were also discovered, allowing a partial reconstruction of this Gondwanan continental ecosystem.Um depósito fóssil na região norte da Patagônia (Neuquén, Argentina revela um ecossistema nunca antes registrado a este nível de detalhes em depósitos do Cretáceo Superior. Uma diversidade e abundância extraordinária de fósseis encontra-se concentrada em uma camada de 0,5 m no mesmo sítio, incluindo um novo saurópodo titanossaurídeo, Futalognkosaurus dukei n. gen, n. sp., que é o mais completo dinossauro gigante encontrado até a presente data. Foram descobertas váriasfolhas de plantas indicando a predominância de angiospermas sobre gimnospermas que possivelmente formavam a base da dieta de F. dukei. Outros dinossauros (saurópodes, terópodes, ornitópodes, crocodilomorfos, pterossauros e peixes foram também encontrados possibilitando a reconstrução parcialdeste ecossistema continental do Gondwana.

  8. Predation upon hatchling dinosaurs by a new snake from the late Cretaceous of India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Wilson

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Derived large-mouthed snakes (macrostomatans possess numerous specializations in their skull and lower jaws that allow them to consume large vertebrate prey. In contrast, basal snakes lack these adaptations and feed primarily on small prey items. The sequence of osteological and behavioral modifications involved in the evolution of the macrostomatan condition has remained an open question because of disagreement about the origin and interrelationships of snakes, the paucity of well-preserved early snake fossils on many continental landmasses, and the lack of information about the feeding ecology of early snakes. We report on a partial skeleton of a new 3.5-m-long snake, Sanajeh indicus gen. et sp. nov., recovered from Upper Cretaceous rocks of western India. S. indicus was fossilized in association with a sauropod dinosaur egg clutch, coiled around an egg and adjacent to the remains of a ca. 0.5-m-long hatchling. Multiple snake-egg associations at the site strongly suggest that S. indicus frequented nesting grounds and preyed on hatchling sauropods. We interpret this pattern as "ethofossil" preservation of feeding behavior. S. indicus lacks specializations of modern egg-eaters and of macrostomatans, and skull and vertebral synapomorphies place it in an intermediate position in snake phylogeny. Sanajeh and its large-bodied madtsoiid sister taxa Yurlunggur camfieldensis and Wonambi naracoortensis from the Neogene of Australia show specializations for intraoral prey transport but lack the adaptations for wide gape that characterize living macrostomatan snakes. The Dholi Dungri fossils are the second definitive association between sauropod eggs and embryonic or hatchling remains. New fossils from western India provide direct evidence of feeding ecology in a Mesozoic snake and demonstrate predation risks for hatchling sauropod dinosaurs. Our results suggest that large body size and jaw mobility afforded some non-macrostomatan snakes a greater

  9. Diverse dinosaur-dominated ichnofaunas from the Potomac Group (Lower Cretaceous) Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Lockley, Martin G.; Weems, Robert E.

    2007-01-01

    Until recently fossil footprints were virtually unknown from the Cretaceous of the eastern United States. The discovery of about 300 footprints in iron-rich siliciclastic facies of the Patuxent Formation (Potomac Group) of Aptian age is undoubtedly one of the most significant Early Cretaceous track discoveries since the Paluxy track discoveries in Texas in the 1930s. The Patuxent tracks include theropod, sauropod, ankylosaur and ornithopod dinosaur footprints, pterosaur tracks, and miscellaneous mammal and other vertebrate ichnites that collectively suggest a diversity of about 14 morphotypes. This is about twice the previous maximum estimate for any known Early Cretaceous vertebrate ichnofauna. Among the more distinctive forms are excellent examples of hypsilophodontid tracks and a surprisingly large mammal footprint. A remarkable feature of the Patuxent track assemblage is the high proportion of small tracks indicative of hatchlings, independently verified by the discovery of a hatchling-sized dinosaur. Such evidence suggests the proximity of nest sites. The preservation of such small tracks is very rare in the Cretaceous track record, and indeed throughout most of the Mesozoic.This unusual preservation not only provides us with a window into a diverse Early Cretaceous ecosystem, but it also suggests the potential of such facies to provide ichnological bonanzas. A remarkable feature of the assemblage is that it consists largely of reworked nodules and clasts that may have previously been reworked within the Patuxent Formation. Such unusual contexts of preservation should provide intriguing research opportunities for sedimentologists interested in the diagenesis and taphonomy of a unique track-bearing facies.

  10. Palaeoenvironmental drivers of vertebrate community composition in the Belly River Group (Campanian) of Alberta, Canada, with implications for dinosaur biogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen, Thomas M; Evans, David C

    2016-11-15

    The Belly River Group of southern Alberta is one of the best-sampled Late Cretaceous terrestrial faunal assemblages in the world. This system provides a high-resolution biostratigraphic record of terrestrial vertebrate diversity and faunal turnover, and it has considerable potential to be a model system for testing hypotheses of dinosaur palaeoecological dynamics, including important aspects of palaeoecommunity structure, trophic interactions, and responses to environmental change. Vertebrate fossil microsites (assemblages of small bones and teeth concentrated together over a relatively short time and thought to be representative of community composition) offer an unparalleled dataset to better test these hypotheses by ameliorating problems of sample size, geography, and chronostratigraphic control that hamper other palaeoecological analyses. Here, we assembled a comprehensive relative abundance dataset of microsites sampled from the entire Belly River Group and performed a series of analyses to test the influence of environmental factors on site and taxon clustering, and assess the stability of faunal assemblages both temporally and spatially. We also test the long-held idea that populations of large dinosaur taxa were particularly sensitive to small-scale environmental gradients, such as the paralic (coastal) to alluvial (inland) regimes present within the time-equivalent depositional basin of the upper Oldman and lower Dinosaur Park Formations. Palaeoenvironment (i.e. reconstructed environmental conditions, related to relative amount of alluvial, fluvial, and coastal influence in associated sedimentary strata) was found to be strongly associated with clustering of sites by relative-abundance faunal assemblages, particularly in relation to changes in faunal assemblage composition and marine-terrestrial environmental transitions. Palaeogeography/palaeolandscape were moderately associated to site relative abundance assemblage clustering, with depositional setting

  11. Existence, Multiplicity, and Stability of Positive Solutions of a Predator-Prey Model with Dinosaur Functional Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaozhou Feng

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the property of positive solutions of a predator-prey model with Dinosaur functional response under Dirichlet boundary conditions. Firstly, using the comparison principle and fixed point index theory, the sufficient conditions and necessary conditions on coexistence of positive solutions of a predator-prey model with Dinosaur functional response are established. Secondly, by virtue of bifurcation theory, perturbation theory of eigenvalues, and the fixed point index theory, we establish the bifurcation of positive solutions of the model and obtain the stability and multiplicity of the positive solution under certain conditions. Furthermore, the local uniqueness result is studied when b and d are small enough. Finally, we investigate the multiplicity, uniqueness, and stability of positive solutions when k>0 is sufficiently large.

  12. Dinosaur incubation periods directly determined from growth-line counts in embryonic teeth show reptilian-grade development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Gregory M; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Kay, David Ian; Norell, Mark A

    2017-01-17

    Birds stand out from other egg-laying amniotes by producing relatively small numbers of large eggs with very short incubation periods (average 11-85 d). This aspect promotes high survivorship by limiting exposure to predation and environmental perturbation, allows for larger more fit young, and facilitates rapid attainment of adult size. Birds are living dinosaurs; their rapid development has been considered to reflect the primitive dinosaurian condition. Here, nonavian dinosaurian incubation periods in both small and large ornithischian taxa are empirically determined through growth-line counts in embryonic teeth. Our results show unexpectedly slow incubation (2.8 and 5.8 mo) like those of outgroup reptiles. Developmental and physiological constraints would have rendered tooth formation and incubation inherently slow in other dinosaur lineages and basal birds. The capacity to determine incubation periods in extinct egg-laying amniotes has implications for dinosaurian embryology, life history strategies, and survivorship across the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event.

  13. Testing the Hypothesis of Biofilm as a Source for Soft Tissue and Cell-Like Structures Preserved in Dinosaur Bone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Higby Schweitzer

    Full Text Available Recovery of still-soft tissue structures, including blood vessels and osteocytes, from dinosaur bone after demineralization was reported in 2005 and in subsequent publications. Despite multiple lines of evidence supporting an endogenous source, it was proposed that these structures arose from contamination from biofilm-forming organisms. To test the hypothesis that soft tissue structures result from microbial invasion of the fossil bone, we used two different biofilm-forming microorganisms to inoculate modern bone fragments from which organic components had been removed. We show fundamental morphological, chemical and textural differences between the resultant biofilm structures and those derived from dinosaur bone. The data do not support the hypothesis that biofilm-forming microorganisms are the source of these structures.

  14. Testing the Hypothesis of Biofilm as a Source for Soft Tissue and Cell-Like Structures Preserved in Dinosaur Bone

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Recovery of still-soft tissue structures, including blood vessels and osteocytes, from dinosaur bone after demineralization was reported in 2005 and in subsequent publications. Despite multiple lines of evidence supporting an endogenous source, it was proposed that these structures arose from contamination from biofilm-forming organisms. To test the hypothesis that soft tissue structures result from microbial invasion of the fossil bone, we used two different biofilm-forming microorganisms to inoculate modern bone fragments from which organic components had been removed. We show fundamental morphological, chemical and textural differences between the resultant biofilm structures and those derived from dinosaur bone. The data do not support the hypothesis that biofilm-forming microorganisms are the source of these structures. PMID:26926069

  15. A New Basal Hadrosauroid Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Northeastern Thailand

    OpenAIRE

    Shibata, Masateru; Jintasakul, Pratueng; Azuma, Yoichi; You, Hai-Lu

    2015-01-01

    A new basal hadrosauroid dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation of Thailand, Sirindhorna khoratensis gen. et sp. nov is described. The new taxon is based on composite skull and mandible including premaxilla, maxilla, jugal, quadrate, braincases, predentary, dentaries, surangular, and maxillary and dentary teeth. It is diagnostic by such characters as, sagittal crest extending along entire dorsal surface of the parietal and reaching the frontoparietal suture (autapomorphy), tr...

  16. The effect of intervertebral cartilage on neutral posture and range of motion in the necks of sauropod dinosaurs

    OpenAIRE

    Taylor, Michael P; Wedel, Mathew J.

    2013-01-01

    The necks of sauropod dinosaurs were a key factor in their evolution. The habitual posture and range of motion of these necks has been controversial, and computer-aided studies have argued for an obligatory sub-horizontal pose. However, such studies are compromised by their failure to take into account the important role of intervertebral cartilage. This cartilage takes very different forms in different animals. Mammals and crocodilians have intervertebral discs, while birds have synovial joi...

  17. Euoplocephalus tutus and the diversity of ankylosaurid dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada, and Montana, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria M Arbour

    Full Text Available Few ankylosaurs are known from more than a single specimen, but the ankylosaurid Euoplocephalus tutus (from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada and Montana, USA is represented by dozens of skulls and partial skeletons, and is therefore an important taxon for understanding intraspecific variation in ankylosaurs. Euoplocephalus is unusual compared to other dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta because it is recognized from the Dinosaur Park, Horseshoe Canyon, and Two Medicine formations. A comprehensive review of material attributed to Euoplocephalus finds support for the resurrection of its purported synonyms Anodontosaurus lambei and Scolosaurus cutleri, and the previously resurrected Dyoplosaurus acutosquameus. Anodontosaurus is found primarily in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation of Alberta and is characterized by ornamentation posterior to the orbits and on the first cervical half ring, and wide, triangular knob osteoderms. Euoplocephalus is primarily found in Megaherbivore Assemblage Zone 1 in the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta and is characterized by the absence of ornamentation posterior to the orbits and on the first cervical half ring, and keeled medial osteoderms on the first cervical half ring. Scolosaurus is found primarily in the Two Medicine Formation of Montana (although the holotype is from Dinosaur Provincial Park, and is characterized by long, back-swept squamosal horns, ornamentation posterior to the orbit, and low medial osteoderms on the first cervical half ring; Oohkotokia horneri is morphologically indistinguishable from Scolosaurus cutleri. Dyoplosaurus was previously differentiated from Euoplocephalus sensu lato by the morphology of the pelvis and pes, and these features also differentiate Dyoplosaurus from Anodontosaurus and Scolosaurus; a narrow tail club knob is probably also characteristic for Dyoplosaurus.

  18. What lies beneath: sub-articular long bone shape scaling in eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs suggests different locomotor adaptations for gigantism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnan, Matthew F; Wilhite, D Ray; Masters, Simon L; Yates, Adam M; Gardner, Christine K; Aguiar, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs both evolved lineages of huge terrestrial herbivores. Although significantly more saurischian dinosaurs were giants than eutherians, the long bones of both taxa scale similarly and suggest that locomotion was dynamically similar. However, articular cartilage is thin in eutherian mammals but thick in saurischian dinosaurs, differences that could have contributed to, or limited, how frequently gigantism evolved. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that sub-articular bone, which supports the articular cartilage, changes shape in different ways between terrestrial mammals and dinosaurs with increasing size. Our sample consisted of giant mammal and reptile taxa (i.e., elephants, rhinos, sauropods) plus erect and non-erect outgroups with thin and thick articular cartilage. Our results show that eutherian mammal sub-articular shape becomes narrow with well-defined surface features as size increases. In contrast, this region in saurischian dinosaurs expands and remains gently convex with increasing size. Similar trends were observed in non-erect outgroup taxa (monotremes, alligators), showing that the trends we report are posture-independent. These differences support our hypothesis that sub-articular shape scales differently between eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs. Our results show that articular cartilage thickness and sub-articular shape are correlated. In mammals, joints become ever more congruent and thinner with increasing size, whereas archosaur joints remained both congruent and thick, especially in sauropods. We suggest that gigantism occurs less frequently in mammals, in part, because joints composed of thin articular cartilage can only become so congruent before stress cannot be effectively alleviated. In contrast, frequent gigantism in saurischian dinosaurs may be explained, in part, by joints with thick articular cartilage that can deform across large areas with increasing load.

  19. What lies beneath: sub-articular long bone shape scaling in eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs suggests different locomotor adaptations for gigantism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew F Bonnan

    Full Text Available Eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs both evolved lineages of huge terrestrial herbivores. Although significantly more saurischian dinosaurs were giants than eutherians, the long bones of both taxa scale similarly and suggest that locomotion was dynamically similar. However, articular cartilage is thin in eutherian mammals but thick in saurischian dinosaurs, differences that could have contributed to, or limited, how frequently gigantism evolved. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that sub-articular bone, which supports the articular cartilage, changes shape in different ways between terrestrial mammals and dinosaurs with increasing size. Our sample consisted of giant mammal and reptile taxa (i.e., elephants, rhinos, sauropods plus erect and non-erect outgroups with thin and thick articular cartilage. Our results show that eutherian mammal sub-articular shape becomes narrow with well-defined surface features as size increases. In contrast, this region in saurischian dinosaurs expands and remains gently convex with increasing size. Similar trends were observed in non-erect outgroup taxa (monotremes, alligators, showing that the trends we report are posture-independent. These differences support our hypothesis that sub-articular shape scales differently between eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs. Our results show that articular cartilage thickness and sub-articular shape are correlated. In mammals, joints become ever more congruent and thinner with increasing size, whereas archosaur joints remained both congruent and thick, especially in sauropods. We suggest that gigantism occurs less frequently in mammals, in part, because joints composed of thin articular cartilage can only become so congruent before stress cannot be effectively alleviated. In contrast, frequent gigantism in saurischian dinosaurs may be explained, in part, by joints with thick articular cartilage that can deform across large areas with increasing load.

  20. Review: The Great Gatsby

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonia de Jesus Sales

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A presente resenha busca discutir a tradução de The Great Gatsby para o contexto brasileiro. Diversas traduções foram feitas, em diversas épocas e com repercussão positiva no contexto brasileiro. Para o presente estudo, foi observada a tradução de Vanessa Bárbara, de 2011. Nesse sentido, o aspecto biográficos do autor e a forma como se apresentam os personagens na obra são fatores de cotejamento na obra original e na tradução brasileira. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896 – 1940 é famoso por ter em suas obras traços biográficos, algo que certamente influencia o leitor que adentra a sua obra. Quanto à recepção de O Grande Gatsby no contexto brasileiro, há que se considerar que O Grande Gatsby teve diversas traduções no Brasil. Depois dessa tradução de Vanessa Bárbara, em 2011, outras três vieram em 2013, juntamente com o filme. Há que considerar os aspectos comerciais embutidos nessas traduções e que muito corroboram para o resultado final. Prova disso são as capas, que são sempre diferenciadas em cada edição lançada. O tradutor nem sempre pode opinar sobre questões como estas. A tradução, a meu ver, é uma obra de qualidade, visto que a tradutora buscou ser fiel, sem dificultar a interpretação da obra para o leitor.

  1. Review: The Great Gatsby

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonia de Jesus Sales

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available A presente resenha busca discutir a tradução de The Great Gatsby para o contexto brasileiro. Diversas traduções foram feitas, em diversas épocas e com repercussão positiva no contexto brasileiro. Para o presente estudo, foi observada a tradução de Vanessa Bárbara, de 2011. Nesse sentido, o aspecto biográficos do autor e a forma como se apresentam os personagens na obra são fatores de cotejamento na obra original e na tradução brasileira. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896 – 1940 é famoso por ter em suas obras traços biográficos, algo que certamente influencia o leitor que adentra a sua obra. Quanto à recepção de O Grande Gatsby no contexto brasileiro, há que se considerar que O Grande Gatsby teve diversas traduções no Brasil. Depois dessa tradução de Vanessa Bárbara, em 2011, outras três vieram em 2013, juntamente com o filme. Há que considerar os aspectos comerciais embutidos nessas traduções e que muito corroboram para o resultado final. Prova disso são as capas, que são sempre diferenciadas em cada edição lançada. O tradutor nem sempre pode opinar sobre questões como estas. A tradução, a meu ver, é uma obra de qualidade, visto que a tradutora buscou ser fiel, sem dificultar a interpretação da obra para o leitor.

  2. Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Timothy B.; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Reisz, Robert R.

    2011-01-01

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America until the Early Jurassic, reframing the temporal context of their arrival. We describe a new taxon from the Kayenta Formation of Arizona that comprises the third diagnosable sauropodomorph from the Early Jurassic of North America. We analysed its relationships to test whether sauropodomorphs reached North America in a single sweepstakes event or in separate dispersals. Our finding of separate arrivals by all three taxa suggests dispersal as a chief factor in dinosaurian diversification during at least the early Mesozoic. It questions whether a ‘cosmopolitan’ dinosaur fauna ever existed, and corroborates that vicariance, extinction and dispersal did not operate uniformly in time or under uniform conditions during the Mesozoic. Their relative importance is best measured in narrow time slices and circumscribed geographical regions. PMID:20926438

  3. Quantitative analysis of dental microwear in hadrosaurid dinosaurs, and the implications for hypotheses of jaw mechanics and feeding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Vincent S.; Barrett, Paul M.; Purnell, Mark A.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the feeding mechanisms and diet of nonavian dinosaurs is fundamental to understanding the paleobiology of these taxa and their role in Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems. Various methods, including biomechanical analysis and 3D computer modeling, have been used to generate detailed functional hypotheses, but in the absence of either direct observations of dinosaur feeding behavior, or close living functional analogues, testing these hypotheses is problematic. Microscopic scratches that form on teeth in vivo during feeding are known to record the relative motion of the tooth rows to each other during feeding and to capture evidence of tooth–food interactions. Analysis of this dental microwear provides a powerful tool for testing hypotheses of jaw mechanics, diet, and trophic niche; yet, quantitative analysis of microwear in dinosaurs has not been attempted. Here, we show that analysis of tooth microwear orientation provides direct evidence for the relative motions of jaws during feeding in hadrosaurid ornithopods, the dominant terrestrial herbivores of the Late Cretaceous. Statistical testing demonstrates that Edmontosaurus teeth preserve 4 distinct sets of scratches in different orientations. In terms of jaw mechanics, these data indicate an isognathic, near-vertical posterodorsal power stroke during feeding; near-vertical jaw opening; and propalinal movements in near anterior and near posterior directions. Our analysis supports the presence of a pleurokinetic hinge, and the straightness and parallelism of scratches indicate a tightly controlled occlusion. The dominance of scratched microwear fabrics suggests that Edmontosaurus was a grazer rather than a browser. PMID:19564603

  4. Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Timothy B; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Reisz, Robert R

    2011-04-07

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America until the Early Jurassic, reframing the temporal context of their arrival. We describe a new taxon from the Kayenta Formation of Arizona that comprises the third diagnosable sauropodomorph from the Early Jurassic of North America. We analysed its relationships to test whether sauropodomorphs reached North America in a single sweepstakes event or in separate dispersals. Our finding of separate arrivals by all three taxa suggests dispersal as a chief factor in dinosaurian diversification during at least the early Mesozoic. It questions whether a 'cosmopolitan' dinosaur fauna ever existed, and corroborates that vicariance, extinction and dispersal did not operate uniformly in time or under uniform conditions during the Mesozoic. Their relative importance is best measured in narrow time slices and circumscribed geographical regions.

  5. Preliminary analysis of osteocyte lacunar density in long bones of tetrapods: all measures are bigger in sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Koen W H; Werner, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Osteocytes harbour much potential for paleobiological studies. Synchrotron radiation and spectroscopic analyses are providing fascinating data on osteocyte density, size and orientation in fossil taxa. However, such studies may be costly and time consuming. Here we describe an uncomplicated and inexpensive method to measure osteocyte lacunar densities in bone thin sections. We report on cell lacunar densities in the long bones of various extant and extinct tetrapods, with a focus on sauropodomorph dinosaurs, and how lacunar densities can help us understand bone formation rates in the iconic sauropod dinosaurs. Ordinary least square and phylogenetic generalized least square regressions suggest that sauropodomorphs have lacunar densities higher than scaled up or comparably sized mammals. We also found normal mammalian-like osteocyte densities for the extinct bovid Myotragus, questioning its crocodilian-like physiology. When accounting for body mass effects and phylogeny, growth rates are a main factor determining the density of the lacunocanalicular network. However, functional aspects most likely play an important role as well. Observed differences in cell strategies between mammals and dinosaurs likely illustrate the convergent nature of fast growing bone tissues in these groups.

  6. Probabilistic divergence time estimation without branch lengths: dating the origins of dinosaurs, avian flight and crown birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, G T; Bapst, D W; Friedman, M; Davis, K E

    2016-11-01

    Branch lengths-measured in character changes-are an essential requirement of clock-based divergence estimation, regardless of whether the fossil calibrations used represent nodes or tips. However, a separate set of divergence time approaches are typically used to date palaeontological trees, which may lack such branch lengths. Among these methods, sophisticated probabilistic approaches have recently emerged, in contrast with simpler algorithms relying on minimum node ages. Here, using a novel phylogenetic hypothesis for Mesozoic dinosaurs, we apply two such approaches to estimate divergence times for: (i) Dinosauria, (ii) Avialae (the earliest birds) and (iii) Neornithes (crown birds). We find: (i) the plausibility of a Permian origin for dinosaurs to be dependent on whether Nyasasaurus is the oldest dinosaur, (ii) a Middle to Late Jurassic origin of avian flight regardless of whether Archaeopteryx or Aurornis is considered the first bird and (iii) a Late Cretaceous origin for Neornithes that is broadly congruent with other node- and tip-dating estimates. Demonstrating the feasibility of probabilistic time-scaling further opens up divergence estimation to the rich histories of extinct biodiversity in the fossil record, even in the absence of detailed character data. © 2016 The Authors.

  7. Record-Breaking Pain: The Largest Number and Variety of Forelimb Bone Maladies in a Theropod Dinosaur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phil Senter

    Full Text Available Bone abnormalities are common in theropod dinosaur skeletons, but before now no specimen was known with more than four afflicted bones of the pectoral girdle and/or forelimb. Here we describe the pathology of a specimen of the theropod dinosaur Dilophosaurus wetherilli with eight afflicted bones of the pectoral girdle and forelimb. On its left side the animal has a fractured scapula and radius and large fibriscesses in the ulna and the proximal thumb phalanx. On its right side the animal has abnormal torsion of the humeral shaft, bony tumors on the radius, a truncated distal articular surface of metacarpal III, and angular deformities of the first phalanx of the third finger. Healing and remodeling indicates that the animal survived for months and possibly years after its ailments began, but its right third finger was permanently deformed and lacked the capability of flexion. The deformities of the humerus and the right third finger may be due to developmental osteodysplasia, a condition known in extant birds but unreported in non-avian dinosaurs before now.

  8. Preliminary analysis of osteocyte lacunar density in long bones of tetrapods: all measures are bigger in sauropod dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koen W H Stein

    Full Text Available Osteocytes harbour much potential for paleobiological studies. Synchrotron radiation and spectroscopic analyses are providing fascinating data on osteocyte density, size and orientation in fossil taxa. However, such studies may be costly and time consuming. Here we describe an uncomplicated and inexpensive method to measure osteocyte lacunar densities in bone thin sections. We report on cell lacunar densities in the long bones of various extant and extinct tetrapods, with a focus on sauropodomorph dinosaurs, and how lacunar densities can help us understand bone formation rates in the iconic sauropod dinosaurs. Ordinary least square and phylogenetic generalized least square regressions suggest that sauropodomorphs have lacunar densities higher than scaled up or comparably sized mammals. We also found normal mammalian-like osteocyte densities for the extinct bovid Myotragus, questioning its crocodilian-like physiology. When accounting for body mass effects and phylogeny, growth rates are a main factor determining the density of the lacunocanalicular network. However, functional aspects most likely play an important role as well. Observed differences in cell strategies between mammals and dinosaurs likely illustrate the convergent nature of fast growing bone tissues in these groups.

  9. Record-Breaking Pain: The Largest Number and Variety of Forelimb Bone Maladies in a Theropod Dinosaur.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senter, Phil; Juengst, Sara L

    2016-01-01

    Bone abnormalities are common in theropod dinosaur skeletons, but before now no specimen was known with more than four afflicted bones of the pectoral girdle and/or forelimb. Here we describe the pathology of a specimen of the theropod dinosaur Dilophosaurus wetherilli with eight afflicted bones of the pectoral girdle and forelimb. On its left side the animal has a fractured scapula and radius and large fibriscesses in the ulna and the proximal thumb phalanx. On its right side the animal has abnormal torsion of the humeral shaft, bony tumors on the radius, a truncated distal articular surface of metacarpal III, and angular deformities of the first phalanx of the third finger. Healing and remodeling indicates that the animal survived for months and possibly years after its ailments began, but its right third finger was permanently deformed and lacked the capability of flexion. The deformities of the humerus and the right third finger may be due to developmental osteodysplasia, a condition known in extant birds but unreported in non-avian dinosaurs before now.

  10. Great Lakes Environmental Database (GLENDA)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Great Lakes Environmental Database (GLENDA) houses environmental data on a wide variety of constituents in water, biota, sediment, and air in the Great Lakes area.

  11. Cosmological dinosaurs

    OpenAIRE

    Dubrovich, V. K.; Glazyrin, S. I.

    2012-01-01

    The hypothesis of existence of primordial black holes with large masses (\\geq 10^6 M\\odot), formed at the earliest stages of the Universe evolution, is considered in the paper. The possibility does not contradict some theories, see e.g. Barkana & Loeb (2001), and may match new observational data. In particular, this scenario of evolution could describe some peculiarities in distant galaxies and quasars. Calculations of evolution of central body mass in protogalaxies for different initial cond...

  12. The evolution of the manus of early theropod dinosaurs is characterized by high inter- and intraspecific variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel E; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Norell, Mark A

    2018-01-01

    The origin of the avian hand, with its reduced and fused carpals and digits, from the five-fingered hands and complex wrists of early dinosaurs represents one of the major transformations of manus morphology among tetrapods. Much attention has been directed to the later part of this transition, from four- to three-fingered taxa. However, earlier anatomical changes may have influenced these later modifications, possibly paving the way for a later frameshift in digit identities. We investigate the five- to four-fingered transition among early dinosaurs, along with changes in carpus morphology. New three-dimensional reconstructions from computed tomography data of the manus of the Triassic and Early Jurassic theropod dinosaurs Coelophysis bauri and Megapnosaurus rhodesiensis are described and compared intra- and interspecifically. Several novel findings emerge from these reconstructions and comparisons, including the first evidence of an ossified centrale and a free intermedium in some C. bauri specimens, as well as confirmation of the presence of a vestigial fifth metacarpal in this taxon. Additionally, a specimen of C. bauri and an unnamed coelophysoid from the Upper Triassic Hayden Quarry, New Mexico, are to our knowledge the only theropods (other than alvarezsaurs and birds) in which all of the distal carpals are completely fused together into a single unit. Several differences between the manus of C. bauri and M. rhodesiensis are also identified. We review the evolution of the archosauromorph manus more broadly in light of these new data, and caution against incorporating carpal characters in phylogenetic analyses of fine-scale relationships of Archosauromorpha, in light of the high degree of observed polymorphism in taxa for which large sample sizes are available, such as the theropod Coelophysis and the sauropodomorph Plateosaurus. We also find that the reduction of the carpus and ultimate loss of the fourth and fifth digits among early dinosaurs did not

  13. A Re-Evaluation of the Chasmosaurine Ceratopsid Genus Chasmosaurus (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Dinosaur Park Formation of Western Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, James A; Ryan, Michael J; Holmes, Robert B; Schröder-Adams, Claudia J

    2016-01-01

    The chasmosaurine ceratopsid Chasmosaurus is known from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Dinosaur Park Formation of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Two valid species, Chasmosaurus belli and C. russelli, have been diagnosed by differences in cranial ornamentation. Their validity has been supported, in part, by the reported stratigraphic segregation of chasmosaurines in the Dinosaur Park Formation, with C. belli and C. russelli occurring in discrete, successive zones within the formation. An analysis of every potentially taxonomically informative chasmosaurine specimen from the Dinosaur Park Formation indicates that C. belli and C. russelli have indistinguishable ontogenetic histories and overlapping stratigraphic intervals. Neither taxon exhibits autapomorphies, nor a unique set of apomorphies, but they can be separated and diagnosed by a single phylogenetically informative character-the embayment angle formed by the posterior parietal bars relative to the parietal midline. Although relatively deeply embayed specimens (C. russelli) generally have relatively longer postorbital horncores than specimens with more shallow embayments (C. belli), neither this horncore character nor epiparietal morphology can be used to consistently distinguish every specimen of C. belli from C. russelli. Kosmoceratops is purportedly represented in the Dinosaur Park Formation by a specimen previously referred to Chasmosaurus. The reassignment of this specimen to Kosmoceratops is unsupported here, as it is based on features that are either influenced by taphonomy or within the realm of individual variation for Chasmosaurus. Therefore, we conclude that Kosmoceratops is not present in the Dinosaur Park Formation, but is instead restricted to southern Laramidia, as originally posited.

  14. Ontogeny in the tube-crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus (Hadrosauridae and heterochrony in hadrosaurids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew A. Farke

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The tube-crested hadrosaurid dinosaur Parasaurolophus is remarkable for its unusual cranial ornamentation, but little is known about its growth and development, particularly relative to well-documented ontogenetic series for lambeosaurin hadrosaurids (such as Corythosaurus, Lambeosaurus, and Hypacrosaurus. The skull and skeleton of a juvenile Parasaurolophus from the late Campanian-aged (∼75.5 Ma Kaiparowits Formation of southern Utah, USA, represents the smallest and most complete specimen yet described for this taxon. The individual was approximately 2.5 m in body length (∼25% maximum adult body length at death, with a skull measuring 246 mm long and a femur 329 mm long. A histological section of the tibia shows well-vascularized, woven and parallel-fibered primary cortical bone typical of juvenile ornithopods. The histological section revealed no lines of arrested growth or annuli, suggesting the animal may have still been in its first year at the time of death. Impressions of the upper rhamphotheca are preserved in association with the skull, showing that the soft tissue component for the beak extended for some distance beyond the limits of the oral margin of the premaxilla. In marked contrast with the lengthy tube-like crest in adult Parasaurolophus, the crest of the juvenile specimen is low and hemicircular in profile, with an open premaxilla-nasal fontanelle. Unlike juvenile lambeosaurins, the nasal passages occupy nearly the entirety of the crest in juvenile Parasaurolophus. Furthermore, Parasaurolophus initiated development of the crest at less than 25% maximum skull size, contrasting with 50% of maximum skull size in hadrosaurs such as Corythosaurus. This early development may correspond with the larger and more derived form of the crest in Parasaurolophus, as well as the close relationship between the crest and the respiratory system. In general, ornithischian dinosaurs formed bony cranial ornamentation at a relatively younger age

  15. Air-filled postcranial bones in theropod dinosaurs: physiological implications and the 'reptile'-bird transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Butler, Richard J; Carrano, Matthew T; O'Connor, Patrick M

    2012-02-01

    Pneumatic (air-filled) postcranial bones are unique to birds among extant tetrapods. Unambiguous skeletal correlates of postcranial pneumaticity first appeared in the Late Triassic (approximately 210 million years ago), when they evolved independently in several groups of bird-line archosaurs (ornithodirans). These include the theropod dinosaurs (of which birds are extant representatives), the pterosaurs, and sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Postulated functions of skeletal pneumatisation include weight reduction in large-bodied or flying taxa, and density reduction resulting in energetic savings during foraging and locomotion. However, the influence of these hypotheses on the early evolution of pneumaticity has not been studied in detail previously. We review recent work on the significance of pneumaticity for understanding the biology of extinct ornithodirans, and present detailed new data on the proportion of the skeleton that was pneumatised in 131 non-avian theropods and Archaeopteryx. This includes all taxa known from significant postcranial remains. Pneumaticity of the cervical and anterior dorsal vertebrae occurred early in theropod evolution. This 'common pattern' was conserved on the line leading to birds, and is likely present in Archaeopteryx. Increases in skeletal pneumaticity occurred independently in as many as 12 lineages, highlighting a remarkably high number of parallel acquisitions of a bird-like feature among non-avian theropods. Using a quantitative comparative framework, we show that evolutionary increases in skeletal pneumaticity are significantly concentrated in lineages with large body size, suggesting that mass reduction in response to gravitational constraints at large body sizes influenced the early evolution of pneumaticity. However, the body size threshold for extensive pneumatisation is lower in theropod lineages more closely related to birds (maniraptorans). Thus, relaxation of the relationship between body size and pneumatisation preceded

  16. Locomotion in ornithischian dinosaurs: an assessment using three-dimensional computational modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maidment, Susannah C R; Bates, Karl T; Falkingham, Peter L; VanBuren, Collin; Arbour, Victoria; Barrett, Paul M

    2014-08-01

    Ornithischian dinosaurs were primitively bipedal with forelimbs modified for grasping, but quadrupedalism evolved in the clade on at least three occasions independently. Outside of Ornithischia, quadrupedality from bipedal ancestors has only evolved on two other occasions, making this one of the rarest locomotory transitions in tetrapod evolutionary history. The osteological and myological changes associated with these transitions have only recently been documented, and the biomechanical consequences of these changes remain to be examined. Here, we review previous approaches to understanding locomotion in extinct animals, which can be broadly split into form-function approaches using analogy based on extant animals, limb-bone scaling, and computational approaches. We then carry out the first systematic attempt to quantify changes in locomotor muscle function in bipedal and quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaurs. Using three-dimensional computational modelling of the major pelvic locomotor muscle moment arms, we examine similarities and differences among individual taxa, between quadrupedal and bipedal taxa, and among taxa representing the three major ornithischian lineages (Thyreophora, Ornithopoda, Marginocephalia). Our results suggest that the ceratopsid Chasmosaurus and the ornithopod Hypsilophodon have relatively low moment arms for most muscles and most functions, perhaps suggesting poor locomotor performance in these taxa. Quadrupeds have higher abductor moment arms than bipeds, which we suggest is due to the overall wider bodies of the quadrupeds modelled. A peak in extensor moment arms at more extended hip angles and lower medial rotator moment arms in quadrupeds than in bipeds may be due to a more columnar hindlimb and loss of medial rotation as a form of lateral limb support in quadrupeds. We are not able to identify trends in moment arm evolution across Ornithischia as a whole, suggesting that the bipedal ancestry of ornithischians did not constrain the

  17. The variability of inner ear orientation in saurischian dinosaurs: testing the use of semicircular canals as a reference system for comparative anatomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús Marugán-Lobón

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The vestibular system of the inner ear houses three semicircular canals—oriented on three nearly-orthogonal planes—that respond to angular acceleration stimuli. In recent years, the orientation of the lateral semicircular canal (LSC has been regularly used to determine skull orientations for comparative purposes in studies of non-avian dinosaurs. Such orientations have been inferred based on fixing the LSC to a common set of coordinates (parallel to the Earth’s horizon, given that the orientation to gravity of this sensory system is assumed constant among taxa. Under this assumption, the LSC is used as a baseline (a reference system both to estimate how the animals held their heads and to describe craniofacial variation among dinosaurs. However, the available data in living birds (extant saurischian dinosaurs suggests that the orientation of the LSC in non-avian saurischian dinosaurs could have been very variable and taxon-specific. If such were the case, using the LSC as a comparative reference system would cause inappropriate visual perceptions of craniofacial organization, leading to significant descriptive inconsistencies among taxa. Here, we used Procrustes methods (Geometric Morphometrics, a suite of analytical tools that compares morphology on the basis of shared landmark homology, to show that the variability of LSC relative to skull landmarks is large (ca. 50° and likely unpredictable, thus making it an inconsistent reference system for comparing and describing the skulls of saurischian (sauropodomorph and theropod dinosaurs. In light of our results, the lateral semicircular canal is an inconsistent baseline for comparative studies of craniofacial morphology in dinosaurs.

  18. Detrital zircon dating and tracing the provenance of dinosaur bone beds from the Late Cretaceous Wangshi Group in Zhucheng, Shandong, East China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei An

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The mass burial of dinosaur bone fossils in the Late Cretaceous Wangshi Group in Zhucheng, Shandong Province has been a research focus in recent years. However, the provenance of the dinosaur bone fossils and the accurate depositional age of the bone beds remain ambiguous. Through U–Pb dating of detrital zircons collected from six conglomerate samples from the dinosaur bone beds, we found that the youngest single grain age (YSG of sample 090414-24-D was 77.3 Ma, representing the maximum depositional age of the dinosaur fossil beds and sediments. This also indicates that the Hongtuya Formation was deposited during the Campanian. Dating results revealed an age peak of 120–110 Ma, which corresponds with the peak age of volcanic rocks of the Lower Cretaceous Qingshan Group. The volcanic rocks of the Qingshan Group are mainly exposed in Laiyang, to the north of Zhucheng, although a few also appear to the south and northwest. Through analysis of conglomerate composition and palaeocurrents in the sediments containing the bone beds, we found that the three different data sets of gravel compositions of the conglomerates were mainly composed of volcanic or pyroclastic rocks. Three different data sets of palaeocurrents suggested that the main sediment source of the Wangshi Group dinosaur bone beds was from the north−northwest of the Basin. Only one data set had a provenance south of the basin. This study revealed that the areas of Laiyang and the Yishu Fault Zone were the main provenance areas of both the dinosaur bone fossils and the sediments of the Wangshi Group in Zhucheng. The southern margin of the Zhucheng Basin may be a secondary source area. This research provides an important basis for judging the deposition time and the sediment source of fossil layers in the Wangshi Group, as well as reconstructing the palaeogeography of the Wangshi Group in the Jiaolai Basin.

  19. Small theropod teeth from the Late Cretaceous of the San Juan Basin, northwestern New Mexico and their implications for understanding latest Cretaceous dinosaur evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Thomas E; Brusatte, Stephen L

    2014-01-01

    Studying the evolution and biogeographic distribution of dinosaurs during the latest Cretaceous is critical for better understanding the end-Cretaceous extinction event that killed off all non-avian dinosaurs. Western North America contains among the best records of Late Cretaceous terrestrial vertebrates in the world, but is biased against small-bodied dinosaurs. Isolated teeth are the primary evidence for understanding the diversity and evolution of small-bodied theropod dinosaurs during the Late Cretaceous, but few such specimens have been well documented from outside of the northern Rockies, making it difficult to assess Late Cretaceous dinosaur diversity and biogeographic patterns. We describe small theropod teeth from the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. These specimens were collected from strata spanning Santonian - Maastrichtian. We grouped isolated theropod teeth into several morphotypes, which we assigned to higher-level theropod clades based on possession of phylogenetic synapomorphies. We then used principal components analysis and discriminant function analyses to gauge whether the San Juan Basin teeth overlap with, or are quantitatively distinct from, similar tooth morphotypes from other geographic areas. The San Juan Basin contains a diverse record of small theropods. Late Campanian assemblages differ from approximately coeval assemblages of the northern Rockies in being less diverse with only rare representatives of troodontids and a Dromaeosaurus-like taxon. We also provide evidence that erect and recurved morphs of a Richardoestesia-like taxon represent a single heterodont species. A late Maastrichtian assemblage is dominated by a distinct troodontid. The differences between northern and southern faunas based on isolated theropod teeth provide evidence for provinciality in the late Campanian and the late Maastrichtian of North America. However, there is no indication that major components of small-bodied theropod diversity were lost

  20. Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiegler, Josef; Wu, Ping; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Hu, Dongyu; Balanoff, Amy; Zhou, Yachun; Xu, Xing

    2017-01-01

    Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis both possess shallow, empty vestiges of dentary alveoli. In both individuals, the system of vestiges connects via foramina with a dorsally closed canal homologous to alveoli. Similar morphologies are present in Limusaurus, a beaked theropod that becomes edentulous during ontogeny; and an analysis of neontological and paleontological evidence shows that ontogenetic reduction of the dentition is a relatively common phenomenon in vertebrate evolution. Based on these lines of evidence, we propose that progressively earlier postnatal and embryonic truncation of odontogenesis corresponds with expansion of rostral keratin associated with the caruncle, and these progenesis and peramorphosis heterochronies combine to drive the evolution of edentulous beaks in nonavian theropods and birds. Following initial apomorphic expansion of rostral keratinized epithelia in perinatal toothed theropods, beaks appear to inhibit odontogenesis as they grow postnatally, resulting in a sequence of common morphologies. This sequence is shifted earlier in development through phylogeny until dentition is absent at hatching, and odontogenesis is inhibited by beak formation in ovo. PMID:28973883

  1. Plate motions, Gondwana Dinosaurs, Noah's Arks, Beached Viking Funeral Ships, Ghost Ships, and Landspans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis L. Jacobs

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Gondwana landmasses have served as large-scale biogeographic Noah's Arks and Beached Viking Funeral Ships, as defined by McKenna. The latitudinal trajectories of selected Gondwana dinosaur localities were traced through time in order to evaluate their movement through climate zones relative to those in which they originally formed. The dispersal of fauna during the breakup of Gondwana may have been facilitated by the presence of offshelf islands forming landspans (sensu Iturralde-Vinent and MacPhee in the Equatorial Atlantic Gateway and elsewhere.As massas de terra do Gondwana serviram como Arcas de Noe biogeograficas de grande escala e Navios Funerarios Vikings encalhados, conforme definido por McKenna. As trajetorias latitudinais de areas selecionadas de dinossauros do Gondwana foram tracadas ao longo do tempo a fim de avaliar seu movimento atraves de zonas climaticas relativas aquelas nas quais elas foram originalmente formadas. A dispersao da fauna durante a quebra do Gondwana pode ter sido facilitada pela presenca de ilhas oceanicas formando extensoes de terra (sensu Iturralde-Vinent e MacPhee na entrada do Atlantico Equatorial e em outros lugares.

  2. Is torosaurus triceratops? Geometric morphometric evidence of late maastrichtian ceratopsid dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Maiorino

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent assessments of morphological changes in the frill during ontogeny hypothesized that the late Maastrichtian horned dinosaur Torosaurus represents the "old adult" of Triceratops, although acceptance of this finding has been disputed on several lines of evidence. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Examining the cranial morphology of 28 skulls in lateral view and 36 squamosals of Nedoceratops hatcheri, Triceratops spp. and Torosaurus spp. by means of landmark-based geometric morphometrics, we compared ontogenetic trajectories among these taxa. Principal Component Analysis and cluster analysis confirmed different cranial morphologies. Torosaurus shape space is well separated from Triceratops, whereas Triceratops horridus and Triceratops prorsus partially overlap within Triceratops shape space. Linear regressions between shape and size suggest different ontogenetic trajectories among these taxa. Results support the "traditional" taxonomic status of Torosaurus. We hypothesize that ontogeny drives cranial morphology with different patterns between Torosaurus and Triceratops. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Torosaurus is a distinct and valid taxon. Whether looking at entire skulls, skulls without the frill, frills alone, or squamosals, Torosaurus has different morphologies and distinct allometric trajectories compared to Triceratops. This new approach confirms the taxonomic status of Torosaurus as well as the comparatively low diversity of ceratopsids at the end of the Maastrichtian in North America.

  3. Impact of sauropod dinosaurs on lagoonal substrates in the Broome Sandstone (Lower Cretaceous, Western Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony Thulborn

    Full Text Available Existing knowledge of the tracks left by sauropod dinosaurs (loosely 'brontosaurs' is essentially two-dimensional, derived mainly from footprints exposed on bedding planes, but examples in the Broome Sandstone (Early Cretaceous of Western Australia provide a complementary three-dimensional picture showing the extent to which walking sauropods could deform the ground beneath their feet. The patterns of deformation created by sauropods traversing thinly-stratified lagoonal deposits of the Broome Sandstone are unprecedented in their extent and structural complexity. The stacks of transmitted reliefs (underprints or ghost prints beneath individual footfalls are nested into a hierarchy of deeper and more inclusive basins and troughs which eventually attain the size of minor tectonic features. Ultimately the sauropod track-makers deformed the substrate to such an extent that they remodelled the topography of the landscape they inhabited. Such patterns of substrate deformation are revealed by investigating fragmentary and eroded footprints, not by the conventional search for pristine footprints on intact bedding planes. For that reason it is not known whether similar patterns of substrate deformation might occur at sauropod track-sites elsewhere in the world.

  4. Crocodyliform feeding traces on juvenile ornithischian dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian Kaiparowits Formation, Utah.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clint A Boyd

    Full Text Available Crocodyliforms serve as important taphonomic agents, accumulating and modifying vertebrate remains. Previous discussions of Mesozoic crocodyliform feeding in terrestrial and riverine ecosystems have often focused on larger taxa and their interactions with equally large dinosaurian prey. However, recent evidence suggests that the impact of smaller crocodyliforms on their environments should not be discounted. Here we present direct evidence of feeding by a small crocodyliform on juvenile specimens of a 'hypsilophodontid' dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian Kaiparowits Formation of southern Utah. Diagnostic crocodyliform bite marks present on a left scapula and a right femur, as well as a partial probable crocodyliform tooth crown (ovoid in cross-section preserved within a puncture on the right femur, comprise the bulk of the feeding evidence. Computed tomography scans of the femoral puncture reveal impact damage to the surrounding bone and that the distal tip of the embedded tooth was missing prior to the biting event. This is only the second reported incidence of a fossil crocodyliform tooth being found embedded directly into prey bone. These bite marks provide insight into the trophic interactions of the ecosystem preserved in the Kaiparowits Formation. The high diversity of crocodyliforms within this formation may have led to accentuated niche partitioning, which seems to have included juvenile dinosaurian prey.

  5. Femoral bone strength in large theropod dinosaurs: A study by genus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-03-01

    The locomotion of bipedal theropod dinosaurs is controlled by the strength of the femur to resist bending torques (caused by the foot striking the ground and the action of muscles on the femur). The section modulus at the narrowest part measures the ability of the femur to resist such torques. We present the results of our study of the femoral section moduli for six genus of large theropods: Tyrannosaurus, Nanotyrannus, Gorgosaurus, and Albertosaurus of the Late Cretaceous, Acrocanthosaurus of the Early Cretaceous, and Allosaurus of the Late Jurassic. These animals had femora of lengths between 65 and 134 cm. The corresponding section moduli varied between 23 and 570 cm3. Some species of Tyrannosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Allosaurus, and Albertosaurus had femora with lengths in the same 75 to 90 cm range. The section moduli of these animals are all in the same range, showing that the animals had the same abilities of locomotion. That is, Allosaurus of the Late Jurassic could locomote just as well as the Late Cretaceous Tyrannosaurus, Gorgosaurus, and Albertosaurus. There is no evidence that these later theropods had evolved to be any faster than similarly-sized theropods living about 80 million years earlier.

  6. Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Stiegler, Josef; Wu, Ping; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Hu, Dongyu; Balanoff, Amy; Zhou, Yachun; Xu, Xing

    2017-10-10

    Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis both possess shallow, empty vestiges of dentary alveoli. In both individuals, the system of vestiges connects via foramina with a dorsally closed canal homologous to alveoli. Similar morphologies are present in Limusaurus , a beaked theropod that becomes edentulous during ontogeny; and an analysis of neontological and paleontological evidence shows that ontogenetic reduction of the dentition is a relatively common phenomenon in vertebrate evolution. Based on these lines of evidence, we propose that progressively earlier postnatal and embryonic truncation of odontogenesis corresponds with expansion of rostral keratin associated with the caruncle, and these progenesis and peramorphosis heterochronies combine to drive the evolution of edentulous beaks in nonavian theropods and birds. Following initial apomorphic expansion of rostral keratinized epithelia in perinatal toothed theropods, beaks appear to inhibit odontogenesis as they grow postnatally, resulting in a sequence of common morphologies. This sequence is shifted earlier in development through phylogeny until dentition is absent at hatching, and odontogenesis is inhibited by beak formation in ovo .

  7. Caudal pneumaticity and pneumatic hiatuses in the sauropod dinosaurs Giraffatitan and Apatosaurus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathew J Wedel

    Full Text Available Skeletal pneumaticity is found in the presacral vertebrae of most sauropod dinosaurs, but pneumaticity is much less common in the vertebrae of the tail. We describe previously unrecognized pneumatic fossae in the mid-caudal vertebrae of specimens of Giraffatitan and Apatosaurus. In both taxa, the most distal pneumatic vertebrae are separated from other pneumatic vertebrae by sequences of three to seven apneumatic vertebrae. Caudal pneumaticity is not prominent in most individuals of either of these taxa, and its unpredictable development means that it may be more widespread than previously recognised within Sauropoda and elsewhere in Saurischia. The erratic patterns of caudal pneumatization in Giraffatitan and Apatosaurus, including the pneumatic hiatuses, show that pneumatic diverticula were more broadly distributed in the bodies of the living animals than are their traces in the skeleton. Together with recently published evidence of cryptic diverticula--those that leave few or no skeletal traces--in basal sauropodomorphs and in pterosaurs, this is further evidence that pneumatic diverticula were widespread in ornithodirans, both across phylogeny and throughout anatomy.

  8. Distributions of cranial pathologies provide evidence for head-butting in dome-headed dinosaurs (Pachycephalosauridae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E Peterson

    Full Text Available Pachycephalosaurids are small, herbivorous dinosaurs with domed skulls formed by massive thickening of the cranial roof. The function of the dome has been a focus of debate: the dome has variously been interpreted as the product of sexual selection, as an adaptation for species recognition, or as a weapon employed in intraspecific combat, where it was used in butting matches as in extant ungulates. This last hypothesis is supported by the recent identification of cranial pathologies in pachycephalosaurids, which appear to represent infections resulting from trauma. However, the frequency and distribution of pathologies have not been studied in a systematic fashion. Here, we show that pachycephalosaurids are characterized by a remarkably high incidence of cranial injury, where 22% of specimens have lesions on the dome. Frequency of injury shows no significant difference between different genera, but flat-headed morphs (here interpreted as juveniles or females lack lesions. Mapping of injuries onto a digitial pachycephalosaurid skull shows that although lesions are distributed across the dome, they cluster near the apex, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the dome functioned for intraspecific butting matches.

  9. Water-resources investigations in Dinosaur National Monument, Utah-Colorado, fiscal year 1970

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumsion, C.T.

    1971-01-01

    Water-resources data were acquired during fiscal year 1970 by the U.S. Geological Survey at Dinosaur National Monument, Utah-Colorado, for the U.S. National Park Service as part of a continuing project. The data provide a basis for planning the development, management, and use of the available water resources to provide adequate water supplies. Thirty-one springs, 19 in relatively inaccessible areas, were evaluated as sources of water supplies. Seven potential well sites were evaluated for drilling depths in specific aquifers. A well drilled in Echo Park near the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers was tested. The pumping test showed the well to yield 130 gallons per minute with a drawdown of 1.96 feet; specific capacity of the well at 130 gallons per minute is 66 gallons per minute per foot. Water samples for chemical analysis were - collected from nine springs and one well; all except that from Disappointment Spring, were of good chemical quality.

  10. No evidence for directional evolution of body mass in herbivorous theropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanno, Lindsay E.; Makovicky, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    The correlation between large body size and digestive efficiency has been hypothesized to have driven trends of increasing mass in herbivorous clades by means of directional selection. Yet, to date, few studies have investigated this relationship from a phylogenetic perspective, and none, to our knowledge, with regard to trophic shifts. Here, we reconstruct body mass in the three major subclades of non-avian theropod dinosaurs whose ecomorphology is correlated with extrinsic evidence of at least facultative herbivory in the fossil record—all of which also achieve relative gigantism (more than 3000 kg). Ordinary least-squares regressions on natural log-transformed mean mass recover significant correlations between increasing mass and geological time. However, tests for directional evolution in body mass find no support for a phylogenetic trend, instead favouring passive models of trait evolution. Cross-correlation of sympatric taxa from five localities in Asia reveals that environmental influences such as differential habitat sampling and/or taphonomic filtering affect the preserved record of dinosaurian body mass in the Cretaceous. Our results are congruent with studies documenting that behavioural and/or ecological factors may mitigate the benefit of increasing mass in extant taxa, and suggest that the hypothesis can be extrapolated to herbivorous lineages across geological time scales. PMID:23193135

  11. Dinosaur footprint assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation, Khorat Group, northeastern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shohei Kozu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The Khok Kruat Formation is the upper part of the Khorat Group, which consists of upper Lower Cretaceous non-marine sedimentary rocks in northeastern Thailand. Many dinosaur footprints have been known from the upper Lower Cretaceous (Aptian–Albian Khok Kruat Formation at the Huai Dam Chum (Tha Uthen site, northeastern Thailand. Approximately 600 tracks occur in thin mudstone layer of the northern part of the outcrop at the Huai Dam Chum track site. Two types of footprints, small-sized theropod and crocodylomorph are imprinted with mud cracks and ripple marks on the thin mud layer. Most of footprints are referred to cf. Asianopodus, and are imprinted by small-sized theropoda, probably ornithomimosauria. Theropod tracks are mainly separated into two groups, Group A and Group B. From ichnological viewpoints, the small-sized theropod track assemblage indicates the herd behaviour and its idiosyncratic group composition. In particular, the histogram of size-frequency measurements of Group A shows the anomalous bimodal distribution. We consider that there are two hypotheses; the first one is due to the male-female difference, and the second is a result of the different growing stage.

  12. Tetradactyl footprints of an unknown affinity theropod dinosaur from the Upper Jurassic of Morocco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaouad Nouri

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: New tetradactyl theropod footprints from Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian-Kimmeridgian have been found in the Iouaridène syncline (Morocco. The tracksites are at several layers in the intermediate lacustrine unit of Iouaridène Formation. The footprints were named informally in previous works "Eutynichnium atlasipodus". We consider as nomen nudum. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Boutakioutichnium atlasicus ichnogen. et ichnosp. nov. is mainly characterized by the hallux impression. It is long, strong, directed medially or forward, with two digital pads and with the proximal part of the first pad in lateral position. More than 100 footprints in 15 trackways have been studied with these features. The footprints are large, 38-48 cm in length, and 26-31 cm in width. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Boutakioutichnium mainly differs from other ichnotaxa with hallux impression in lacking metatarsal marks and in not being a very deep footprint. The distinct morphology of the hallux of the Boutakioutichnium trackmaker -i.e. size and hallux position- are unique in the dinosaur autopodial record to date.

  13. Bird-like anatomy, posture, and behavior revealed by an early jurassic theropod dinosaur resting trace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milner, Andrew R.C.; Harris, J.D.; Lockley, M.G.; Kirkland, J.I.; Matthews, N.A.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Fossil tracks made by non-avian theropod dinosaurs commonly reflect the habitual bipedal stance retained in living birds. Only rarely-captured behaviors, such as crouching, might create impressions made by the hands. Such tracks provide valuable information concerning the often poorly understood functional morphology of the early theropod forelimb. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we describe a well-preserved theropod trackway in a Lower Jurassic (???198 millionyear- old) lacustrine beach sandstone in the Whitmore Point Member of the Moenave Formation in southwestern Utah. The trackway consists of prints of typical morphology, intermittent tail drags and, unusually, traces made by the animal resting on the substrate in a posture very similar to modern birds. The resting trace includes symmetrical pes impressions and well-defined impressions made by both hands, the tail, and the ischial callosity. Conclusions/Significance: The manus impressions corroborate that early theropods, like later birds, held their palms facing medially, in contrast to manus prints previously attributed to theropods that have forward-pointing digits. Both the symmetrical resting posture and the medially-facing palms therefore evolved by the Early Jurassic, much earlier in the theropod lineage than previously recognized, and may characterize all theropods.

  14. Dismantling the dinosaurs: A look at U.S. M and A trends

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caldwell, R.H.; Heather, D.I.

    1992-01-01

    Current trends in the oil and gas merger and acquisition (M and A) marketplace suggest that business as usual isn't usual anymore. Are these trends the harbinger of bad tidings? Will the industry collapse continue to take on dimensions of a full scale implosion, or are we sitting on the brink of the next boom? What we know at this point is that the dinosaurs-the short-sighted, the bloated, the arrogant, the unchanging-are going extinct. Companies are disappearing. Survivors are turning lean and flexible. The industry isn't just changing; it's evolving a new breed, with M and A activity a bridge between the old and the new. The current state of the industry is shocking. We all know that drilling activity is at its lowest level in 4 decades. That is why acquisitions are the only game in town and why the acquisition business is booming. If drilling activity is down about 25%, that is small beans compared with acquisitions, which are down 50-70%

  15. Blood flow to long bones indicates activity metabolism in mammals, reptiles and dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Roger S; Smith, Sarah L; White, Craig R; Henderson, Donald M; Schwarz-Wings, Daniela

    2012-02-07

    The cross-sectional area of a nutrient foramen of a long bone is related to blood flow requirements of the internal bone cells that are essential for dynamic bone remodelling. Foramen area increases with body size in parallel among living mammals and non-varanid reptiles, but is significantly larger in mammals. An index of blood flow rate through the foramina is about 10 times higher in mammals than in reptiles, and even higher if differences in blood pressure are considered. The scaling of foramen size correlates well with maximum whole-body metabolic rate during exercise in mammals and reptiles, but less well with resting metabolic rate. This relates to the role of blood flow associated with bone remodelling during and following activity. Mammals and varanid lizards have much higher aerobic metabolic rates and exercise-induced bone remodelling than non-varanid reptiles. Foramen areas of 10 species of dinosaur from five taxonomic groups are generally larger than from mammals, indicating a routinely highly active and aerobic lifestyle. The simple measurement holds possibilities offers the possibility of assessing other groups of extinct and living vertebrates in relation to body size, behaviour and habitat.

  16. A New Megaraptoran Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Megaraptoridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    A skeleton discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Sierra Barrosa Formation (Turonian-Coniacian) of Neuquén Province, Argentina represents a new species of theropod dinosaur related to the long snouted, highly pneumatized Megaraptoridae. The holotype specimen of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen et n.sp. (MCF-PVPH-411) includes much of the skull, axial skeleton, pelvis and tibia. Murusraptor is unique in having several diagnostic features that include anterodorsal process of lacrimal longer than height of preorbital process, and a thick, shelf-like thickening on the lateral surface of surangular ventral to the groove between the anterior surangular foramen and the insert for the uppermost intramandibular process of the dentary. Other characteristic features of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen. et n. sp.include a large mandibular fenestra, distal ends of caudal neural spines laterally thickened into lateral knob-like processes, short ischia distally flattened and slightly expanded dorsoventrally. Murusraptor belongs to a Patagonian radiation of megaraptorids together with Aerosteon, Megaraptor and Orkoraptor. In spite being immature, it is a larger but more gracile animal than existing specimens of Megaraptor, and is comparable in size with Aerosteon and Orkoraptor. The controversial phylogeny of the Megaraptoridae as members of the Allosauroidea or a clade of Coelurosauria is considered analyzing two alternative data sets. PMID:27439002

  17. Variation in the shape and mechanical performance of the lower jaws in ceratopsid dinosaurs (Ornithischia, Ceratopsia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiorino, Leonardo; Farke, Andrew A; Kotsakis, Tassos; Teresi, Luciano; Piras, Paolo

    2015-11-01

    Ceratopsidae represents a group of quadrupedal herbivorous dinosaurs that inhabited western North America and eastern Asia during the Late Cretaceous. Although horns and frills of the cranium are highly variable across species, the lower jaw historically has been considered to be relatively conservative in morphology. Here, the lower jaws from 58 specimens representing 21 ceratopsoid taxa were sampled, using geometric morphometrics and 2D finite element analysis (FEA) to explore differences in morphology and mechanical performance across Ceratopsoidea (the clade including Ceratopsidae, Turanoceratops and Zuniceratops). Principal component analyses and non-parametric permuted manovas highlight Triceratopsini as a morphologically distinct clade within the sample. A relatively robust and elongate dentary, a larger and more elongated coronoid process, and a small and dorso-ventrally compressed angular characterize this clade, as well as the absolutely larger size. By contrast, non-triceratopsin chasmosaurines, Centrosaurini and Pachyrhinosaurini have similar morphologies to each other. Zuniceratops and Avaceratops are distinct from other taxa. No differences in size between Pachyrhinosaurini and Centrosaurini are recovered using non-parametric permuted anovas. Structural performance, as evaluated using a 2D FEA, is similar across all groups as measured by overall stress, with the exception of Triceratopsini. Shape, size and stress are phylogenetically constrained. A longer dentary as well as a long coronoid process result in a lower jaw that is reconstructed as relatively much more stressed in triceratopsins. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  18. New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocknull, Scott A.; White, Matt A.; Tischler, Travis R.; Cook, Alex G.; Calleja, Naomi D.; Sloan, Trish; Elliott, David A.

    2009-01-01

    Background Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. Methodology/Principal Findings We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian) Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. Conclusion/Significance The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator) and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus). PMID:19584929

  19. Chicken-sized oviraptorid dinosaurs from central China and their ontogenetic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Junchang; Currie, Philip J; Xu, Li; Zhang, Xingliao; Pu, Hanyong; Jia, Songhai

    2013-02-01

    Oviraptorids are a group of specialized non-avian theropod dinosaurs that were generally one to 8 m in body length. New specimens of baby oviraptorids from the Late Cretaceous of Henan Province are some of the smallest individuals known. They include diagnostic characters such as the relative position of the antorbital fenestra and the external naris, distinct opening in the premaxilla anteroventral to the external naris, antorbital fossa partly bordered by premaxilla posterodorsally, lacrimal process of premaxilla does not contact the anterodorsal process of the lacrimal, parietal almost as long as frontal; in dorsal view, posterior margin forms a straight line between the postzygapophyses in each of the fourth and fifth cervicals; femur longer than ilium. They also elucidate the ontogenetic processes of oviraptorids, including fusion of cranial elements and changes in relative body proportions. Hind limb proportions are constant in oviraptorids, regardless of absolute body size or ontogenetic stage. This suggests a sedentary lifestyle that did not involve the pursuit of similar-sized prey. The functional implications for bite force and therefore dietary preferences are better understood through the study of such small animals. The comparison of the measurements of 115 skeletons indicates that oviraptorids maintain their hind limb proportions regardless of ontogenetic stage or absolute size, which is a pattern seen more commonly in herbivores than in carnivores. This may weakly support the hypothesis that oviraptorids are herbivores rather than active carnivores.

  20. A new giant titanosaur sheds light on body mass evolution among sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carballido, José L; Pol, Diego; Otero, Alejandro; Cerda, Ignacio A; Salgado, Leonardo; Garrido, Alberto C; Ramezani, Jahandar; Cúneo, Néstor R; Krause, Javier M

    2017-08-16

    Titanosauria was the most diverse and successful lineage of sauropod dinosaurs. This clade had its major radiation during the middle Early Cretaceous and survived up to the end of that period. Among sauropods, this lineage has the most disparate values of body mass, including the smallest and largest sauropods known. Although recent findings have improved our knowledge on giant titanosaur anatomy, there are still many unknown aspects about their evolution, especially for the most gigantic forms and the evolution of body mass in this clade. Here we describe a new giant titanosaur, which represents the largest species described so far and one of the most complete titanosaurs. Its inclusion in an extended phylogenetic analysis and the optimization of body mass reveals the presence of an endemic clade of giant titanosaurs inhabited Patagonia between the Albian and the Santonian. This clade includes most of the giant species of titanosaurs and represents the major increase in body mass in the history of Titanosauria. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. What drove reversions to quadrupedality in ornithischian dinosaurs? Testing hypotheses using centre of mass modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maidment, Susannah C R; Henderson, Donald M; Barrett, Paul M

    2014-11-01

    The exceptionally rare transition to quadrupedalism from bipedal ancestors occurred on three independent occasions in ornithischian dinosaurs. The possible driving forces behind these transitions remain elusive, but several hypotheses-including the development of dermal armour and the expansion of head size and cranial ornamentation-have been proposed to account for this major shift in stance. We modelled the position of the centre of mass (CoM) in several exemplar ornithischian taxa and demonstrate that the anterior shifts in CoM position associated with the development of an enlarged skull ornamented with horns and frills for display/defence may have been one of the drivers promoting ceratopsian quadrupedality. A posterior shift in CoM position coincident with the development of extensive dermal armour in thyreophorans demonstrates this cannot have been a primary causative mechanism for quadrupedality in this clade. Quadrupedalism developed in response to different selective pressures in each ornithischian lineage, indicating different evolutionary pathways to convergent quadrupedal morphology.

  2. Distributions of cranial pathologies provide evidence for head-butting in dome-headed dinosaurs (Pachycephalosauridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Joseph E; Dischler, Collin; Longrich, Nicholas R

    2013-01-01

    Pachycephalosaurids are small, herbivorous dinosaurs with domed skulls formed by massive thickening of the cranial roof. The function of the dome has been a focus of debate: the dome has variously been interpreted as the product of sexual selection, as an adaptation for species recognition, or as a weapon employed in intraspecific combat, where it was used in butting matches as in extant ungulates. This last hypothesis is supported by the recent identification of cranial pathologies in pachycephalosaurids, which appear to represent infections resulting from trauma. However, the frequency and distribution of pathologies have not been studied in a systematic fashion. Here, we show that pachycephalosaurids are characterized by a remarkably high incidence of cranial injury, where 22% of specimens have lesions on the dome. Frequency of injury shows no significant difference between different genera, but flat-headed morphs (here interpreted as juveniles or females) lack lesions. Mapping of injuries onto a digitial pachycephalosaurid skull shows that although lesions are distributed across the dome, they cluster near the apex, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the dome functioned for intraspecific butting matches.

  3. Deep faunistic turnovers preceded the rise of dinosaurs in southwestern Pangaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezcurra, Martín D; Fiorelli, Lucas E; Martinelli, Agustín G; Rocher, Sebastián; von Baczko, M Belén; Ezpeleta, Miguel; Taborda, Jeremías R A; Hechenleitner, E Martín; Trotteyn, M Jimena; Desojo, Julia B

    2017-10-01

    The Triassic period documents the origin and diversification of modern amniote lineages and the Late Triassic fossil record of South America has been crucial to shed light on these early evolutionary histories. However, the faunistic changes that led to the establishment of Late Triassic ecosystems are largely ignored because of the global scarcity of fossils from assemblages a few million years older. Here we contribute to fill this gap with the description of a new tetrapod assemblage from the lowermost levels of the Chañares Formation (uppermost Middle-lower Late Triassic epochs) of Argentina, which is older than the other vertebrate assemblages of the same basin. The new assemblage is composed of therapsids, rhynchosaurids and archosaurs, and clearly differs from that of the immediately overlying and well-known historical Chañares vertebrate assemblage. The new tetrapod association is part of a phase of relatively rapidly changing vertebrate assemblage compositions, in a time span shorter than 6 million years, before the diversification of dinosaurs and other common Late Triassic tetrapods in southwestern Pangaea.

  4. Unappreciated diversification of stem archosaurs during the Middle Triassic predated the dominance of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foth, Christian; Ezcurra, Martín D; Sookias, Roland B; Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J

    2016-09-15

    Archosauromorpha originated in the middle-late Permian, radiated during the Triassic, and gave rise to the crown group Archosauria, a highly successful clade of reptiles in terrestrial ecosystems over the last 250 million years. However, scientific attention has mainly focused on the diversification of archosaurs, while their stem lineage (i.e. non-archosaurian archosauromorphs) has often been overlooked in discussions of the evolutionary success of Archosauria. Here, we analyse the cranial disparity of late Permian to Early Jurassic archosauromorphs and make comparisons between non-archosaurian archosauromorphs and archosaurs (including Pseudosuchia and Ornithodira) on the basis of two-dimensional geometric morphometrics. Our analysis recovers previously unappreciated high morphological disparity for non-archosaurian archosauromorphs, especially during the Middle Triassic, which abruptly declined during the early Late Triassic (Carnian). By contrast, cranial disparity of archosaurs increased from the Middle Triassic into the Late Triassic, declined during the end-Triassic extinction, but re-expanded towards the end of the Early Jurassic. Our study indicates that non-archosaurian archosauromorphs were highly diverse components of terrestrial ecosystems prior to the major radiation of archosaurs, including dinosaurs, while disparity patterns of the Ladinian and Carnian indicate a gradual faunal replacement of stem archosaurs by the crown group, including a short interval of partial overlap in morphospace during the Ladinian.

  5. Synchrotron scanning reveals amphibious ecomorphology in a new clade of bird-like dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cau, Andrea; Beyrand, Vincent; Voeten, Dennis F. A. E.; Fernandez, Vincent; Tafforeau, Paul; Stein, Koen; Barsbold, Rinchen; Tsogtbaatar, Khishigjav; Currie, Philip J.; Godefroit, Pascal

    2017-12-01

    Maniraptora includes birds and their closest relatives among theropod dinosaurs. During the Cretaceous period, several maniraptoran lineages diverged from the ancestral coelurosaurian bauplan and evolved novel ecomorphologies, including active flight, gigantism, cursoriality and herbivory. Propagation X-ray phase-contrast synchrotron microtomography of a well-preserved maniraptoran from Mongolia, still partially embedded in the rock matrix, revealed a mosaic of features, most of them absent among non-avian maniraptorans but shared by reptilian and avian groups with aquatic or semiaquatic ecologies. This new theropod, Halszkaraptor escuilliei gen. et sp. nov., is related to other enigmatic Late Cretaceous maniraptorans from Mongolia in a novel clade at the root of Dromaeosauridae. This lineage adds an amphibious ecomorphology to those evolved by maniraptorans: it acquired a predatory mode that relied mainly on neck hyperelongation for food procurement, it coupled the obligatory bipedalism of theropods with forelimb proportions that may support a swimming function, and it developed postural adaptations convergent with short-tailed birds.

  6. Impact of Sauropod Dinosaurs on Lagoonal Substrates in the Broome Sandstone (Lower Cretaceous), Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thulborn, Tony

    2012-01-01

    Existing knowledge of the tracks left by sauropod dinosaurs (loosely ‘brontosaurs’) is essentially two-dimensional, derived mainly from footprints exposed on bedding planes, but examples in the Broome Sandstone (Early Cretaceous) of Western Australia provide a complementary three-dimensional picture showing the extent to which walking sauropods could deform the ground beneath their feet. The patterns of deformation created by sauropods traversing thinly-stratified lagoonal deposits of the Broome Sandstone are unprecedented in their extent and structural complexity. The stacks of transmitted reliefs (underprints or ghost prints) beneath individual footfalls are nested into a hierarchy of deeper and more inclusive basins and troughs which eventually attain the size of minor tectonic features. Ultimately the sauropod track-makers deformed the substrate to such an extent that they remodelled the topography of the landscape they inhabited. Such patterns of substrate deformation are revealed by investigating fragmentary and eroded footprints, not by the conventional search for pristine footprints on intact bedding planes. For that reason it is not known whether similar patterns of substrate deformation might occur at sauropod track-sites elsewhere in the world. PMID:22662116

  7. A Jurassic avialan dinosaur from China resolves the early phylogenetic history of birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godefroit, Pascal; Cau, Andrea; Dong-Yu, Hu; Escuillié, François; Wenhao, Wu; Dyke, Gareth

    2013-06-20

    The recent discovery of small paravian theropod dinosaurs with well-preserved feathers in the Middle-Late Jurassic Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning Province (northeastern China) has challenged the pivotal position of Archaeopteryx, regarded from its discovery to be the most basal bird. Removing Archaeopteryx from the base of Avialae to nest within Deinonychosauria implies that typical bird flight, powered by the forelimbs only, either evolved at least twice, or was subsequently lost or modified in some deinonychosaurians. Here we describe the complete skeleton of a new paravian from the Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning Province, China. Including this new taxon in a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis for basal Paraves does the following: (1) it recovers it as the basal-most avialan; (2) it confirms the avialan status of Archaeopteryx; (3) it places Troodontidae as the sister-group to Avialae; (4) it supports a single origin of powered flight within Paraves; and (5) it implies that the early diversification of Paraves and Avialae took place in the Middle-Late Jurassic period.

  8. Bird-like anatomy, posture, and behavior revealed by an early jurassic theropod dinosaur resting trace.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew R C Milner

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fossil tracks made by non-avian theropod dinosaurs commonly reflect the habitual bipedal stance retained in living birds. Only rarely-captured behaviors, such as crouching, might create impressions made by the hands. Such tracks provide valuable information concerning the often poorly understood functional morphology of the early theropod forelimb. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we describe a well-preserved theropod trackway in a Lower Jurassic ( approximately 198 million-year-old lacustrine beach sandstone in the Whitmore Point Member of the Moenave Formation in southwestern Utah. The trackway consists of prints of typical morphology, intermittent tail drags and, unusually, traces made by the animal resting on the substrate in a posture very similar to modern birds. The resting trace includes symmetrical pes impressions and well-defined impressions made by both hands, the tail, and the ischial callosity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The manus impressions corroborate that early theropods, like later birds, held their palms facing medially, in contrast to manus prints previously attributed to theropods that have forward-pointing digits. Both the symmetrical resting posture and the medially-facing palms therefore evolved by the Early Jurassic, much earlier in the theropod lineage than previously recognized, and may characterize all theropods.

  9. Bird-like anatomy, posture, and behavior revealed by an early jurassic theropod dinosaur resting trace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milner, Andrew R C; Harris, Jerald D; Lockley, Martin G; Kirkland, James I; Matthews, Neffra A

    2009-01-01

    Fossil tracks made by non-avian theropod dinosaurs commonly reflect the habitual bipedal stance retained in living birds. Only rarely-captured behaviors, such as crouching, might create impressions made by the hands. Such tracks provide valuable information concerning the often poorly understood functional morphology of the early theropod forelimb. Here we describe a well-preserved theropod trackway in a Lower Jurassic ( approximately 198 million-year-old) lacustrine beach sandstone in the Whitmore Point Member of the Moenave Formation in southwestern Utah. The trackway consists of prints of typical morphology, intermittent tail drags and, unusually, traces made by the animal resting on the substrate in a posture very similar to modern birds. The resting trace includes symmetrical pes impressions and well-defined impressions made by both hands, the tail, and the ischial callosity. The manus impressions corroborate that early theropods, like later birds, held their palms facing medially, in contrast to manus prints previously attributed to theropods that have forward-pointing digits. Both the symmetrical resting posture and the medially-facing palms therefore evolved by the Early Jurassic, much earlier in the theropod lineage than previously recognized, and may characterize all theropods.

  10. Quantifying the effect of intervertebral cartilage on neutral posture in the necks of sauropod dinosaurs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P. Taylor

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Attempts to reconstruct the neutral neck posture of sauropod dinosaurs, or indeed any tetrapod, are doomed to failure when based only on the geometry of the bony cervical vertebrae. The thickness of the articular cartilage between the centra of adjacent vertebrae affects posture. It extends (raises the neck by an amount roughly proportional to the thickness of the cartilage. It is possible to quantify the angle of extension at an intervertebral joint: it is roughly equal, in radians, to the cartilage thickness divided by the height of the zygapophyseal facets over the centre of rotation. Applying this formula to published measurements of well-known sauropod specimens suggests that if the thickness of cartilage were equal to 4.5%, 10% or 18% of centrum length, the neutral pose of the Apatosaurus louisae holotype CM 3018 would be extended by an average of 5.5, 11.8 or 21.2 degrees, respectively, at each intervertebral joint. For the Diplodocus carnegii holotype CM 84, the corresponding angles of additional extension are even greater: 8.4, 18.6 or 33.3 degrees. The cartilaginous neutral postures (CNPs calculated for 10% cartilage—the most reasonable estimate—appear outlandish. But it must be remembered that these would not have been the habitual life postures, because tetrapods habitually extend the base of their neck and flex the anterior part, yielding the distinctive S-curve most easily seen in birds.

  11. Quantifying the effect of intervertebral cartilage on neutral posture in the necks of sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Michael P

    2014-01-01

    Attempts to reconstruct the neutral neck posture of sauropod dinosaurs, or indeed any tetrapod, are doomed to failure when based only on the geometry of the bony cervical vertebrae. The thickness of the articular cartilage between the centra of adjacent vertebrae affects posture. It extends (raises) the neck by an amount roughly proportional to the thickness of the cartilage. It is possible to quantify the angle of extension at an intervertebral joint: it is roughly equal, in radians, to the cartilage thickness divided by the height of the zygapophyseal facets over the centre of rotation. Applying this formula to published measurements of well-known sauropod specimens suggests that if the thickness of cartilage were equal to 4.5%, 10% or 18% of centrum length, the neutral pose of the Apatosaurus louisae holotype CM 3018 would be extended by an average of 5.5, 11.8 or 21.2 degrees, respectively, at each intervertebral joint. For the Diplodocus carnegii holotype CM 84, the corresponding angles of additional extension are even greater: 8.4, 18.6 or 33.3 degrees. The cartilaginous neutral postures (CNPs) calculated for 10% cartilage-the most reasonable estimate-appear outlandish. But it must be remembered that these would not have been the habitual life postures, because tetrapods habitually extend the base of their neck and flex the anterior part, yielding the distinctive S-curve most easily seen in birds.

  12. New Mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian dinosaurs fromWinton, Queensland, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott A Hocknull

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus.

  13. Biomechanical evidence suggests extensive eggshell thinning during incubation in the Sanagasta titanosaur dinosaurs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Martín Hechenleitner

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The reproduction of titanosaur dinosaurs is still a complex and debated topic. Their Late Cretaceous nesting sites are distributed worldwide and their eggs display substantial morphological variations according to the parent species. In contrast to the typical 1.3–2.0 mm thick shells common to eggs of most titanosaur species (e.g., those that nested in Auca Mahuevo, Tama, Toteşti or Boseong, the Cretaceous Sanagasta eggs of Argentina display an unusual shell thickness of up to 7.9 mm. Their oviposition was synchronous with a palaeogeothermal process, leading to the hypothesis that their extra thick eggshell was an adaptation to this particular nesting environment. Although this hypothesis has already been supported indirectly through several investigations, the mechanical implications of developing such thick shells and how this might have affected the success of hatching remains untested. Finite element analyses estimate that the breaking point of the thick-shelled Sanagasta eggs is 14–45 times higher than for other smaller and equally sized titanosaur eggs. The considerable energetic disadvantage for piping through these thick eggshells suggests that their dissolution during incubation would have been paramount for a successful hatching.

  14. Late Albian dinosaur tracks from the cratonic (eastern) margin of the Western Interior Seaway, Nebraska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joeckel, R.M.; Cunningham, J.M.; Corner, R.G.; Brown, G.W.; Phillips, P.L.; Ludvigson, Greg A.

    2004-01-01

    At least 22 tridactyl dinosaur tracks, poorly preserved in various degrees of expression, have recently been found at an exposure in the Dakota Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Albian) in Jefferson County, Nebraska. These tracks generally have broad, blunt digits and a broad posterior margin. The largest of the tracks measures 57 cm in length and 58 cm in width. All of the tracks lie within a stratigraphic horizon of 40 cm or less, but they do not form a single trackway. We interpret the trackmakers to have been ornithopods.The Jefferson County tracks are in a well-cemented sandstone with oscillation ripples, at a stratigraphic level between two well-established sequence boundaries. Channel forms and lateral accretion units are common in the stratigraphic interval enclosing the tracks, and the site is interpreted as a bar or sand flat in a tidally influenced river.The Jefferson County tracks are only the second known occurrence of large Mesozoic tetrapod tracks east of the Rocky Mountain Front-High Plains Margin, including the Black Hills of South Dakota, west of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and north of the Gulf Coastal Plain. Further, this paper is the first documentation of in situdinosaur fossils from the Nebraska-Iowa area.

  15. A New Megaraptoran Dinosaur (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Megaraptoridae from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo A Coria

    Full Text Available A skeleton discovered in the Upper Cretaceous Sierra Barrosa Formation (Turonian-Coniacian of Neuquén Province, Argentina represents a new species of theropod dinosaur related to the long snouted, highly pneumatized Megaraptoridae. The holotype specimen of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen et n.sp. (MCF-PVPH-411 includes much of the skull, axial skeleton, pelvis and tibia. Murusraptor is unique in having several diagnostic features that include anterodorsal process of lacrimal longer than height of preorbital process, and a thick, shelf-like thickening on the lateral surface of surangular ventral to the groove between the anterior surangular foramen and the insert for the uppermost intramandibular process of the dentary. Other characteristic features of Murusraptor barrosaensis n.gen. et n. sp.include a large mandibular fenestra, distal ends of caudal neural spines laterally thickened into lateral knob-like processes, short ischia distally flattened and slightly expanded dorsoventrally. Murusraptor belongs to a Patagonian radiation of megaraptorids together with Aerosteon, Megaraptor and Orkoraptor. In spite being immature, it is a larger but more gracile animal than existing specimens of Megaraptor, and is comparable in size with Aerosteon and Orkoraptor. The controversial phylogeny of the Megaraptoridae as members of the Allosauroidea or a clade of Coelurosauria is considered analyzing two alternative data sets.

  16. What Caused the Great Depression?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Jean; O'Driscoll, Timothy G.

    2007-01-01

    Economists and historians have struggled for almost 80 years to account for the American Great Depression, which began in 1929 and lasted until the early years of World War II. In this article, the authors discuss three major schools of thought on the causes of the Great Depression and the long failure of the American economy to return to full…

  17. EPA, environmentalists feud over land ban waste rule

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, D.

    1990-01-01

    The publication of the Environmental Protection Agency's final, major hazardous waste regulation marks the end of a five-year effort to control land disposal of waste. This article discusses how the rule has ignited a major fight between the agency and environmental groups that fear the regulation is far too lenient to industry. The rule will affect everyone who handles chemical waste from researchers to truck drivers. Although it is the last, it is also the largest of the hazardous waste regulations, covering a vast array of substances. The rule's provisions encompass almost 350 listed wastes, multisource leachate, mixed radioactive and hazardous waste, alternative treatments for lab packs, and treatment standards for waste that exhibits one or more hazardous characteristics

  18. First complete sauropod dinosaur skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas and the evolution of sauropod dentition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chure, Daniel; Britt, Brooks B; Whitlock, John A; Wilson, Jeffrey A

    2010-04-01

    Sauropod dinosaur bones are common in Mesozoic terrestrial sediments, but sauropod skulls are exceedingly rare--cranial materials are known for less than one third of sauropod genera and even fewer are known from complete skulls. Here we describe the first complete sauropod skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas, Abydosaurus mcintoshi, n. gen., n. sp., known from 104.46 +/- 0.95 Ma (megannum) sediments from Dinosaur National Monument, USA. Abydosaurus shares close ancestry with Brachiosaurus, which appeared in the fossil record ca. 45 million years earlier and had substantially broader teeth. A survey of tooth shape in sauropodomorphs demonstrates that sauropods evolved broad crowns during the Early Jurassic but did not evolve narrow crowns until the Late Jurassic, when they occupied their greatest range of crown breadths. During the Cretaceous, brachiosaurids and other lineages independently underwent a marked diminution in tooth breadth, and before the latest Cretaceous broad-crowned sauropods were extinct on all continental landmasses. Differential survival and diversification of narrow-crowned sauropods in the Late Cretaceous appears to be a directed trend that was not correlated with changes in plant diversity or abundance, but may signal a shift towards elevated tooth replacement rates and high-wear dentition. Sauropods lacked many of the complex herbivorous adaptations present within contemporaneous ornithischian herbivores, such as beaks, cheeks, kinesis, and heterodonty. The spartan design of sauropod skulls may be related to their remarkably small size--sauropod skulls account for only 1/200th of total body volume compared to 1/30th body volume in ornithopod dinosaurs.

  19. Dental Disparity and Ecological Stability in Bird-like Dinosaurs prior to the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Derek W; Brown, Caleb M; Evans, David C

    2016-05-23

    The causes, rate, and selectivity of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction continue to be highly debated [1-5]. Extinction patterns in small, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including birds) are important for understanding extant biodiversity and present an enigma considering the survival of crown group birds (Neornithes) and the extinction of their close kin across the end-Cretaceous boundary [6]. Because of the patchy Cretaceous fossil record of small maniraptorans [7-12], this important transition has not been closely examined in this group. Here, we test the hypothesis that morphological disparity in bird-like dinosaurs was decreasing leading up to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, as has been hypothesized in some dinosaurs [13, 14]. To test this, we examined tooth morphology, an ecological indicator in fossil reptiles [15-19], from over 3,100 maniraptoran teeth from four groups (Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae, Richardoestesia, and cf. Aves) across the last 18 million years of the Cretaceous. We demonstrate that tooth disparity, a proxy for variation in feeding ecology, shows no significant decline leading up to the extinction event within any of the groups. Tooth morphospace occupation also remains static over this time interval except for increased size during the early Maastrichtian. Our data provide strong support that extinction within this group occurred suddenly after a prolonged period of ecological stability. To explain this sudden extinction of toothed maniraptorans and the survival of Neornithes, we propose that diet may have been an extinction filter and suggest that granivory associated with an edentulous beak was a key ecological trait in the survival of some lineages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Resting Orientations of Dinosaur Scapulae and Forelimbs: A Numerical Analysis, with Implications for Reconstructions and Museum Mounts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senter, Phil; Robins, James H

    2015-01-01

    The inclination of the scapular blade and the resting pose of the forelimb in dinosaurs differ among reconstructions and among skeletal mounts. For most dinosaurian taxa, no attempt has previously been made to quantify the correct resting positions of these elements. Here, we used data from skeletons preserved in articulation to quantify the resting orientations of the scapula and forelimb in dinosaurs. Specimens were included in the study only if they were preserved lying on their sides; for each specimen the angle between forelimb bones at a given joint was included in the analysis only if the joint was preserved in articulation. Using correlation analyses of the angles between the long axis of the sacrum, the first dorsal centrum, and the scapular blade in theropods and Eoraptor, we found that vertebral hyperextension does not influence scapular orientation in saurischians. Among examined taxa, the long axis of the scapular blade was found to be most horizontal in bipedal saurischians, most vertical in basal ornithopods, and intermediate in hadrosauroids. We found that in bipedal dinosaurs other than theropods with semilunate carpals, the resting orientation of the elbow is close to a right angle and the resting orientation of the wrist is such that the hand exhibits only slight ulnar deviation from the antebrachium. In theropods with semilunate carpals the elbow and wrist are more flexed at rest, with the elbow at a strongly acute angle and with the wrist approximately at a right angle. The results of our study have important implications for correct orientations of bones in reconstructions and skeletal mounts. Here, we provide recommendations on bone orientations based on our results.

  1. Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — NOAA-GLERL and its partners conduct innovative research on the dynamic environments and ecosystems of the Great Lakes and coastal regions to provide information for...

  2. What Caused the Great Recession?

    OpenAIRE

    Homburg, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines five possible explanations for the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, using data for the United States and the eurozone. Of these five hypotheses, four are not supported by the data, while the fifth appears reasonable.

  3. Arthroscopy of the great toe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frey, C.; van Dijk, C. N.

    1999-01-01

    The few available reports of arthroscopic treatment of the first MTP joint in the literature indicate favorable outcome. However, arthroscopy of the great toe is an advanced technique and should only be undertaken by experienced surgeons

  4. The Sixth Great Mass Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagler, Ron

    2012-01-01

    Five past great mass extinctions have occurred during Earth's history. Humanity is currently in the midst of a sixth, human-induced great mass extinction of plant and animal life (e.g., Alroy 2008; Jackson 2008; Lewis 2006; McDaniel and Borton 2002; Rockstrom et al. 2009; Rohr et al. 2008; Steffen, Crutzen, and McNeill 2007; Thomas et al. 2004;…

  5. A nomenclature for vertebral fossae in sauropods and other saurischian dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Wilson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The axial skeleton of extinct saurischian dinosaurs (i.e., theropods, sauropodomorphs, like living birds, was pneumatized by epithelial outpocketings of the respiratory system. Pneumatic signatures in the vertebral column of fossil saurischians include complex branching chambers within the bone (internal pneumaticity and large chambers visible externally that are bounded by neural arch laminae (external pneumaticity. Although general aspects of internal pneumaticity are synapomorphic for saurischian subgroups, the individual internal pneumatic spaces cannot be homologized across species or even along the vertebral column, due to their variability and absence of topographical landmarks. External pneumatic structures, in contrast, are defined by ready topological landmarks (vertebral laminae, but no consistent nomenclatural system exists. This deficiency has fostered confusion and limited their use as character data in phylogenetic analysis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We present a simple system for naming external neural arch fossae that parallels the one developed for the vertebral laminae that bound them. The nomenclatural system identifies fossae by pointing to reference landmarks (e.g., neural spine, centrum, costal articulations, zygapophyses. We standardize the naming process by creating tripartite names from "primary landmarks," which form the zygodiapophyseal table, "secondary landmarks," which orient with respect to that table, and "tertiary landmarks," which further delineate a given fossa. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The proposed nomenclatural system for lamina-bounded fossae adds clarity to descriptions of complex vertebrae and allows these structures to be sourced as character data for phylogenetic analyses. These anatomical terms denote potentially homologous pneumatic structures within Saurischia, but they could be applied to any vertebrate with vertebral laminae that enclose spaces, regardless of their developmental

  6. Limb-bone scaling indicates diverse stance and gait in quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susannah C R Maidment

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The most primitive ornithischian dinosaurs were small bipeds, but quadrupedality evolved three times independently in the clade. The transition to quadrupedality from bipedal ancestors is rare in the history of terrestrial vertebrate evolution, and extant analogues do not exist. Constraints imposed on quadrupedal ornithischians by their ancestral bipedal bauplan remain unexplored, and consequently, debate continues about their stance and gait. For example, it has been proposed that some ornithischians could run, while others consider that none were cursorial. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Drawing on biomechanical concepts of limb bone scaling and locomotor theory developed for extant taxa, we use the largest dataset of ornithischian postcranial measurements so far compiled to examine stance and gait in quadrupedal ornithischians. Differences in femoral midshaft eccentricity in hadrosaurs and ceratopsids may indicate that hadrosaurs placed their feet on the midline during locomotion, while ceratopsids placed their feet more laterally, under the hips. More robust humeri in the largest ceratopsids relative to smaller taxa may be due to positive allometry in skull size with body mass in ceratopsids, while slender humeri in the largest stegosaurs may be the result of differences in dermal armor distribution within the clade. Hadrosaurs are found to display the most cursorial morphologies of the quadrupedal ornithischian cades, indicating higher locomotor performance than in ceratopsids and thyreophorans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Limb bone scaling indicates that a previously unrealised diversity of stances and gaits were employed by quadrupedal ornithischians despite apparent convergence in limb morphology. Grouping quadrupedal ornithischians together as a single functional group hides this disparity. Differences in limb proportions and scaling are likely due to the possession of display structures such as horns, frills and dermal armor

  7. LIDAR-based characterization and conservation of the first theropod dinosaur trackways from Arkansas, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian F Platt

    Full Text Available LIDAR-based analyses of the first theropod dinosaur trackways known from the state of Arkansas, USA are reported. The trackways were found on a limestone bedding plane in the Albian De Queen Formation in an active gypsum quarry. Because limited access precluded thorough field study, fieldwork focused on preserving the entire site digitally with ground-based LIDAR, and detailed measurements were later taken digitally from point cloud data. The site contains eight tridactyl trackways associated with sauropod trackways and numerous isolated tracks. Although there appear to be two different tridactyl morphotypes, we show that the tracks are all likely from a single species of trackmaker. We apply a simple method of estimating substrate consistency by comparing the differences between true track dimensions and apparent track dimensions. The tridactyl tracks at the southern end of the site are preserved with significantly greater differences in true vs. apparent dimensions and are shallower than the rest of the tridactyl tracks at the site, which we interpret as the result of outward expansion of the soft tissues of the foot upon contact with a firm substrate. We interpret the firm substrate as having high bulk density and high shear strength, which also explain associated manus-only sauropod tracks. We show that the tridactyl tracks are likely from theropod trackmakers and that footprint lengths, trackway paces, stride lengths, and pace angulations of the De Queen trackways are statistically indistinguishable from equivalent measurements of theropod trackways in the Glen Rose Formation. The Glen Rose tracks are attributed to the large-bodied theropod, Acrocanthosaurus and we likewise attribute the De Queen tracks to Acrocanthosaurus, which is known from skeletal remains in temporally equivalent units and from the mine itself.

  8. LIDAR-based characterization and conservation of the first theropod dinosaur trackways from Arkansas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Brian F; Suarez, Celina A; Boss, Stephen K; Williamson, Malcolm; Cothren, Jackson; Kvamme, Jo Ann C

    2018-01-01

    LIDAR-based analyses of the first theropod dinosaur trackways known from the state of Arkansas, USA are reported. The trackways were found on a limestone bedding plane in the Albian De Queen Formation in an active gypsum quarry. Because limited access precluded thorough field study, fieldwork focused on preserving the entire site digitally with ground-based LIDAR, and detailed measurements were later taken digitally from point cloud data. The site contains eight tridactyl trackways associated with sauropod trackways and numerous isolated tracks. Although there appear to be two different tridactyl morphotypes, we show that the tracks are all likely from a single species of trackmaker. We apply a simple method of estimating substrate consistency by comparing the differences between true track dimensions and apparent track dimensions. The tridactyl tracks at the southern end of the site are preserved with significantly greater differences in true vs. apparent dimensions and are shallower than the rest of the tridactyl tracks at the site, which we interpret as the result of outward expansion of the soft tissues of the foot upon contact with a firm substrate. We interpret the firm substrate as having high bulk density and high shear strength, which also explain associated manus-only sauropod tracks. We show that the tridactyl tracks are likely from theropod trackmakers and that footprint lengths, trackway paces, stride lengths, and pace angulations of the De Queen trackways are statistically indistinguishable from equivalent measurements of theropod trackways in the Glen Rose Formation. The Glen Rose tracks are attributed to the large-bodied theropod, Acrocanthosaurus and we likewise attribute the De Queen tracks to Acrocanthosaurus, which is known from skeletal remains in temporally equivalent units and from the mine itself.

  9. Dinosaurs and Power Plants. Energy from the Past for the Future. Teacher's Lesson Plan and Activity Guide; Teacher's Guide Supplement of Reproducible Graphics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Department of Energy, Washington, DC. Office of Fossil Energy.

    This teacher's guide and its accompanying supplement were prepared for use with the U.S. Department of Energy's Dinosaurs and Power Plants, a publication designed for students in grades 5-8 about the history, detection, extraction, transportation, use, environmental problem/solutions, and future of fossil energy. The study of energy science shows…

  10. Dinosaur Tracks, Erosion Marks and Midnight Chisel Work (But No Human Footprints) in the Cretaceous Limestone of the Paluxy River Bed, Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milne, David H.; Schafersman, Steven D.

    1983-01-01

    Creationists claim that human footprints coexist with those of dinosaurs in Cretaceous limestone exposed in the Paluxy riverbed near Glen Rose, Texas. Analysis of photos shows that the features in question are not human footprints and that creationist documentation/analysis of the prints is riddled with omissions, misrepresentations,…

  11. Using the American alligator and a repeated-measures design to place constraints on in vivo shoulder joint range of motion in dinosaurs and other fossil archosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutson, Joel D; Hutson, Kelda N

    2013-01-15

    Using the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs (crocodylians and birds), recent work has reported that elbow joint range of motion (ROM) studies of fossil dinosaur forearms may be providing conservative underestimates of fully fleshed in vivo ROM. As humeral ROM occupies a more central role in forelimb movements, the placement of quantitative constraints on shoulder joint ROM could improve fossil reconstructions. Here, we investigated whether soft tissues affect the more mobile shoulder joint in the same manner in which they affect elbow joint ROM in an extant archosaur. This test involved separately and repeatedly measuring humeral ROM in Alligator mississippiensis as soft tissues were dissected away in stages to bare bone. Our data show that the ROMs of humeral flexion and extension, as well as abduction and adduction, both show a statistically significant increase as flesh is removed, but then decrease when the bones must be physically articulated and moved until they separate from one another and/or visible joint surfaces. A similar ROM pattern is inferred for humeral pronation and supination. All final skeletonized ROMs were less than initial fully fleshed ROMs. These results are consistent with previously reported elbow joint ROM patterns from the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs. Thus, studies that avoid separation of complementary articular surfaces may be providing fossil shoulder joint ROMs that underestimate in vivo ROM in dinosaurs, as well as other fossil archosaurs.

  12. Theropod courtship: large scale physical evidence of display arenas and avian-like scrape ceremony behaviour by Cretaceous dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockley, Martin G.; McCrea, Richard T.; Buckley, Lisa G.; Deock Lim, Jong; Matthews, Neffra A.; Breithaupt, Brent H.; Houck, Karen J.; Gierliński, Gerard D.; Surmik, Dawid; Soo Kim, Kyung; Xing, Lida; Yong Kong, Dal; Cart, Ken; Martin, Jason; Hadden, Glade

    2016-01-01

    Relationships between non-avian theropod dinosaurs and extant and fossil birds are a major focus of current paleobiological research. Despite extensive phylogenetic and morphological support, behavioural evidence is mostly ambiguous and does not usually fossilize. Thus, inferences that dinosaurs, especially theropods displayed behaviour analogous to modern birds are intriguing but speculative. Here we present extensive and geographically widespread physical evidence of substrate scraping behavior by large theropods considered as compelling evidence of “display arenas” or leks, and consistent with “nest scrape display” behaviour among many extant ground-nesting birds. Large scrapes, up to 2 m in diameter, occur abundantly at several Cretaceous sites in Colorado. They constitute a previously unknown category of large dinosaurian trace fossil, inferred to fill gaps in our understanding of early phases in the breeding cycle of theropods. The trace makers were probably lekking species that were seasonally active at large display arena sites. Such scrapes indicate stereotypical avian behaviour hitherto unknown among Cretaceous theropods, and most likely associated with terrirorial activity in the breeding season. The scrapes most probably occur near nesting colonies, as yet unknown or no longer preserved in the immediate study areas. Thus, they provide clues to paleoenvironments where such nesting sites occurred.

  13. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta formation, Venezuelan Andes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, Max C; Rincón, Ascanio D; Ramezani, Jahandar; Solórzano, Andrés; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2014-10-01

    Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along the western border of Venezuela, where strata of the La Quinta Formation have yielded the ornithischian Laquintasaura venezuelae and other dinosaur remains. Here, we report isolated bones (ischium and tibia) of a small new theropod, Tachiraptor admirabilis gen. et sp. nov., which differs from all previously known members of the group by an unique suite of features of its tibial articulations. Comparative/phylogenetic studies place the new form as the sister taxon to Averostra, a theropod group that is known primarily from the Middle Jurassic onwards. A new U-Pb zircon date (isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry; ID-TIMS method) from the bone bed matrix suggests an earliest Jurassic maximum age for the La Quinta Formation. A dispersal-vicariance analysis suggests that such a stratigraphic gap is more likely to be filled by new records from north and central Pangaea than from southern areas. Indeed, our data show that the sampled summer-wet equatorial belt, which yielded the new taxon, played a pivotal role in theropod evolution across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

  14. Presence of the dinosaur Scelidosaurus indicates Jurassic age for the Kayenta Formation (Glen Canyon Group, northern Arizona)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padian, Kevin

    1989-05-01

    The Glen Canyon Group (Moenave, Wingate, Kayenta and Navajo Formations) of northern Arizona represents an extensive outcrop of early Mesozoic age terrestrial sediments. The age of these formations has long been disputed because independent stratigraphic data from marine tie-ins, paleobotanical and palynological evidence, and radiometric calibrations have been scanty or absent. The fauna of the Kayenta Formation in particular has been problematic because it has appeared to contain both typical Late Triassic and Early Jurassic taxa Here I report that the principal evidence for Late Triassic taxa, dermal scutes previously assigned to an aetosaur, in fact belongs to the thyreophoran ornithischian dinosaur Scelidosaurus, previously known only as a washed-in form found in marine sediments in the Early Jurassic of England. The presence of this dinosaur represents the first vertebrate biostratigraphic tie-in of the Glen Canyon Group horizons with reliably dated marine deposits in Europe. Together with revised systematic assessments of other vertebrates and independent evidence from fossil pollen, it supports an Early Jurassic age for the Kayenta Formation and most or all of the Glen Canyon Group.

  15. Theropod courtship: large scale physical evidence of display arenas and avian-like scrape ceremony behaviour by Cretaceous dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockley, Martin G; McCrea, Richard T; Buckley, Lisa G; Lim, Jong Deock; Matthews, Neffra A; Breithaupt, Brent H; Houck, Karen J; Gierliński, Gerard D; Surmik, Dawid; Kim, Kyung Soo; Xing, Lida; Kong, Dal Yong; Cart, Ken; Martin, Jason; Hadden, Glade

    2016-01-07

    Relationships between non-avian theropod dinosaurs and extant and fossil birds are a major focus of current paleobiological research. Despite extensive phylogenetic and morphological support, behavioural evidence is mostly ambiguous and does not usually fossilize. Thus, inferences that dinosaurs, especially theropods displayed behaviour analogous to modern birds are intriguing but speculative. Here we present extensive and geographically widespread physical evidence of substrate scraping behavior by large theropods considered as compelling evidence of "display arenas" or leks, and consistent with "nest scrape display" behaviour among many extant ground-nesting birds. Large scrapes, up to 2 m in diameter, occur abundantly at several Cretaceous sites in Colorado. They constitute a previously unknown category of large dinosaurian trace fossil, inferred to fill gaps in our understanding of early phases in the breeding cycle of theropods. The trace makers were probably lekking species that were seasonally active at large display arena sites. Such scrapes indicate stereotypical avian behaviour hitherto unknown among Cretaceous theropods, and most likely associated with terrirorial activity in the breeding season. The scrapes most probably occur near nesting colonies, as yet unknown or no longer preserved in the immediate study areas. Thus, they provide clues to paleoenvironments where such nesting sites occurred.

  16. Ontogenetic changes in the craniomandibular skeleton of the abelisaurid dinosaur Majungasaurus crenatissimus from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nirina O. Ratsimbaholison

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abelisaurid theropods were one of the most diverse groups of predatory dinosaurs in Gondwana during the Cretaceous. The group is characterized by a tall, wide skull and robust cervical region. This morphology is thought to have facilitated specialized feeding behaviors such as prolonged contact with prey. The Late Cretaceous abelisaurid Majungasaurus crenatissimus typifies this abelisaurid cranial morphotype. Recent fossil discoveries of this species include a partial growth series that allows for the first time an investigation of ontogenetic variation in cranial morphology in a representative abelisaurid. Herein we examine growth trajectories in the shape of individual cranial bones and articulated skulls of Majungasaurus using geometric morphometrics. Several major changes in skull shape were observed through ontogeny, including an increase in the height of the jugal, postorbital, and quadratojugal, an increase in the extent of the contacts between bones, and a decrease in the circumference of the orbit. The skull transitions from relatively short in the smallest individual to tall and robust in large adults, as is seen in other theropods. Such morphological change during ontogeny would likely have resulted in different biomechanical properties and feeding behaviors between small and large individuals. These findings provide a post-hatching developmental framework for understanding the evolution of the distinctive tall skull morphology seen in abelisaurids and other large-sized theropod dinosaurs.

  17. Bone histology sheds light on the nature of the "dermal armor" of the enigmatic sauropod dinosaur Agustinia ligabuei Bonaparte, 1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellardini, Flavio; Cerda, Ignacio A.

    2017-02-01

    Agustinia ligabuei is an Early Cretaceous sauropod dinosaur from the northwest of Patagonia that is currently the topic of debate with respect to its phylogenetic position and atypical dermal armor. The presence of four morphotypes of laminar and transversely elongated putative osteoderms was used to consider Agustinia as an armored sauropod. Regarding the different hypotheses about the identity of the bony structures of Agustinia (e.g., osteoderms, cervical or dorsal ribs, hypertrophied elements), a comparative histological analysis has been carried out. Histological evidence is presented herein and reveals that none of the morphotypes of Agustinia shows a primary bone tissue formed by structural fiber bundles as in other sauropod dinosaur osteoderms. Furthermore, on the basis of their gross morphology and microstructure, the bony structures originally classified as types 1 + 4 and 3 are more comparable respectively with dorsal and cervical ribs than any other kind of dermal or bony element. Due to poor preservation, the nature of the type 2 cannot be assessed but is here tentatively assigned to a pelvic girdle element. Although a phylogenetic reassessment of Agustinia is not the purpose of this paper, our paleohistological analyses have broader implications: by not supporting the dermal armor hypothesis for Agustinia, its inclusion in Lithostrotia is not justified in the absence of other diagnostic features.

  18. Micro-CT scan reveals an unexpected high-volume and interconnected pore network in a Cretaceous Sanagasta dinosaur eggshell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hechenleitner, E Martín; Grellet-Tinner, Gerald; Foley, Matthew; Fiorelli, Lucas E; Thompson, Michael B

    2016-03-01

    The Cretaceous Sanagasta neosauropod nesting site (La Rioja, Argentina) was the first confirmed instance of extinct dinosaurs using geothermal-generated heat to incubate their eggs. The nesting strategy and hydrothermal activities at this site led to the conclusion that the surprisingly 7 mm thick-shelled eggs were adapted to harsh hydrothermal microenvironments. We used micro-CT scans in this study to obtain the first three-dimensional microcharacterization of these eggshells. Micro-CT-based analyses provide a robust assessment of gas conductance in fossil dinosaur eggshells with complex pore canal systems, allowing calculation, for the first time, of the shell conductance through its thickness. This novel approach suggests that the shell conductance could have risen during incubation to seven times more than previously estimated as the eggshell erodes. In addition, micro-CT observations reveal that the constant widening and branching of pore canals form a complex funnel-like pore canal system. Furthermore, the high density of pore canals and the presence of a lateral canal network in the shell reduce the risks of pore obstruction during the extended incubation of these eggs in a relatively highly humid and muddy nesting environment. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. If Dung Beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae Arose in Association with Dinosaurs, Did They Also Suffer a Mass Co-Extinction at the K-Pg Boundary?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole L Gunter

    Full Text Available The evolutionary success of beetles and numerous other terrestrial insects is generally attributed to co-radiation with flowering plants but most studies have focused on herbivorous or pollinating insects. Non-herbivores represent a significant proportion of beetle diversity yet potential factors that influence their diversification have been largely unexamined. In the present study, we examine the factors driving diversification within the Scarabaeidae, a speciose beetle family with a range of both herbivorous and non-herbivorous ecologies. In particular, it has been long debated whether the key event in the evolution of dung beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae was an adaptation to feeding on dinosaur or mammalian dung. Here we present molecular evidence to show that the origin of dung beetles occurred in the middle of the Cretaceous, likely in association with dinosaur dung, but more surprisingly the timing is consistent with the rise of the angiosperms. We hypothesize that the switch in dinosaur diet to incorporate more nutritious and less fibrous angiosperm foliage provided a palatable dung source that ultimately created a new niche for diversification. Given the well-accepted mass extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, we examine a potential co-extinction of dung beetles due to the loss of an important evolutionary resource, i.e., dinosaur dung. The biogeography of dung beetles is also examined to explore the previously proposed "out of Africa" hypothesis. Given the inferred age of Scarabaeinae as originating in the Lower Cretaceous, the major radiation of dung feeders prior to the Cenomanian, and the early divergence of both African and Gondwanan lineages, we hypothesise that that faunal exchange between Africa and Gondwanaland occurred during the earliest evolution of the Scarabaeinae. Therefore we propose that both Gondwanan vicariance and dispersal of African lineages is responsible for present day

  20. If Dung Beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) Arose in Association with Dinosaurs, Did They Also Suffer a Mass Co-Extinction at the K-Pg Boundary?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunter, Nicole L; Weir, Tom A; Slipinksi, Adam; Bocak, Ladislav; Cameron, Stephen L

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary success of beetles and numerous other terrestrial insects is generally attributed to co-radiation with flowering plants but most studies have focused on herbivorous or pollinating insects. Non-herbivores represent a significant proportion of beetle diversity yet potential factors that influence their diversification have been largely unexamined. In the present study, we examine the factors driving diversification within the Scarabaeidae, a speciose beetle family with a range of both herbivorous and non-herbivorous ecologies. In particular, it has been long debated whether the key event in the evolution of dung beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) was an adaptation to feeding on dinosaur or mammalian dung. Here we present molecular evidence to show that the origin of dung beetles occurred in the middle of the Cretaceous, likely in association with dinosaur dung, but more surprisingly the timing is consistent with the rise of the angiosperms. We hypothesize that the switch in dinosaur diet to incorporate more nutritious and less fibrous angiosperm foliage provided a palatable dung source that ultimately created a new niche for diversification. Given the well-accepted mass extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, we examine a potential co-extinction of dung beetles due to the loss of an important evolutionary resource, i.e., dinosaur dung. The biogeography of dung beetles is also examined to explore the previously proposed "out of Africa" hypothesis. Given the inferred age of Scarabaeinae as originating in the Lower Cretaceous, the major radiation of dung feeders prior to the Cenomanian, and the early divergence of both African and Gondwanan lineages, we hypothesise that that faunal exchange between Africa and Gondwanaland occurred during the earliest evolution of the Scarabaeinae. Therefore we propose that both Gondwanan vicariance and dispersal of African lineages is responsible for present day distribution of