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Sample records for sauropod dinosaur skull

  1. First complete sauropod dinosaur skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas and the evolution of sauropod dentition.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  3. New Australian sauropods shed light on Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography

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    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

  4. A complete skull of an early cretaceous sauropod and the evolution of advanced titanosaurians.

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    Hussam Zaher

    Full Text Available Advanced titanosaurian sauropods, such as nemegtosaurids and saltasaurids, were diverse and one of the most important groups of herbivores in the terrestrial biotas of the Late Cretaceous. However, little is known about their rise and diversification prior to the Late Cretaceous. Furthermore, the evolution of their highly-modified skull anatomy has been largely hindered by the scarcity of well-preserved cranial remains. A new sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil represents the earliest advanced titanosaurian known to date, demonstrating that the initial diversification of advanced titanosaurians was well under way at least 30 million years before their known radiation in the latest Cretaceous. The new taxon also preserves the most complete skull among titanosaurians, further revealing that their low and elongated diplodocid-like skull morphology appeared much earlier than previously thought.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Mechanical implications of pneumatic neck vertebrae in sauropod dinosaurs

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    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

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

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    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.

  11. Restoring Maximum Vertical Browsing Reach in Sauropod Dinosaurs.

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    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

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    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.

  15. Vascularised endosteal bone tissue in armoured sauropod dinosaurs.

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. PMID:24205267

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

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

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    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.

  9. Impact of sauropod dinosaurs on lagoonal substrates in the Broome Sandstone (Lower Cretaceous, Western Australia.

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    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

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

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    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.

  15. 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

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

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    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.

  17. 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.

  18. A new Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystem from Gondwana with the description of a new sauropod dinosaur

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    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.

  19. 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...

  20. A new sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Early Jurassic of Patagonia and the origin and evolution of the sauropod-type sacrum.

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    Diego Pol

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The origin of sauropod dinosaurs is one of the major landmarks of dinosaur evolution but is still poorly understood. This drastic transformation involved major skeletal modifications, including a shift from the small and gracile condition of primitive sauropodomorphs to the gigantic and quadrupedal condition of sauropods. Recent findings in the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic of Gondwana provide critical evidence to understand the origin and early evolution of sauropods.A new sauropodomorph dinosaur, Leonerasaurus taquetrensis gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Las Leoneras Formation of Central Patagonia (Argentina. The new taxon is diagnosed by the presence of anterior unserrated teeth with a low spoon-shaped crown, amphicoelous and acamerate vertebral centra, four sacral vertebrae, and humeral deltopectoral crest low and medially deflected along its distal half. The phylogenetic analysis depicts Leonerasaurus as one of the closest outgroups of Sauropoda, being the sister taxon of a clade of large bodied taxa composed of Melanorosaurus and Sauropoda.The dental and postcranial anatomy of Leonerasaurus supports its close affinities with basal sauropods. Despite the small size and plesiomorphic skeletal anatomy of Leonerasaurus, the four vertebrae that compose its sacrum resemble that of the large-bodied primitive sauropods. This shows that the appearance of the sauropod-type of sacrum predated the marked increase in body size that characterizes the origins of sauropods, rejecting a causal explanation and evolutionary linkage between this sacral configuration and body size. Alternative phylogenetic placements of Leonerasaurus as a basal anchisaurian imply a convergent acquisition of the sauropod-type sacrum in the new small-bodied taxon, also rejecting an evolutionary dependence of sacral configuration and body size in sauropodomorphs. This and other recent discoveries are showing that the characteristic sauropod body plan evolved gradually

  1. 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.

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

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    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Caudal pneumaticity and pneumatic hiatuses in the sauropod dinosaurs Giraffatitan and Apatosaurus.

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    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.

  5. A novel form of postcranial skeletal pneumaticity in a sauropod dinosaur: Implications for the paleobiology of Rebbachisauridae

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    Lucio M. Ibiricu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In dinosaurs and other archosaurs, the presence of foramina connected with internal chambers in axial and appendicular bones is regarded as a robust indicator of postcranial skeletal pneumaticity (PSP. Here we analyze PSP and its paleobiological implications in rebbachisaurid diplodocoid sauropod dinosaurs based primarily on the dorsal vertebrae of Katepensaurus goicoecheai, a rebbachisaurid from the Cenomanian–Turonian (Upper Cretaceous Bajo Barreal Formation of Patagonia, Argentina. We document a complex of interconnected pneumatic foramina and internal chambers within the dorsal vertebral transverse processes of Katepensaurus. Collectively, these structures constitute a form of PSP that has not previously been observed in sauropods, though it is closely comparable to morphologies seen in selected birds and non-avian theropods. Parts of the skeletons of Katepensaurus and other rebbachisaurid taxa such as Amazonsaurus maranhensis and Tataouinea hannibalis exhibit an elevated degree of pneumaticity relative to the conditions in many other sauropods. We interpret this extensive PSP as an adaptation for lowering the density of the skeleton, and tentatively propose that this reduced skeletal density may also have decreased the muscle energy required to move the body and the heat generated in so doing. Given that several rebbachisaurids inhabited tropical to subtropical paleolatitudes during the extreme warmth of the mid-Cretaceous, increased PSP may have better enabled these sauropods to cope with extraordinarily high temperatures. Extensive skeletal pneumaticity may have been an important innovation in Rebbachisauridae, and perhaps also in saltasaurine titanosaurs, which evolved an even greater degree of PSP. This may in turn have contributed to the evolutionary success of rebbachisaurids, which were the only diplodocoids to survive into the Late Cretaceous.

  6. 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

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

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    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

  8. The effect of intervertebral cartilage on neutral posture and range of motion in the necks of sauropod dinosaurs.

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    Michael P Taylor

    Full Text Available 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 joints in their necks. The form and thickness of cartilage varies significantly even among closely related taxa. We cannot yet tell whether the neck joints of sauropods more closely resembled those of birds or mammals. Inspection of CT scans showed cartilage:bone ratios of 4.5% for Sauroposeidon and about 20% and 15% for two juvenile Apatosaurus individuals. In extant animals, this ratio varied from 2.59% for the rhea to 24% for a juvenile giraffe. It is not yet possible to disentangle ontogenetic and taxonomic signals, but mammal cartilage is generally three times as thick as that of birds. Our most detailed work, on a turkey, yielded a cartilage:bone ratio of 4.56%. Articular cartilage also added 11% to the length of the turkey's zygapophyseal facets. Simple image manipulation suggests that incorporating 4.56% of neck cartilage into an intervertebral joint of a turkey raises neutral posture by 15°. If this were also true of sauropods, the true neutral pose of the neck would be much higher than has been depicted. An additional 11% of zygapophyseal facet length translates to 11% more range of motion at each joint. More precise quantitative results must await detailed modelling. In summary, including cartilage in our models of sauropod necks shows that they were longer, more elevated and more flexible than previously recognised.

  9. The effect of intervertebral cartilage on neutral posture and range of motion in the necks of sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 joints in their necks. The form and thickness of cartilage varies significantly even among closely related taxa. We cannot yet tell whether the neck joints of sauropods more closely resembled those of birds or mammals. Inspection of CT scans showed cartilage:bone ratios of 4.5% for Sauroposeidon and about 20% and 15% for two juvenile Apatosaurus individuals. In extant animals, this ratio varied from 2.59% for the rhea to 24% for a juvenile giraffe. It is not yet possible to disentangle ontogenetic and taxonomic signals, but mammal cartilage is generally three times as thick as that of birds. Our most detailed work, on a turkey, yielded a cartilage:bone ratio of 4.56%. Articular cartilage also added 11% to the length of the turkey's zygapophyseal facets. Simple image manipulation suggests that incorporating 4.56% of neck cartilage into an intervertebral joint of a turkey raises neutral posture by 15°. If this were also true of sauropods, the true neutral pose of the neck would be much higher than has been depicted. An additional 11% of zygapophyseal facet length translates to 11% more range of motion at each joint. More precise quantitative results must await detailed modelling. In summary, including cartilage in our models of sauropod necks shows that they were longer, more elevated and more flexible than previously recognised.

  10. Clavicles, interclavicles, gastralia, and sternal ribs in sauropod dinosaurs: new reports from diplodocidae and their morphological, functional and evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschopp, Emanuel; Mateus, Octávio

    2013-03-01

    Ossified gastralia, clavicles and sternal ribs are known in a variety of reptilians, including dinosaurs. In sauropods, however, the identity of these bones is controversial. The peculiar shapes of these bones complicate their identification, which led to various differing interpretations in the past. Here we describe different elements from the chest region of diplodocids, found near Shell, Wyoming, USA. Five morphotypes are easily distinguishable: (A) elongated, relatively stout, curved elements with a spatulate and a bifurcate end resemble much the previously reported sauropod clavicles, but might actually represent interclavicles; (B) short, L-shaped elements, mostly preserved as a symmetrical pair, probably are the real clavicles, as indicated by new findings in diplodocids; (C) slender, rod-like bones with rugose ends are highly similar to elements identified as sauropod sternal ribs; (D) curved bones with wide, probably medial ends constitute the fourth morphotype, herein interpreted as gastralia; and (E) irregularly shaped elements, often with extended rugosities, are included into the fifth morphotype, tentatively identified as sternal ribs and/or intercostal elements. To our knowledge, the bones previously interpreted as sauropod clavicles were always found as single bones, which sheds doubt on the validity of their identification. Various lines of evidence presented herein suggest they might actually be interclavicles - which are single elements. This would be the first definitive evidence of interclavicles in dinosauromorphs. Previously supposed interclavicles in the early sauropodomorph Massospondylus or the theropods Oviraptor and Velociraptor were later reinterpreted as clavicles or furculae. Independent from their identification, the existence of the reported bones has both phylogenetic and functional significance. Their presence in non-neosauropod Eusauropoda and Flagellicaudata and probable absence in rebbachisaurs and Titanosauriformes shows a

  11. 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.

  12. Preliminary analysis of osteocyte lacunar density in long bones of tetrapods: all measures are bigger in sauropod dinosaurs.

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    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.

  13. Osteology of the dorsal vertebrae of the giant titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur Dreadnoughtus schrani from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina

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    Kristyn K. Voegele

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Many titanosaurian dinosaurs are known only from fragmentary remains, making comparisons between taxa difficult because they often lack overlapping skeletal elements. This problem is particularly pronounced for the exceptionally large-bodied members of this sauropod clade. Dreadnoughtus schrani is a well-preserved giant titanosaurian from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian–Maastrichtian Cerro Fortaleza Formation of southern Patagonia, Argentina. Numerous skeletal elements are known for Dreadnoughtus, including seven nearly complete dorsal vertebrae and a partial dorsal neural arch that collectively represent most of the dorsal sequence. Here we build on our previous preliminary description of these skeletal elements by providing a detailed assessment of their serial positional assignments, as well as comparisons of the dorsal vertebrae of Dreadnoughtus with those of other exceptionally large-bodied titanosaurians. Although the dorsal elements of Dreadnoughtus probably belong to two individuals, they exhibit substantial morphological variation that suggests that there is minimal, if any, positional overlap among them. Dreadnoughtus therefore preserves the second-most complete dorsal vertebral series known for a giant titanosaurian that has been described in detail, behind only that of Futalognkosaurus. The dorsal sequence of Dreadnoughtus provides valuable insight into serial variation along the vertebral column of these enormous sauropods. Such variation includes the variable presence of divided spinodiapophyseal laminae and associated spinodiapophyseal fossae. Given that dorsal vertebrae are the only elements that overlap between known remains of most giant titanosaurian taxa, the dorsal series of Dreadnoughtus provides a means to directly compare the morphologies of these sauropods. The dorsal vertebrae of Dreadnoughtus and Futalognkosaurus have dorsoventrally narrow transverse processes, unlike the condition in Puertasaurus. Further

  14. A nomenclature for vertebral fossae in sauropods and other saurischian dinosaurs.

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    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

  15. 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

  16. Structural extremes in a cretaceous dinosaur.

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    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.

  17. Angolan ichnosite in a diamond mine shows the presence of a large terrestrial mammaliamorph, a crocodylomorph, and sauropod dinosaurs in the Early Cretaceous of Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mateus, Octávio; Marzola, Marco; Schulp, Anne S.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Polcyn, Michael J.; Pervov, Vladimir; Gonçalves, António Olímpio; Morais, Maria Luisa

    2017-01-01

    We report here new and the first mammaliamorph tracks from the Early Cretaceous of Africa. The tracksite, that also bears crocodylomorph and sauropod dinosaurian tracks, is in the Catoca diamond mine, Lunda Sul Province, Angola. The mammaliamorph tracks have a unique morphology, attributed to

  18. Torsion and bending in the neck and tail of sauropod dinosaurs and the function of cervical ribs: insights from functional morphology and biomechanics.

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    Holger Preuschoft

    Full Text Available The long necks of sauropods have been subject to many studies regarding their posture and flexibility. Length of the neck varies among groups. Here, we investigate neck posture and morphology in several clades from a mechanical viewpoint. Emphasis is put on comparing sauropod necks and tails with structures in living archosaurs and mammals. Differences in the use made of necks and tails lead to clear-cut differences in the mechanical loads occurring in the same models. Ways of sustaining loads are identified by theoretical considerations. If the observed skeletal structures are suited to resist the estimated loading in a particular posture, this concordance is taken as an argument that this posture or movement was of importance during the life of the individual. Apart from the often-discussed bending in side view, we analyze the often overlooked torsion. Because torsional stresses in a homogenous element concentrate near the periphery, a cylindrical cross section gives greatest strength, and the direction of forces is oblique. In a vertebrate neck, during e.g. shaking the head and twisting the neck, oblique muscles, like the mm. scaleni, if activated unilaterally initiate movement, counterbalance the torsional moments and keep the joints between neck vertebrae in equilibrium. If activated bilaterally, these muscles keep the neck balanced in an energy-saving upright posture. The tendons of the mm. scaleni may have ossified as cervical ribs The long cervical ribs in brachiosaurids and mamenchisaurids seem to have limited flexibility, whereas the shorter cervical ribs in Diplodocidae allowed free movement. The tails of sauropods do not show pronounced adaptation to torsion, and seem to have been carried more or less in a horizontal, extended posture. In this respect, sauropod tails resemble the necks of herbivorous cursorial mammals. These analyses provide an improved understanding of neck use that will be extended to other sauropods in subsequent

  19. Inter-Vertebral Flexibility of the Ostrich Neck: Implications for Estimating Sauropod Neck Flexibility

    OpenAIRE

    Cobley, Matthew J.; Rayfield, Emily J.; Barrett, Paul M.

    2013-01-01

    The flexibility and posture of the neck in sauropod dinosaurs has long been contentious. Improved constraints on sauropod neck function will have major implications for what we know of their foraging strategies, ecology and overall biology. Several hypotheses have been proposed, based primarily on osteological data, suggesting different degrees of neck flexibility. This study attempts to assess the effects of reconstructed soft tissues on sauropod neck flexibility through systematic removal o...

  20. Predation upon hatchling dinosaurs by a new snake from the late Cretaceous of India.

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    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

  1. New theropod, thyreophoran, and small sauropod tracks from the Middle Jurassic Bagå Formation, Bornholm, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Milàn, Jesper

    2011-01-01

    Three new dinosaur tracks are described from the Middle Jurassic Bagå Formation of Bornholm, Denmark. The tracks are all preserved as natural casts on the underside of fluvial sandstone blocks originating from the old Hasle Klinkefabrik’s clay pit, now called Pyritsøen. The new tracks are from...... a medium-sized theropod, a thyreophoran, and a small sauropod. Together with a hyreophoran track and large sauropod tracks described in 2005, the Middle Jurassic dinosaur fauna of Bornholm now comprises theropods, two sizes of sauropods and at least one type of thyreophoran dinosaur. This is important...

  2. Comparative histology of some craniofacial sutures and skull-base synchondroses in non-avian dinosaurs and their extant phylogenetic bracket.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailleul, Alida M; Horner, John R

    2016-08-01

    Sutures and synchondroses, the fibrous and cartilaginous articulations found in the skulls of vertebrates, have been studied for many biological applications at the morphological scale. However, little is known about these articulations at the microscopic scale in non-mammalian vertebrates, including extant archosaurs (birds and crocodilians). The major goals of this paper were to: (i) document the microstructure of some sutures and synchondroses through ontogeny in archosaurs; (ii) compare these microstructures with previously published sutural histology (i.e. that of mammals); and (iii) document how these articulations with different morphological degrees of closure (open or obliterated) appear histologically. This was performed with histological analyses of skulls of emus, American alligators, a fossil crocodilian and ornithischian dinosaurs (hadrosaurids, pachycephalosaurids and ceratopsids). Emus and mammals possess a sutural periosteum until sutural fusion, but it disappears rapidly during ontogeny in American alligators. This study identified seven types of sutural mineralized tissues in extant and extinct archosaurs and grouped them into four categories: periosteal tissues; acellular tissues; fibrous tissues; and intratendinous tissues. Due to the presence of a periosteum in their sutures, emus and mammals possess periosteal tissues at their sutural borders. The mineralized sutural tissues of crocodilians and ornithischian dinosaurs are more variable and can also develop via a form of necrosis for acellular tissues and metaplasia for fibrous and intratendinous tissues. It was hypothesized that non-avian dinosaurs, like the American alligator, lacked a sutural periosteum and that their primary mode of ossification involved the direct mineralization of craniofacial sutures (instead of intramembranous ossification found in mammals and birds). However, we keep in mind that a bird-like sutural microstructure might have arisen within non-avian saurichians. While

  3. 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.

  4. Some sauropods raised their necks—evidence for high browsing in Euhelopus zdanskyi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    A very long neck that is apparently suitable for feeding at great heights is a characteristic feature of most sauropod dinosaurs. Yet, it remains controversial whether any sauropods actually raised their necks high. Recently, strong physiological arguments have been put forward against the idea of high-browsing sauropods, because of the very high blood pressure that appears to be inevitable when the head is located several metres above the heart. For the sauropod Euhelopus zdanskyi, however, biomechanical evidence clearly indicates high browsing. Energy expenditure owing to high browsing is compared with energy costs for walking a distance. It is demonstrated for Euhelopus as well as for the much larger Brachiosaurus that despite an increase in the metabolic rate, high browsing was worthwhile for a sauropod if resources were far apart. PMID:20519198

  5. Some sauropods raised their necks--evidence for high browsing in Euhelopus zdanskyi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Andreas

    2010-12-23

    A very long neck that is apparently suitable for feeding at great heights is a characteristic feature of most sauropod dinosaurs. Yet, it remains controversial whether any sauropods actually raised their necks high. Recently, strong physiological arguments have been put forward against the idea of high-browsing sauropods, because of the very high blood pressure that appears to be inevitable when the head is located several metres above the heart. For the sauropod Euhelopus zdanskyi, however, biomechanical evidence clearly indicates high browsing. Energy expenditure owing to high browsing is compared with energy costs for walking a distance. It is demonstrated for Euhelopus as well as for the much larger Brachiosaurus that despite an increase in the metabolic rate, high browsing was worthwhile for a sauropod if resources were far apart.

  6. Cranial ontogenetic variation in early saurischians and the role of heterochrony in the diversification of predatory dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foth, Christian; Hedrick, Brandon P; Ezcurra, Martin D

    2016-01-01

    Non-avian saurischian skulls underwent at least 165 million years of evolution and shapes varied from elongated skulls, such as in the theropod Coelophysis, to short and box-shaped skulls, such as in the sauropod Camarasaurus. A number of factors have long been considered to drive skull shape, including phylogeny, dietary preferences and functional constraints. However, heterochrony is increasingly being recognized as an important factor in dinosaur evolution. In order to quantitatively analyse the impact of heterochrony on saurischian skull shape, we analysed five ontogenetic trajectories using two-dimensional geometric morphometrics in a phylogenetic framework. This allowed for the comparative investigation of main ontogenetic shape changes and the evaluation of how heterochrony affected skull shape through both ontogenetic and phylogenetic trajectories. Using principal component analyses and multivariate regressions, it was possible to quantify different ontogenetic trajectories and evaluate them for evidence of heterochronic events allowing testing of previous hypotheses on cranial heterochrony in saurischians. We found that the skull shape of the hypothetical ancestor of Saurischia likely led to basal Sauropodomorpha through paedomorphosis, and to basal Theropoda mainly through peramorphosis. Paedomorphosis then led from Orionides to Avetheropoda, indicating that the paedomorphic trend found by previous authors in advanced coelurosaurs may extend back into the early evolution of Avetheropoda. Not only are changes in saurischian skull shape complex due to the large number of factors that affected it, but heterochrony itself is complex, with a number of possible reversals throughout non-avian saurischian evolution. In general, the sampling of complete ontogenetic trajectories including early juveniles is considerably lower than the sampling of single adult or subadult individuals, which is a major impediment to the study of heterochrony on non-avian dinosaurs

  7. Teeth of embryonic or hatchling sauropods from the Berriasian (Early Cretaceous of Cherves-de-Cognac, France

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    Paul M. Barrett

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The Cherves-de-Cognac site (Charente, France has yielded a diverse continental microvertebrate fauna of Berriasian (earliest Cretaceous age. Dinosaur remains are rare, but include three teeth that are referrable to an indeterminate sauropod, which might represent either a titanosauriform, a non-titanosauriform macronarian or a non-neosauropod. The small size of these teeth (with a maximum length of 3 mm, as preserved and the almost complete absence of emanel wrinkling suggests that they pertained to embryonic or hatchling individuals. The Cherves-de-Cognac sauropod represents a rare occurrence of sauropod embryos/hatchlings, a new sauropod record from the poorly-known terrestrial Berriasian and another possible instance of the persistence of non-diplodocoid, non-titanosauriform sauropods into the Cretaceous.

  8. AN EARLY JURASSIC SAUROPOD TOOTH FROM PATAGONIA (CAÑADÓN ASFALTO FORMATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR SAUROPOD DIVERSITY

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    Carballido, José L

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Eusauropods were a group of herbivorous dinosaurs that evolved during the Early Jurassic and dominated the terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous. A peak of diversity is represented by the Late Jurassic, when most of the lineages of the derived clade, Neosauropoda, are represented. Different lineages of eusauropods differ in several morphological aspects, including a great diversity in gathering strategies, inferred by their dentition morphology and wear facets. Here we describe a new tooth morphotype that can be well differentiated from any other tooth recovered from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation (Lower Jurassic-Middle-Jurassic. Therefore this new tooth morphology increase the evidence of a high diversity of sauropods during that time as well as providing evidence of advanced characters in the dentition of some Early Jurassic sauropods (e.g., subcylindrical and narrow crowns with single apical wear facet.

  9. Biomechanical reconstructions and selective advantages of neck poses and feeding strategies of Sauropods with the example of Mamenchisaurus youngi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Christian

    Full Text Available A very long neck is a characteristic feature of most sauropod dinosaurs. In the genus Mamenchisaurus, neck length is extreme, greater than 40 percent of total body length. However, the posture, utilization, and selective advantage of very long necks in sauropods are still controversial. An excellently preserved skeleton of Mamenchisaurus youngi, including a complete neck, provides an opportunity for a comprehensive biomechanical analysis of neck posture and mobility. The biomechanical evidence indicates that Mamenchisaurus youngi had a nearly straight, near horizontal neck posture and browsed at low or medium heights. The results differ from the findings for some other sauropod species, like Euhelopus, Diplodocus, and Giraffatitan (Brachiosaurus that had been analyzed in previous studies with similar methods. The selective advantage of extreme neck length in sauropods is likely advantageous for different feeding strategies.

  10. 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

  11. Cranial ontogenetic variation in early saurischians and the role of heterochrony in the diversification of predatory dinosaurs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Foth

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Non-avian saurischian skulls underwent at least 165 million years of evolution and shapes varied from elongated skulls, such as in the theropod Coelophysis, to short and box-shaped skulls, such as in the sauropod Camarasaurus. A number of factors have long been considered to drive skull shape, including phylogeny, dietary preferences and functional constraints. However, heterochrony is increasingly being recognized as an important factor in dinosaur evolution. In order to quantitatively analyse the impact of heterochrony on saurischian skull shape, we analysed five ontogenetic trajectories using two-dimensional geometric morphometrics in a phylogenetic framework. This allowed for the comparative investigation of main ontogenetic shape changes and the evaluation of how heterochrony affected skull shape through both ontogenetic and phylogenetic trajectories. Using principal component analyses and multivariate regressions, it was possible to quantify different ontogenetic trajectories and evaluate them for evidence of heterochronic events allowing testing of previous hypotheses on cranial heterochrony in saurischians. We found that the skull shape of the hypothetical ancestor of Saurischia likely led to basal Sauropodomorpha through paedomorphosis, and to basal Theropoda mainly through peramorphosis. Paedomorphosis then led from Orionides to Avetheropoda, indicating that the paedomorphic trend found by previous authors in advanced coelurosaurs may extend back into the early evolution of Avetheropoda. Not only are changes in saurischian skull shape complex due to the large number of factors that affected it, but heterochrony itself is complex, with a number of possible reversals throughout non-avian saurischian evolution. In general, the sampling of complete ontogenetic trajectories including early juveniles is considerably lower than the sampling of single adult or subadult individuals, which is a major impediment to the study of heterochrony on

  12. 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…

  13. Why sauropods had long necks; and why giraffes have short necks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedel, Mathew J.

    2013-01-01

    The necks of the sauropod dinosaurs reached 15 m in length: six times longer than that of the world record giraffe and five times longer than those of all other terrestrial animals. Several anatomical features enabled this extreme elongation, including: absolutely large body size and quadrupedal stance providing a stable platform for a long neck; a small, light head that did not orally process food; cervical vertebrae that were both numerous and individually elongate; an efficient air-sac-based respiratory system; and distinctive cervical architecture. Relevant features of sauropod cervical vertebrae include: pneumatic chambers that enabled the bone to be positioned in a mechanically efficient way within the envelope; and muscular attachments of varying importance to the neural spines, epipophyses and cervical ribs. Other long-necked tetrapods lacked important features of sauropods, preventing the evolution of longer necks: for example, giraffes have relatively small torsos and large, heavy heads, share the usual mammalian constraint of only seven cervical vertebrae, and lack an air-sac system and pneumatic bones. Among non-sauropods, their saurischian relatives the theropod dinosaurs seem to have been best placed to evolve long necks, and indeed their necks probably surpassed those of giraffes. But 150 million years of evolution did not suffice for them to exceed a relatively modest 2.5 m. PMID:23638372

  14. Why sauropods had long necks; and why giraffes have short necks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Michael P; Wedel, Mathew J

    2013-01-01

    The necks of the sauropod dinosaurs reached 15 m in length: six times longer than that of the world record giraffe and five times longer than those of all other terrestrial animals. Several anatomical features enabled this extreme elongation, including: absolutely large body size and quadrupedal stance providing a stable platform for a long neck; a small, light head that did not orally process food; cervical vertebrae that were both numerous and individually elongate; an efficient air-sac-based respiratory system; and distinctive cervical architecture. Relevant features of sauropod cervical vertebrae include: pneumatic chambers that enabled the bone to be positioned in a mechanically efficient way within the envelope; and muscular attachments of varying importance to the neural spines, epipophyses and cervical ribs. Other long-necked tetrapods lacked important features of sauropods, preventing the evolution of longer necks: for example, giraffes have relatively small torsos and large, heavy heads, share the usual mammalian constraint of only seven cervical vertebrae, and lack an air-sac system and pneumatic bones. Among non-sauropods, their saurischian relatives the theropod dinosaurs seem to have been best placed to evolve long necks, and indeed their necks probably surpassed those of giraffes. But 150 million years of evolution did not suffice for them to exceed a relatively modest 2.5 m.

  15. Why sauropods had long necks; and why giraffes have short necks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P. Taylor

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The necks of the sauropod dinosaurs reached 15 m in length: six times longer than that of the world record giraffe and five times longer than those of all other terrestrial animals. Several anatomical features enabled this extreme elongation, including: absolutely large body size and quadrupedal stance providing a stable platform for a long neck; a small, light head that did not orally process food; cervical vertebrae that were both numerous and individually elongate; an efficient air-sac-based respiratory system; and distinctive cervical architecture. Relevant features of sauropod cervical vertebrae include: pneumatic chambers that enabled the bone to be positioned in a mechanically efficient way within the envelope; and muscular attachments of varying importance to the neural spines, epipophyses and cervical ribs. Other long-necked tetrapods lacked important features of sauropods, preventing the evolution of longer necks: for example, giraffes have relatively small torsos and large, heavy heads, share the usual mammalian constraint of only seven cervical vertebrae, and lack an air-sac system and pneumatic bones. Among non-sauropods, their saurischian relatives the theropod dinosaurs seem to have been best placed to evolve long necks, and indeed their necks probably surpassed those of giraffes. But 150 million years of evolution did not suffice for them to exceed a relatively modest 2.5 m.

  16. Why sauropods had long necks; and why giraffes have short necks

    OpenAIRE

    Taylor, Michael P.; Wedel, Mathew J.

    2013-01-01

    The necks of the sauropod dinosaurs reached 15 m in length: six times longer than that of the world record giraffe and five times longer than those of all other terrestrial animals. Several anatomical features enabled this extreme elongation, including: absolutely large body size and quadrupedal stance providing a stable platform for a long neck; a small, light head that did not orally process food; cervical vertebrae that were both numerous and individually elongate; an efficient air-sac-bas...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Inter-vertebral flexibility of the ostrich neck: implications for estimating sauropod neck flexibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobley, Matthew J; Rayfield, Emily J; Barrett, Paul M

    2013-01-01

    The flexibility and posture of the neck in sauropod dinosaurs has long been contentious. Improved constraints on sauropod neck function will have major implications for what we know of their foraging strategies, ecology and overall biology. Several hypotheses have been proposed, based primarily on osteological data, suggesting different degrees of neck flexibility. This study attempts to assess the effects of reconstructed soft tissues on sauropod neck flexibility through systematic removal of muscle groups and measures of flexibility of the neck in a living analogue, the ostrich (Struthio camelus). The possible effect of cartilage on flexibility is also examined, as this was previously overlooked in osteological estimates of sauropod neck function. These comparisons show that soft tissues are likely to have limited the flexibility of the neck beyond the limits suggested by osteology alone. In addition, the inferred presence of cartilage, and varying the inter-vertebral spacing within the synovial capsule, also affect neck flexibility. One hypothesis proposed that flexibility is constrained by requiring a minimum overlap between successive zygapophyses equivalent to 50% of zygapophyseal articular surface length (ONP50). This assumption is tested by comparing the maximum flexibility of the articulated cervical column in ONP50 and the flexibility of the complete neck with all tissues intact. It is found that this model does not adequately convey the pattern of flexibility in the ostrich neck, suggesting that the ONP50 model may not be useful in determining neck function if considered in isolation from myological and other soft tissue data.

  20. Inter-vertebral flexibility of the ostrich neck: implications for estimating sauropod neck flexibility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Cobley

    Full Text Available The flexibility and posture of the neck in sauropod dinosaurs has long been contentious. Improved constraints on sauropod neck function will have major implications for what we know of their foraging strategies, ecology and overall biology. Several hypotheses have been proposed, based primarily on osteological data, suggesting different degrees of neck flexibility. This study attempts to assess the effects of reconstructed soft tissues on sauropod neck flexibility through systematic removal of muscle groups and measures of flexibility of the neck in a living analogue, the ostrich (Struthio camelus. The possible effect of cartilage on flexibility is also examined, as this was previously overlooked in osteological estimates of sauropod neck function. These comparisons show that soft tissues are likely to have limited the flexibility of the neck beyond the limits suggested by osteology alone. In addition, the inferred presence of cartilage, and varying the inter-vertebral spacing within the synovial capsule, also affect neck flexibility. One hypothesis proposed that flexibility is constrained by requiring a minimum overlap between successive zygapophyses equivalent to 50% of zygapophyseal articular surface length (ONP50. This assumption is tested by comparing the maximum flexibility of the articulated cervical column in ONP50 and the flexibility of the complete neck with all tissues intact. It is found that this model does not adequately convey the pattern of flexibility in the ostrich neck, suggesting that the ONP50 model may not be useful in determining neck function if considered in isolation from myological and other soft tissue data.

  1. A Basal Lithostrotian Titanosaur (Dinosauria: Sauropoda) with a Complete Skull: Implications for the Evolution and Paleobiology of Titanosauria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Rubén D. F.; Lamanna, Matthew C.; Novas, Fernando E.; Ridgely, Ryan C.; Casal, Gabriel A.; Martínez, Javier E.; Vita, Javier R.; Witmer, Lawrence M.

    2016-01-01

    We describe Sarmientosaurus musacchioi gen. et sp. nov., a titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian—Turonian) Lower Member of the Bajo Barreal Formation of southern Chubut Province in central Patagonia, Argentina. The holotypic and only known specimen consists of an articulated, virtually complete skull and part of the cranial and middle cervical series. Sarmientosaurus exhibits the following distinctive features that we interpret as autapomorphies: (1) maximum diameter of orbit nearly 40% rostrocaudal length of cranium; (2) complex maxilla—lacrimal articulation, in which the lacrimal clasps the ascending ramus of the maxilla; (3) medial edge of caudal sector of maxillary ascending ramus bordering bony nasal aperture with low but distinct ridge; (4) ‘tongue-like’ ventral process of quadratojugal that overlaps quadrate caudally; (5) separate foramina for all three branches of the trigeminal nerve; (6) absence of median venous canal connecting infundibular region to ventral part of brainstem; (7) subvertical premaxillary, procumbent maxillary, and recumbent dentary teeth; (8) cervical vertebrae with ‘strut-like’ centroprezygapophyseal laminae; (9) extremely elongate and slender ossified tendon positioned ventrolateral to cervical vertebrae and ribs. The cranial endocast of Sarmientosaurus preserves some of the most complete information obtained to date regarding the brain and sensory systems of sauropods. Phylogenetic analysis recovers the new taxon as a basal member of Lithostrotia, as the most plesiomorphic titanosaurian to be preserved with a complete skull. Sarmientosaurus provides a wealth of new cranial evidence that reaffirms the close relationship of titanosaurs to Brachiosauridae. Moreover, the presence of the relatively derived lithostrotian Tapuiasaurus in Aptian deposits indicates that the new Patagonian genus represents a ‘ghost lineage’ with a comparatively plesiomorphic craniodental form, the evolutionary

  2. Raising the sauropod neck: it costs more to get less.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Roger S

    2009-06-23

    The long necks of gigantic sauropod dinosaurs are commonly assumed to have been used for high browsing to obtain enough food. However, this analysis questions whether such a posture was reasonable from the standpoint of energetics. The energy cost of circulating the blood can be estimated accurately from two physiological axioms that relate metabolic rate, blood flow rate and arterial blood pressure: (i) metabolic rate is proportional to blood flow rate and (ii) cardiac work rate is proportional to the product of blood flow rate and blood pressure. The analysis shows that it would have required the animal to expend approximately half of its energy intake just to circulate the blood, primarily because a vertical neck would have required a high systemic arterial blood pressure. It is therefore energetically more feasible to have used a more or less horizontal neck to enable wide browsing while keeping blood pressure low.

  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. Synchrotron μ-XRF determination of element distribution in fossilized sauropod bones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zoeger, N.; Wobrauschek, P.; Streli, C.; Jokubonis, C.; Pepponi, G.; FalKEXnberg, G.; Sander, P.M.; Ferreyro, R.; Pyzalla, A.R.

    2005-01-01

    Full text: Sauropod dinosaurs were typically one magnitude larger than any other living or extinct terrestrial animal. This sheer size of the sauropod leads to scale effects in their biology and physiology that still are only inadequately understood. The primary remnants of the sauropods are their fossilized bones. These fossilized bones have sustained burial for some hundred million years and thus may have experienced significant diagenetic changes which are not affecting bone preservation at the histological level, but lead to significant alterations of the bone microstructure at the sub histological level. We investigated the influence of diagenesis on the microstructure of fossilized sauropod bones using bone cross sections of Brachiosaurus brancai and Barosaurus africanus long bones (femura and humeri) that were excavated from the Tendaguru beds in Tanzania. The change in chemical composition due to interactions between bone and sediments was characterized by synchrotron micro-X-ray fluorescence analysis (SR l'-XRF) in confocal geometry. Measurements have been carried out at the micro-focus end-station at HASYLAB beamline L using a monochromatic synchrotron beam from a bending magnet at 17.2 KEXV. The high spatial resolution achievable using this variant of SR l'-XRF revealed two-dimensional element maps of U, Sr, Pb, Fe, Cu, Mn, V, Cr, Co in the fluorapatite of the fossilized bone and in the calcite filling of the bone cavities. The results show distinct differences in the spatial distribution of these elements. The inhomogeneities of the element distribution observed in the dinosaur bone thus give some indications about the interdiffusion between the bone and its environment. (author)

  5. Synchrotron {mu}-XRF determination of element distribution in fossilized sauropod bones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zoeger, N; Wobrauschek, P; Streli, C; Jokubonis, C [TU Wien, Atominstitiut der Oesterreichischen Universitaeten, Stadionallee 2, A-1020 Wien (Austria); Pepponi, G [ITC-irst, Centro per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica, via Sommarive 18, 38050 Povo, Trento (Italy); FalKEXnberg, G [Hamburger Synchrotronstrahlungslabor HASYLAB am Deutschen Elektronen-Synchrotron, NotKEXstr. 85, 22603 Hamburg (Germany); Sander, P M [Institute for Paleontology, University of Bonn, Nussallee 8, D-53115 Bonn (Germany); Ferreyro, R; Pyzalla, A R [TU Wien, Institute of Material Science and Technology, Karlsplatz 13-308, A-1040 Wien (Austria)

    2005-07-01

    Full text: Sauropod dinosaurs were typically one magnitude larger than any other living or extinct terrestrial animal. This sheer size of the sauropod leads to scale effects in their biology and physiology that still are only inadequately understood. The primary remnants of the sauropods are their fossilized bones. These fossilized bones have sustained burial for some hundred million years and thus may have experienced significant diagenetic changes which are not affecting bone preservation at the histological level, but lead to significant alterations of the bone microstructure at the sub histological level. We investigated the influence of diagenesis on the microstructure of fossilized sauropod bones using bone cross sections of Brachiosaurus brancai and Barosaurus africanus long bones (femura and humeri) that were excavated from the Tendaguru beds in Tanzania. The change in chemical composition due to interactions between bone and sediments was characterized by synchrotron micro-X-ray fluorescence analysis (SR l'-XRF) in confocal geometry. Measurements have been carried out at the micro-focus end-station at HASYLAB beamline L using a monochromatic synchrotron beam from a bending magnet at 17.2 KEXV. The high spatial resolution achievable using this variant of SR l'-XRF revealed two-dimensional element maps of U, Sr, Pb, Fe, Cu, Mn, V, Cr, Co in the fluorapatite of the fossilized bone and in the calcite filling of the bone cavities. The results show distinct differences in the spatial distribution of these elements. The inhomogeneities of the element distribution observed in the dinosaur bone thus give some indications about the interdiffusion between the bone and its environment. (author)

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. A diplodocid sauropod survivor from the early cretaceous of South America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo A Gallina

    Full Text Available Diplodocids are by far the most emblematic sauropod dinosaurs. They are part of Diplodocoidea, a vast clade whose other members are well-known from Jurassic and Cretaceous strata in Africa, Europe, North and South America. However, Diplodocids were never certainly recognized from the Cretaceous or in any other southern land mass besides Africa. Here we report a new sauropod, Leikupal laticauda gen. et sp. nov., from the early Lower Cretaceous (Bajada Colorada Formation of Neuquén Province, Patagonia, Argentina. This taxon differs from any other sauropod by the presence of anterior caudal transverse process extremely developed with lateroventral expansions reinforced by robust dorsal and ventral bars, very robust centroprezygapophyseal lamina in anterior caudal vertebra and paired pneumatic fossae on the postzygapophyses in anterior-most caudal vertebra. The phylogenetic analyses support its position not only within Diplodocidae but also as a member of Diplodocinae, clustering together with the African form Tornieria, pushing the origin of Diplodocoidea to the Middle Jurassic or even earlier. The new discovery represents the first record of a diplodocid for South America and the stratigraphically youngest record of this clade anywhere.

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Rethinking the nature of fibrolamellar bone: an integrative biological revision of sauropod plexiform bone formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Koen; Prondvai, Edina

    2014-02-01

    We present novel findings on sauropod bone histology that cast doubt on general palaeohistological concepts concerning the true nature of woven bone in primary cortical bone and its role in the rapid growth and giant body sizes of sauropod dinosaurs. By preparing and investigating longitudinal thin sections of sauropod long bones, of which transverse thin sections were published previously, we found that the amount of woven bone in the primary complex has been largely overestimated. Using comparative cellular and light-extinction characteristics in the two section planes, we revealed that the majority of the bony lamina consists of longitudinally organized primary bone, whereas woven bone is usually represented only by a layer a few cells thin in the laminae. Previous arguments on sauropod biology, which have been based on the overestimated amount, misinterpreted formation process and misjudged role of woven bone in the plexiform bone formation of sauropod dinosaurs, are thereby rejected. To explain the observed pattern in fossil bones, we review the most recent advances in bone biology concerning bone formation processes at the cellular and tissue levels. Differentiation between static and dynamic osteogenesis (SO and DO) and the revealed characteristics of SO- versus DO-derived bone tissues shed light on several questions raised by our palaeohistological results and permit identification of these bone tissues in fossils with high confidence. By presenting the methods generally used for investigating fossil bones, we show that the major cause of overestimation of the amount of woven bone in previous palaeohistological studies is the almost exclusive usage of transverse sections. In these sections, cells and crystallites of the longitudinally organized primary bone are cut transversely, thus cells appear rounded and crystallites remain dark under crossed plane polarizers, thereby giving the false impression of woven bone. In order to avoid further confusion in

  13. Skull (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The skull is anterior to the spinal column and is the bony structure that encases the brain. Its purpose ... the facial muscles. The two regions of the skull are the cranial and facial region. The cranial ...

  14. 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.

  15. Skull Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slesnick, Irwin L.

    1988-01-01

    Disguises a lesson about skulls with some fun to cause less fear among students. Outlines strategies, questions, and answers for use. Includes a skull mask which can be photocopied and distributed to students as a learning tool and a fun Halloween treat. Also shown is a picture of skull parts. (RT)

  16. Skull Radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    What you need to know about… Skull Radiography X-ray images of the skull are taken when it is necessary to see the cranium, facial bones or jaw bones. ... Among other things, x-ray exams of the skull can show fractures. Patient Preparation Before the examination, ...

  17. 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.

  18. Three-dimensional elasto-plastic soil modelling and analysis of sauropod tracks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugenio Sanz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports the use of FEA (Finite Element Analysis to model dinosaur tracks. Satisfactory reproductions of sauropod ichnites were simulated using 3D numerical models of the elasto-plastic behaviour of soils. Though the modelling was done of ichnites in situ at the Miraflores I tracksite (Soria, Spain, the methodology could be applied to other tracksites to improve their ichnological interpretation and better understand how the type and state of the trodden sediment at the moment the track is created is a fundamental determinant of the morphology of the ichnite. The results obtained explain why the initial and commonly adopted hypothesis—that soft sediments become progressively more rigid and resistant at depth—is not appropriate at this tracksite. We explain why it is essential to consider a more rigid superficial layer (caused by desiccation overlying a softer layer that is extruded to form a displacement rim. Adult sauropods left trackways behind them. These tracks could be filled up with water due to phreatic level was close to the ground surface. The simulation provides us with a means to explain the differences between similar tracks (of different depths; with or without displacement rims in the various stratigraphic layers of the tracksite and to explain why temporary and variable conditions of humidity lead to these differences in the tracks. The simulations also demonstrate that track depth alone is insufficient to differentiate true tracks from undertracks and that other discrimination criteria need to be taken into account. The scarcity of baby sauropod tracks is explained because they are shallow and easily eroded.

  19. 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.

  20. Crocodilian Nest in a Late Cretaceous Sauropod Hatchery from the Type Lameta Ghat Locality, Jabalpur, India.

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    Rahul Srivastava

    Full Text Available The well-known Late Cretaceous Lameta Ghat locality (Jabalpur, India provides a window of opportunity to study a large stable, near shore sandy beach, which was widely used by sauropod dinosaurs as a hatchery. In this paper, we revisit the eggs and eggshell fragments previously assigned to lizards from this locality and reassign them to crocodylomorphs. Several features point to a crocodilian affinity, including a subspherical to ellipsoidal shape, smooth, uneven external surface, discrete trapezoid shaped shell units with wide top and narrow base, basal knobs and wedge shaped crystallites showing typical inverted triangular extinction under crossed nicols. The crocodylomorph eggshell material presented in this paper adds to the skeletal data of these most probably Cretaceous-Eocene dryosaurid crocodiles.

  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.

    2010-01-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. Photographic Atlas and Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Holotype Skull of Euhelopus zdanskyi with Description of Additional Cranial Elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poropat, Stephen F.; Kear, Benjamin P.

    2013-01-01

    Background Euhelopus zdanskyi is one of relatively few sauropod taxa known from an almost complete skull and mandible. Recent phylogenetic analyses suggest that Euhelopus is a somphospondylan titanosauriform, and that it is a member of the clade (Euhelopodidae) which is the sister taxon to the hugely successful, dominantly Cretaceous sauropod group Titanosauria. Methodology/Principal Findings The skull elements of Euhelopus were CT scanned at Uppsala Akademiska Sjukhuset. Three-dimensional models of the elements were constructed from the DICOM data using Mimics 14.0, InVesalius 3.0, and GeoMagic Studio 2012, the skull was rearticulated in Rhinoceros 4.0, and the final version was rendered in GeoMagic Studio 2012. Conclusions/Significance The fact that relatively complete sauropod skulls are so rare in the fossil record, particularly among titanosauriforms, means that the skulls that are known should be as thoroughly described and well-illustrated as possible. This contribution supplements previous descriptions of the cranial elements of Euhelopus, one of the few euhelopodid taxa for which cranial material is known, by presenting a comprehensive photographic atlas of the skull elements to facilitate a better understanding of their morphology. We describe several elements which have been overlooked in past studies of Euhelopus, and also provide as accurate a reconstruction of the skull as possible (in the absence of the braincase), the most significant components of which are the articulations of the palate and the mandible. PMID:24278222

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Wedel (2006) SVP Poster - sauropod neck elongation

    OpenAIRE

    Wedel, Mathew

    2013-01-01

    The poster I presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. The blue 'updated' boxes in the abstract represent changes I made between submitting the abstract and presenting the poster. The abstract appeared as: Wedel, M.J. 2006. Pneumaticity, neck length, and body size in sauropods. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26(3):137A. The email and webpage info at the top of the poster are now out of date. My personal webpage is now http://sauroposeidon.wordpr...

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. Functional relationship between skull form and feeding mechanics in Sphenodon, and implications for diapsid skull development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Curtis

    Full Text Available The vertebrate skull evolved to protect the brain and sense organs, but with the appearance of jaws and associated forces there was a remarkable structural diversification. This suggests that the evolution of skull form may be linked to these forces, but an important area of debate is whether bone in the skull is minimised with respect to these forces, or whether skulls are mechanically "over-designed" and constrained by phylogeny and development. Mechanical analysis of diapsid reptile skulls could shed light on this longstanding debate. Compared to those of mammals, the skulls of many extant and extinct diapsids comprise an open framework of fenestrae (window-like openings separated by bony struts (e.g., lizards, tuatara, dinosaurs and crocodiles, a cranial form thought to be strongly linked to feeding forces. We investigated this link by utilising the powerful engineering approach of multibody dynamics analysis to predict the physiological forces acting on the skull of the diapsid reptile Sphenodon. We then ran a series of structural finite element analyses to assess the correlation between bone strain and skull form. With comprehensive loading we found that the distribution of peak von Mises strains was particularly uniform throughout the skull, although specific regions were dominated by tensile strains while others were dominated by compressive strains. Our analyses suggest that the frame-like skulls of diapsid reptiles are probably optimally formed (mechanically ideal: sufficient strength with the minimal amount of bone with respect to functional forces; they are efficient in terms of having minimal bone volume, minimal weight, and also minimal energy demands in maintenance.

  8. Functional Relationship between Skull Form and Feeding Mechanics in Sphenodon, and Implications for Diapsid Skull Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Neil; Jones, Marc E. H.; Shi, Junfen; O'Higgins, Paul; Evans, Susan E.; Fagan, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    The vertebrate skull evolved to protect the brain and sense organs, but with the appearance of jaws and associated forces there was a remarkable structural diversification. This suggests that the evolution of skull form may be linked to these forces, but an important area of debate is whether bone in the skull is minimised with respect to these forces, or whether skulls are mechanically “over-designed” and constrained by phylogeny and development. Mechanical analysis of diapsid reptile skulls could shed light on this longstanding debate. Compared to those of mammals, the skulls of many extant and extinct diapsids comprise an open framework of fenestrae (window-like openings) separated by bony struts (e.g., lizards, tuatara, dinosaurs and crocodiles), a cranial form thought to be strongly linked to feeding forces. We investigated this link by utilising the powerful engineering approach of multibody dynamics analysis to predict the physiological forces acting on the skull of the diapsid reptile Sphenodon. We then ran a series of structural finite element analyses to assess the correlation between bone strain and skull form. With comprehensive loading we found that the distribution of peak von Mises strains was particularly uniform throughout the skull, although specific regions were dominated by tensile strains while others were dominated by compressive strains. Our analyses suggest that the frame-like skulls of diapsid reptiles are probably optimally formed (mechanically ideal: sufficient strength with the minimal amount of bone) with respect to functional forces; they are efficient in terms of having minimal bone volume, minimal weight, and also minimal energy demands in maintenance. PMID:22216358

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. Infant skull fracture (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skull fractures may occur with head injuries. Although the skull is both tough and resilient and provides excellent ... or blow can result in fracture of the skull and may be accompanied by injury to the ...

  14. Diseases of the skull

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koval', G.Yu.

    1984-01-01

    Different forms of skull diseases viz. inflammatory diseases, skull tumors, primary and secondary bone tumors, are considered. Roentgenograms in some above-mentioned diseases are presented and analysed

  15. 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

    Spondylosoma absconditum. The identification of dinosaur apomorphies is jeopardized by the incompleteness of skeletal remains attributed to most basal dinosauromorphs, the skulls and forelimbs of which are particularly poorly known. Nonetheless, Dinosauria can be diagnosed by a suite of derived traits, most of which are related to the anatomy of the pelvic girdle and limb. Some of these are connected to the acquisition of a fully erect bipedal gait, which has been traditionally suggested to represent a key adaptation that allowed, or even promoted, dinosaur radiation during Late Triassic times. Yet, contrary to the classical "competitive" models, dinosaurs did not gradually replace other terrestrial tetrapods over the Late Triassic. In fact, the radiation of the group comprises at least three landmark moments, separated by controversial (Carnian-Norian, Triassic-Jurassic) extinction events. These are mainly characterized by early diversification in Carnian times, a Norian increase in diversity and (especially) abundance, and the occupation of new niches from the Early Jurassic onwards. Dinosaurs arose from fully bipedal ancestors, the diet of which may have been carnivorous or omnivorous. Whereas the oldest dinosaurs were geographically restricted to south Pangea, including rare ornithischians and more abundant basal members of the saurischian lineage, the group achieved a nearly global distribution by the latest Triassic, especially with the radiation of saurischian groups such as "prosauropods" and coelophysoids.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Skull x-ray

    Science.gov (United States)

    X-ray - head; X-ray - skull; Skull radiography; Head x-ray ... There is low radiation exposure. X-rays are monitored and regulated to provide the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. Most ...

  4. Skull anatomy (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The skull is anterior to the spinal column and is the bony structure that encases the brain. Its purpose ... the facial muscles. The two regions of the skull are the cranial and facial region. The cranial ...

  5. 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.

  6. The articulation of sauropod necks: methodology and mythology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Kent A

    2013-01-01

    Sauropods are often imagined to have held their heads high atop necks that ascended in a sweeping curve that was formed either intrinsically because of the shape of their vertebrae, or behaviorally by lifting the head, or both. Their necks are also popularly depicted in life with poses suggesting avian flexibility. The grounds for such interpretations are examined in terms of vertebral osteology, inferences about missing soft tissues, intervertebral flexibility, and behavior. Osteologically, the pronounced opisthocoely and conformal central and zygapophyseal articular surfaces strongly constrain the reconstruction of the cervical vertebral column. The sauropod cervico-dorsal vertebral column is essentially straight, in contrast to the curvature exhibited in those extant vertebrates that naturally hold their heads above rising necks. Regarding flexibility, extant vertebrates with homologous articular geometries preserve a degree of zygapophyseal overlap at the limits of deflection, a constraint that is further restricted by soft tissues. Sauropod necks, if similarly constrained, were capable of sweeping out large feeding surfaces, yet much less capable of retracting the head to explore the enclosed volume in an avian manner. Behaviorally, modern vertebrates generally assume characteristic neck postures which are close to the intrinsic curvature of the undeflected neck. With the exception of some vertebrates that can retract their heads to balance above their shoulders at rest (e.g., felids, lagomorphs, and some ratites), the undeflected neck generally predicts the default head height at rest and during locomotion.

  7. The Articulation of Sauropod Necks: Methodology and Mythology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Kent A.

    2013-01-01

    Sauropods are often imagined to have held their heads high atop necks that ascended in a sweeping curve that was formed either intrinsically because of the shape of their vertebrae, or behaviorally by lifting the head, or both. Their necks are also popularly depicted in life with poses suggesting avian flexibility. The grounds for such interpretations are examined in terms of vertebral osteology, inferences about missing soft tissues, intervertebral flexibility, and behavior. Osteologically, the pronounced opisthocoely and conformal central and zygapophyseal articular surfaces strongly constrain the reconstruction of the cervical vertebral column. The sauropod cervico-dorsal vertebral column is essentially straight, in contrast to the curvature exhibited in those extant vertebrates that naturally hold their heads above rising necks. Regarding flexibility, extant vertebrates with homologous articular geometries preserve a degree of zygapophyseal overlap at the limits of deflection, a constraint that is further restricted by soft tissues. Sauropod necks, if similarly constrained, were capable of sweeping out large feeding surfaces, yet much less capable of retracting the head to explore the enclosed volume in an avian manner. Behaviorally, modern vertebrates generally assume characteristic neck postures which are close to the intrinsic curvature of the undeflected neck. With the exception of some vertebrates that can retract their heads to balance above their shoulders at rest (e.g., felids, lagomorphs, and some ratites), the undeflected neck generally predicts the default head height at rest and during locomotion. PMID:24205266

  8. 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?

  9. 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.…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    herbivores in terms of relative abundance. Sympatric hadrosaurids may have avoided competing with one another by feeding differentially using bipedal and quadrupedal postures. These ecological relationships evidently proved to be evolutionarily stable because they characterize the herbivore assemblage of the Dinosaur Park Formation through time. If niche partitioning served to facilitate the rich diversity of these animals, it may have been achieved by other means in addition to feeding height stratification. Consideration of other feeding height proxies, including dental microwear and skull morphology, may help to alleviate problems of underdetermination identified here. PMID:23557203

  15. 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

    abundance. Sympatric hadrosaurids may have avoided competing with one another by feeding differentially using bipedal and quadrupedal postures. These ecological relationships evidently proved to be evolutionarily stable because they characterize the herbivore assemblage of the Dinosaur Park Formation through time. If niche partitioning served to facilitate the rich diversity of these animals, it may have been achieved by other means in addition to feeding height stratification. Consideration of other feeding height proxies, including dental microwear and skull morphology, may help to alleviate problems of underdetermination identified here.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Sauropod necks: are they really for heat loss?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald M Henderson

    Full Text Available Three-dimensional digital models of 16 different sauropods were used to examine the scaling relationship between metabolism and surface areas of the whole body, the neck, and the tail in an attempt to see if the necks could have functioned as radiators for the elimination of excess body heat. The sauropod taxa sample ranged in body mass from a 639 kg juvenile Camarasaurus to a 25 t adult Brachiosaurus. Metabolism was assumed to be directly proportional to body mass raised to the ¾ power, and estimates of body mass accounted for the presence of lungs and systems of air sacs in the trunk and neck. Surface areas were determined by decomposing the model surfaces into triangles and their areas being computed by vector methods. It was found that total body surface area was almost isometric with body mass, and that it showed negative allometry when plotted against metabolic rate. In contrast, neck area showed positive allometry when plotted against metabolic rate. Tail area show negative allometry with respect to metabolic rate. The many uncertainties about the biology of sauropods, and the variety of environmental conditions that different species experienced during the groups 150 million years of existence, make it difficult to be absolutely certain about the function of the neck as a radiator. However, the functional combination of the allometric increase of neck area, the systems of air sacs in the neck and trunk, the active control of blood flow between the core and surface of the body, changing skin color, and strategic orientation of the neck with respect to wind, make it plausible that the neck could have functioned as a radiator to avoid over-heating.

  19. 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.

  20. Skull base tumours

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borges, Alexandra [Instituto Portugues de Oncologia Francisco Gentil, Servico de Radiologia, Rua Professor Lima Basto, 1093 Lisboa Codex (Portugal)], E-mail: borgesalexandra@clix.pt

    2008-06-15

    With the advances of cross-sectional imaging radiologists gained an increasing responsibility in the management of patients with skull base pathology. As this anatomic area is hidden to clinical exam, surgeons and radiation oncologists have to rely on imaging studies to plan the most adequate treatment. To fulfil these endeavour radiologists need to be knowledgeable about skull base anatomy, about the main treatment options available, their indications and contra-indications and needs to be aware of the wide gamut of pathologies seen in this anatomic region. This article will provide a radiologists' friendly approach to the central skull base and will review the most common central skull base tumours and tumours intrinsic to the bony skull base.

  1. Skull base tumours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borges, Alexandra

    2008-01-01

    With the advances of cross-sectional imaging radiologists gained an increasing responsibility in the management of patients with skull base pathology. As this anatomic area is hidden to clinical exam, surgeons and radiation oncologists have to rely on imaging studies to plan the most adequate treatment. To fulfil these endeavour radiologists need to be knowledgeable about skull base anatomy, about the main treatment options available, their indications and contra-indications and needs to be aware of the wide gamut of pathologies seen in this anatomic region. This article will provide a radiologists' friendly approach to the central skull base and will review the most common central skull base tumours and tumours intrinsic to the bony skull base

  2. 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....

  3. 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.

  4. Hints of the Early Jehol Biota: Important Dinosaur Footprint Assemblages from the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary Tuchengzi Formation in Beijing, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Lida; Zhang, Jianping; Lockley, Martin G.; McCrea, Richard T.; Klein, Hendrik; Alcalá, Luis; Buckley, Lisa G.; Burns, Michael E.; Kümmell, Susanna B.; He, Qing

    2015-01-01

    New reports of dinosaur tracksites in the Tuchengzi Formation in the newly established Yanqing Global Geopark, Beijing, China, support previous inferences that the track assemblages from this formation are saurischian-dominated. More specifically, the assemblages appear theropod-dominated, with the majority of well-preserved tracks conforming to the Grallator type (sensus lato), thus representing relatively small trackmakers. Such ichnofaunas supplement the skeletal record from this unit that lacks theropods thus far, proving a larger diversity of dinosaur faunas in that region. Sauropods are represented by medium to large sized and narrow and wide-gauge groups, respectively. The latter correspond with earlier discoveries of titanosauriform skeletons in the same unit. Previous records of ornithischian tracks cannot be positively confirmed. Purported occurrences are re-evaluated here, the trackways and imprints, except of a single possible specimen, re-assigned to theropods. Palecologically the Tuchengzi ichnofauna is characteristic of semi-arid fluvio-lacustrine inland basins with Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous deposits in northern China that all show assemblages with abundant theropod and sauropod tracks and minor components of ornithopod, pterosaur and bird tracks. PMID:25901363

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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,…

  12. 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.

  13. Historical photogrammetry: Bird's Paluxy River dinosaur chase sequence digitally reconstructed as it was prior to excavation 70 years ago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkingham, Peter L; Bates, Karl T; Farlow, James O

    2014-01-01

    It is inevitable that some important specimens will become lost or damaged over time, conservation is therefore of vital importance. The Paluxy River dinosaur tracksite is among the most famous in the world. In 1940, Roland T. Bird described and excavated a portion of the site containing associated theropod and sauropod trackways. This excavated trackway was split up and housed in different institutions, and during the process a portion was lost or destroyed. We applied photogrammetric techniques to photographs taken by Bird over 70 years ago, before the trackway was removed, to digitally reconstruct the site as it was prior to excavation. The 3D digital model offers the opportunity to corroborate maps drawn by R.T. Bird when the tracksite was first described. More broadly, this work demonstrates the exciting potential for digitally recreating palaeontological, geological, or archaeological specimens that have been lost to science, but for which photographic documentation exists.

  14. Anisotropic composite human skull model and skull fracture validation against temporo-parietal skull fracture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahoo, Debasis; Deck, Caroline; Yoganandan, Narayan; Willinger, Rémy

    2013-12-01

    A composite material model for skull, taking into account damage is implemented in the Strasbourg University finite element head model (SUFEHM) in order to enhance the existing skull mechanical constitutive law. The skull behavior is validated in terms of fracture patterns and contact forces by reconstructing 15 experimental cases. The new SUFEHM skull model is capable of reproducing skull fracture precisely. The composite skull model is validated not only for maximum forces, but also for lateral impact against actual force time curves from PMHS for the first time. Skull strain energy is found to be a pertinent parameter to predict the skull fracture and based on statistical (binary logistical regression) analysis it is observed that 50% risk of skull fracture occurred at skull strain energy of 544.0mJ. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Ontogenetic changes in the craniomandibular skeleton of the abelisaurid dinosaur Majungasaurus crenatissimus from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

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    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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

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

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    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.

  1. Skull penetrating wound

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez Orlandi, Yvei; Junco Martin, Reinel; Rojas Manresa, Jorge; Duboy Limonta, Victor; Matos Herrera, Omar; Saez Corvo, Yunet

    2011-01-01

    The cranioencephalic trauma is common in the emergence centers to care for patients with multiple traumata and it becames in a health problem in many countries. Skull penetrating trauma is located in a special place due to its low frequency. In present paper a case of male patient aged 52 severely skull-injured with penetrating wound caused by a cold steel that remained introduced into the left frontotemporal region. After an imaging study the emergence surgical treatment was applied and patient evolves adequately after 25 days of hospitalization. Nowadays, she is under rehabilitation treatment due to a residual right hemiparesis.(author)

  2. LIDAR-based characterization and conservation of the first theropod dinosaur trackways from Arkansas, USA.

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    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.

  3. 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.

  4. The variability of inner ear orientation in saurischian dinosaurs: testing the use of semicircular canals as a reference system for comparative anatomy

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    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.

  5. 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).

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

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    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.

  7. The cranial anatomy of the neornithischian dinosaur Thescelosaurus neglectus

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    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

  8. The taphonomy of dinosaurs from the Upper Jurassic of Tendaguru (Tanzania based on field sketches of the German tendaguru expedition (1909–1913

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    W.-D. Heinrich

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Tendaguru is one of the most important dinosaur localities in Africa. The Tendaguru Beds have produced a diverse Late Jurassic (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian dinosaur assemblage, including sauropods (Brachiosaurus, Barosaurus, Dicraeosaurus, Janenschia, theropods (e.g., Elaphrosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Allosaurus, and ornithischians (Kentrosaurus, Dryosaurus. Contrary to the well studied skeletal anatomy of the Tendaguru dinosaurs, the available taphonomic information is rather limited, and a generally accepted taphonomic model has not yet been established. Assessment of unpublished excavation sketches by the German Tendaguru expedition (1909–1913 document bone assemblages of sauropod and ornithischian dinosaurs from the Middle Saurian Bed, Upper Saurian Bed, and the Transitional Sands above the Trigonia smeei Bed, and shed some light on the taphonomy of the Tendaguru dinosaurs. Stages of disarticulation range from incomplete skeletons to solitary bones, and strongly argue for carcass decay and post-mortem transport prior to burial. The sauropod bone accumulations are dominated by adult individuals, and juveniles are rare or missing. The occurrence of bones in different superimposed dinosaur-bearing horizons indicates that skeletal remains were accumulated over a long time span during the Late Jurassic, and the majority of the bone accumulations are probably attritional. These accumulations are likely to have resulted from long-term bone imput due to normal mortality events caused by starvation, seasonal drought, disease, old age and weakness. The depositional environment of the Middle and Upper Saurian Bed was mainly limnic to brackish in origin, while the palaeoenvironment of the Transitional Sands was marginal marine. Tendaguru zählt zu den bedeutendsten Dinosaurier-Lagerstätten Afrikas. Aus den Tendaguru-Schichten sind zahlreiche Skelettreste von Sauropoden (Brachiosaurus, Barosaurus, Dicraeosaurus, Janenschia, Theropoden (z.B. Elaphrosaurus

  9. Body size distribution of the dinosaurs.

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    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. 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.

  15. The skull in renal osteodystrophy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orzincolo, C.; Tamarozzi, R.; Bedani, P.L.

    1987-01-01

    Skull X-ray of 60 patients with chronic renal failure were examined. Alterations included diminished or increased bone density, radiolucent areas, pepper pot skull and the disappearance of vascular grooves and sutures. It is suggested that the radiological aspect of the skull is of very little diagnostic use in the assessment of uremic osteopathy since specific alterations are rare and tardive and show no correlation with clinical and laboratory findings. Skull X-ray can be usefull in assessing the effects of treatment (vitamin D derivaties, parathyroidectomy) and for the identification of focal lesions (brown tumors)

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Aging, Maturation and Growth of Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs as Deduced from Growth Curves Using Long Bone Histological Data: An Assessment of Methodological Constraints and Solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griebeler, Eva Maria; Klein, Nicole; Sander, P Martin

    2013-01-01

    Information on aging, maturation, and growth is important for understanding life histories of organisms. In extinct dinosaurs, such information can be derived from the histological growth record preserved in the mid-shaft cortex of long bones. Here, we construct growth models to estimate ages at death, ages at sexual maturity, ages at which individuals were fully-grown, and maximum growth rates from the growth record preserved in long bones of six sauropod dinosaur individuals (one indeterminate mamenchisaurid, two Apatosaurus sp., two indeterminate diplodocids, and one Camarasaurus sp.) and one basal sauropodomorph dinosaur individual (Plateosaurus engelhardti). Using these estimates, we establish allometries between body mass and each of these traits and compare these to extant taxa. Growth models considered for each dinosaur individual were the von Bertalanffy model, the Gompertz model, and the logistic model (LGM), all of which have inherently fixed inflection points, and the Chapman-Richards model in which the point is not fixed. We use the arithmetic mean of the age at the inflection point and of the age at which 90% of asymptotic mass is reached to assess respectively the age at sexual maturity or the age at onset of reproduction, because unambiguous indicators of maturity in Sauropodomorpha are lacking. According to an AIC-based model selection process, the LGM was the best model for our sauropodomorph sample. Allometries established are consistent with literature data on other Sauropodomorpha. All Sauropodomorpha reached full size within a time span similar to scaled-up modern mammalian megaherbivores and had similar maximum growth rates to scaled-up modern megaherbivores and ratites, but growth rates of Sauropodomorpha were lower than of an average mammal. Sauropodomorph ages at death probably were lower than that of average scaled-up ratites and megaherbivores. Sauropodomorpha were older at maturation than scaled-up ratites and average mammals, but

  19. Aging, Maturation and Growth of Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs as Deduced from Growth Curves Using Long Bone Histological Data: An Assessment of Methodological Constraints and Solutions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Maria Griebeler

    Full Text Available Information on aging, maturation, and growth is important for understanding life histories of organisms. In extinct dinosaurs, such information can be derived from the histological growth record preserved in the mid-shaft cortex of long bones. Here, we construct growth models to estimate ages at death, ages at sexual maturity, ages at which individuals were fully-grown, and maximum growth rates from the growth record preserved in long bones of six sauropod dinosaur individuals (one indeterminate mamenchisaurid, two Apatosaurus sp., two indeterminate diplodocids, and one Camarasaurus sp. and one basal sauropodomorph dinosaur individual (Plateosaurus engelhardti. Using these estimates, we establish allometries between body mass and each of these traits and compare these to extant taxa. Growth models considered for each dinosaur individual were the von Bertalanffy model, the Gompertz model, and the logistic model (LGM, all of which have inherently fixed inflection points, and the Chapman-Richards model in which the point is not fixed. We use the arithmetic mean of the age at the inflection point and of the age at which 90% of asymptotic mass is reached to assess respectively the age at sexual maturity or the age at onset of reproduction, because unambiguous indicators of maturity in Sauropodomorpha are lacking. According to an AIC-based model selection process, the LGM was the best model for our sauropodomorph sample. Allometries established are consistent with literature data on other Sauropodomorpha. All Sauropodomorpha reached full size within a time span similar to scaled-up modern mammalian megaherbivores and had similar maximum growth rates to scaled-up modern megaherbivores and ratites, but growth rates of Sauropodomorpha were lower than of an average mammal. Sauropodomorph ages at death probably were lower than that of average scaled-up ratites and megaherbivores. Sauropodomorpha were older at maturation than scaled-up ratites and average

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Skull base tumor model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gragnaniello, Cristian; Nader, Remi; van Doormaal, Tristan; Kamel, Mahmoud; Voormolen, Eduard H J; Lasio, Giovanni; Aboud, Emad; Regli, Luca; Tulleken, Cornelius A F; Al-Mefty, Ossama

    2010-11-01

    Resident duty-hours restrictions have now been instituted in many countries worldwide. Shortened training times and increased public scrutiny of surgical competency have led to a move away from the traditional apprenticeship model of training. The development of educational models for brain anatomy is a fascinating innovation allowing neurosurgeons to train without the need to practice on real patients and it may be a solution to achieve competency within a shortened training period. The authors describe the use of Stratathane resin ST-504 polymer (SRSP), which is inserted at different intracranial locations to closely mimic meningiomas and other pathological entities of the skull base, in a cadaveric model, for use in neurosurgical training. Silicone-injected and pressurized cadaveric heads were used for studying the SRSP model. The SRSP presents unique intrinsic metamorphic characteristics: liquid at first, it expands and foams when injected into the desired area of the brain, forming a solid tumorlike structure. The authors injected SRSP via different passages that did not influence routes used for the surgical approach for resection of the simulated lesion. For example, SRSP injection routes included endonasal transsphenoidal or transoral approaches if lesions were to be removed through standard skull base approach, or, alternatively, SRSP was injected via a cranial approach if the removal was planned to be via the transsphenoidal or transoral route. The model was set in place in 3 countries (US, Italy, and The Netherlands), and a pool of 13 physicians from 4 different institutions (all surgeons and surgeons in training) participated in evaluating it and provided feedback. All 13 evaluating physicians had overall positive impressions of the model. The overall score on 9 components evaluated--including comparison between the tumor model and real tumor cases, perioperative requirements, general impression, and applicability--was 88% (100% being the best possible

  3. 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)

  4. New Information on Tataouinea hannibalis from the Early Cretaceous of Tunisia and Implications for the Tempo and Mode of Rebbachisaurid Sauropod Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Fanti

    Full Text Available The rebbachisaurid sauropod Tataouinea hannibalis represents the first articulated dinosaur skeleton from Tunisia and one of the best preserved in northern Africa. The type specimen was collected from the lower Albian, fluvio-estuarine deposits of the Ain el Guettar Formation (southern Tunisia. We present detailed analyses on the sedimentology and facies distribution at the main quarry and a revision of the vertebrate fauna associated with the skeleton. Data provide information on a complex ecosystem dominated by crocodilian and other brackish water taxa. Taphonomic interpretations indicate a multi-event, pre-burial history with a combination of rapid segregation in high sediment supply conditions and partial subaerial exposure of the carcass. After the collection in 2011 of the articulated sacrum and proximalmost caudal vertebrae, all showing a complex pattern of pneumatization, newly discovered material of the type specimen allows a detailed osteological description of Tataouinea. The sacrum, the complete and articulated caudal vertebrae 1-17, both ilia and ischia display asymmetrical pneumatization, with the left side of vertebrae and the left ischium showing a more extensive invasion by pneumatic features than their right counterparts. A pneumatic hiatus is present in caudal centra 7 to 13, whereas caudal centra 14-16 are pneumatised by shallow fossae. Bayesian inference analyses integrating morphological, stratigraphic and paleogeographic data support a flagellicaudatan-rebbachisaurid divergence at about 163 Ma and a South American ancestral range for rebbachisaurids. Results presented here suggest an exclusively South American Limaysaurinae and a more widely distributed Rebbachisaurinae lineage, the latter including the South American taxon Katepensaurus and a clade including African and European taxa, with Tataouinea as sister taxon of Rebbachisaurus. This scenario would indicate that South America was not affected by the end

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 21 CFR 882.4750 - Skull punch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Skull punch. 882.4750 Section 882.4750 Food and... NEUROLOGICAL DEVICES Neurological Surgical Devices § 882.4750 Skull punch. (a) Identification. A skull punch is a device used to punch holes through a patient's skull to allow fixation of cranioplasty plates or...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Craniometric Indices of Nigeria Skulls

    OpenAIRE

    Orish CN; Ibeachu PC

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Craniometric indices show the percentage relationship between different dimensions. It is an important parameter for classification of race and sex of individuals of unknown identity. This study was undertaken to determine the craniometric indices of gnathic, palatal, orbital, cranial and nasal indices of Nigerian skulls. Materials and Methods: One hundred adult dry skulls, (78 males, and 22 females) free from damage and deformities from eleven Departments of Anatomy in Nige...

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Skull base tumors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kikinis, R.; Matsumae, M.; Jolesz, F.A.; Black, P.M.; Cline, H.E.; Lorenson, W.E.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports on an image processing procedure for the planning of surgery of skull base tumors that can extract bone, vessels, tumor, and brain parenchyma and that permits resolution of cranial nerves. Three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions were generated from double-echo long TR interleaved conventional spin-echo and fast-spin-echo MR imaging data. Sixteen cases have been analyzed preoperatively. Image processing consisted of a multistep procedure combining a supervised multivariate analysis with neighborhood operations such as connectivity and erosion/dilation. 3D renderings of anatomic structures of interest were then generated. Cases were evaluated preoperatively and manipulated interactively with the computer-generated images by a team consisting of neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, and craniofacial surgeons. The preparation of 3D reconstructions required only a few hours and was performed mostly by a research assistant. The preoperative analysis of the 3D reconstructions was found to be a valuable tool, providing information complementing the surgeon's understanding of a case as derived from conventional imaging. The interactive manipulation of data proved to be a powerful way to evaluate alternative surgical approaches

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Bone cells in birds show exceptional surface area, a characteristic tracing back to saurischian dinosaurs of the late Triassic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M Rensberger

    Full Text Available Dinosaurs are unique among terrestrial tetrapods in their body sizes, which range from less than 3 gm in hummingbirds to 70,000 kg or more in sauropods. Studies of the microstructure of bone tissue have indicated that large dinosaurs, once believed to be slow growing, attained maturity at rates comparable to or greater than those of large mammals. A number of structural criteria in bone tissue have been used to assess differences in rates of osteogenesis in extinct taxa, including counts of lines of arrested growth and the density of vascular canals.Here, we examine the density of the cytoplasmic surface of bone-producing cells, a feature which may set an upper limit to the rate of osteogenesis. Osteocyte lacunae and canaliculi, the cavities in bone containing osteocytes and their extensions, were measured in thin-sections of primary (woven and parallel fibered bone in a diversity of tetrapods. The results indicate that bone cell surfaces are more densely organized in the Saurischia (extant birds, extinct Mesozoic Theropoda and Sauropodomorpha than in other tetrapods, a result of denser branching of the cell extensions. The highest postnatal growth rates among extant tetrapods occur in modern birds, the only surviving saurischians, and the finding of exceptional cytoplasmic surface area of the cells that produce bone in this group suggests a relationship with bone growth rate. In support of this relationship is finding the lowest cell surface density among the saurischians examined in Dinornis, a member of a group of ratites that evolved in New Zealand in isolation from mammalian predators and show other evidence of lowered maturation rates.

  5. Bone cells in birds show exceptional surface area, a characteristic tracing back to saurischian dinosaurs of the late Triassic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rensberger, John M; Martínez, Ricardo N

    2015-01-01

    Dinosaurs are unique among terrestrial tetrapods in their body sizes, which range from less than 3 gm in hummingbirds to 70,000 kg or more in sauropods. Studies of the microstructure of bone tissue have indicated that large dinosaurs, once believed to be slow growing, attained maturity at rates comparable to or greater than those of large mammals. A number of structural criteria in bone tissue have been used to assess differences in rates of osteogenesis in extinct taxa, including counts of lines of arrested growth and the density of vascular canals. Here, we examine the density of the cytoplasmic surface of bone-producing cells, a feature which may set an upper limit to the rate of osteogenesis. Osteocyte lacunae and canaliculi, the cavities in bone containing osteocytes and their extensions, were measured in thin-sections of primary (woven and parallel fibered) bone in a diversity of tetrapods. The results indicate that bone cell surfaces are more densely organized in the Saurischia (extant birds, extinct Mesozoic Theropoda and Sauropodomorpha) than in other tetrapods, a result of denser branching of the cell extensions. The highest postnatal growth rates among extant tetrapods occur in modern birds, the only surviving saurischians, and the finding of exceptional cytoplasmic surface area of the cells that produce bone in this group suggests a relationship with bone growth rate. In support of this relationship is finding the lowest cell surface density among the saurischians examined in Dinornis, a member of a group of ratites that evolved in New Zealand in isolation from mammalian predators and show other evidence of lowered maturation rates.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Herbivory and body size: allometries of diet quality and gastrointestinal physiology, and implications for herbivore ecology and dinosaur gigantism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clauss, Marcus; Steuer, Patrick; Müller, Dennis W H; Codron, Daryl; Hummel, Jürgen

    2013-01-01

    Digestive physiology has played a prominent role in explanations for terrestrial herbivore body size evolution and size-driven diversification and niche differentiation. This is based on the association of increasing body mass (BM) with diets of lower quality, and with putative mechanisms by which a higher BM could translate into a higher digestive efficiency. Such concepts, however, often do not match empirical data. Here, we review concepts and data on terrestrial herbivore BM, diet quality, digestive physiology and metabolism, and in doing so give examples for problems in using allometric analyses and extrapolations. A digestive advantage of larger BM is not corroborated by conceptual or empirical approaches. We suggest that explanatory models should shift from physiological to ecological scenarios based on the association of forage quality and biomass availability, and the association between BM and feeding selectivity. These associations mostly (but not exclusively) allow large herbivores to use low quality forage only, whereas they allow small herbivores the use of any forage they can physically manage. Examples of small herbivores able to subsist on lower quality diets are rare but exist. We speculate that this could be explained by evolutionary adaptations to the ecological opportunity of selective feeding in smaller animals, rather than by a physiologic or metabolic necessity linked to BM. For gigantic herbivores such as sauropod dinosaurs, other factors than digestive physiology appear more promising candidates to explain evolutionary drives towards extreme BM.

  13. Herbivory and body size: allometries of diet quality and gastrointestinal physiology, and implications for herbivore ecology and dinosaur gigantism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Clauss

    Full Text Available Digestive physiology has played a prominent role in explanations for terrestrial herbivore body size evolution and size-driven diversification and niche differentiation. This is based on the association of increasing body mass (BM with diets of lower quality, and with putative mechanisms by which a higher BM could translate into a higher digestive efficiency. Such concepts, however, often do not match empirical data. Here, we review concepts and data on terrestrial herbivore BM, diet quality, digestive physiology and metabolism, and in doing so give examples for problems in using allometric analyses and extrapolations. A digestive advantage of larger BM is not corroborated by conceptual or empirical approaches. We suggest that explanatory models should shift from physiological to ecological scenarios based on the association of forage quality and biomass availability, and the association between BM and feeding selectivity. These associations mostly (but not exclusively allow large herbivores to use low quality forage only, whereas they allow small herbivores the use of any forage they can physically manage. Examples of small herbivores able to subsist on lower quality diets are rare but exist. We speculate that this could be explained by evolutionary adaptations to the ecological opportunity of selective feeding in smaller animals, rather than by a physiologic or metabolic necessity linked to BM. For gigantic herbivores such as sauropod dinosaurs, other factors than digestive physiology appear more promising candidates to explain evolutionary drives towards extreme BM.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Cloverleaf skull with generalised bone dysplasia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kozlowski, K.; Warren, P.S.; Fisher, C.C.; Royal Hospital for Women, Camperdown

    1985-01-01

    A case of cloverleaf skull with generalised bone dysplasia is reported. The authors believe that bone dysplasia associated with cloverleaf is neither identical with thanatophoric dysplasia nor achondroplasia. Until identity of thanatophoric dysplasia and cloverleaf skull with generalised bone dysplasia is proved the diseases should be looked upon as separate entities and the wording ''thanatophoric dysplasia with cloverleaf skull'' should be abolished. (orig.)

  2. Skull development in the muscular dystrophic mouse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vilmann, H; Kirkeby, S; Moss, M L

    1989-01-01

    Roentgencephalometric tracings of skulls of 7-week-old normal and muscular dystrophic mice were compared. A marked size reduction of the dystrophic skulls relative to the normal ones was observed. However, the visceral parts of the dystrophic skull were more reduced in size than the neural parts....

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. "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…

  20. Imaging of skull base: Pictorial essay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raut, Abhijit A; Naphade, Prashant S; Chawla, Ashish

    2012-01-01

    The skull base anatomy is complex. Numerous vital neurovascular structures pass through multiple channels and foramina located in the base skull. With the advent of computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), accurate preoperative lesion localization and evaluation of its relationship with adjacent neurovascular structures is possible. It is imperative that the radiologist and skull base surgeons are familiar with this complex anatomy for localizing the skull base lesion, reaching appropriate differential diagnosis, and deciding the optimal surgical approach. CT and MRI are complementary to each other and are often used together for the demonstration of the full disease extent. This article focuses on the radiological anatomy of the skull base and discusses few of the common pathologies affecting the skull base

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. "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…

  4. 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…

  5. Cloverleaf skull with generalised bone dysplasia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kozlowski, K.; Warren, P.S.; Fisher, C.C.

    1985-09-01

    A case of cloverleaf skull with generalised bone dysplasia is reported. The authors believe that bone dysplasia associated with cloverleaf is neither identical with thanatophoric dysplasia nor achondroplasia. Until identity of thanatophoric dysplasia and cloverleaf skull with generalised bone dysplasia is proved the diseases should be looked upon as separate entities and the wording ''thanatophoric dysplasia with cloverleaf skull'' should be abolished.

  6. Analysis of six Vietnamese trophy skulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sledzik, P S; Ousley, S

    1991-03-01

    This report presents morphologic, metric, and contextual information on six documented trophy skull specimens confiscated from U.S. servicemen during the Vietnam War. Additional information on the history and occurrence of trophy skull collecting is provided. This sample, consisting mostly of young Vietnamese males, exhibits graffiti, painting, and other evidence of postmortem decorative modification. Identification of trophy skulls is important to medicolegal and anthropological researchers in distinguishing trophy remains from archaeological and forensic specimens.

  7. Magnetoencephalography signals are influenced by skull defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, S; Flemming, L; Haueisen, J

    2014-08-01

    Magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals had previously been hypothesized to have negligible sensitivity to skull defects. The objective is to experimentally investigate the influence of conducting skull defects on MEG and EEG signals. A miniaturized electric dipole was implanted in vivo into rabbit brains. Simultaneous recording using 64-channel EEG and 16-channel MEG was conducted, first above the intact skull and then above a skull defect. Skull defects were filled with agar gels, which had been formulated to have tissue-like homogeneous conductivities. The dipole was moved beneath the skull defects, and measurements were taken at regularly spaced points. The EEG signal amplitude increased 2-10 times, whereas the MEG signal amplitude reduced by as much as 20%. The EEG signal amplitude deviated more when the source was under the edge of the defect, whereas the MEG signal amplitude deviated more when the source was central under the defect. The change in MEG field-map topography (relative difference measure, RDM(∗)=0.15) was geometrically related to the skull defect edge. MEG and EEG signals can be substantially affected by skull defects. MEG source modeling requires realistic volume conductor head models that incorporate skull defects. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Aspergillus Osteomyelitis of the Skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Simon; King, Richard; Chumas, Paul; Russell, John; Liddington, Mark

    2016-07-01

    Osteomyelitis of the craniofacial skeleton is rare, with fungal pathogens least commonly implicated. The authors present 2 patients of osteomyelitis of the skull caused by Aspergillus spp. and discuss the diagnosis, clinicopathological course, and management strategies.Late recurrence seen in this type of infection warrants long-term follow-up and a high index of suspicion for the clinical signs associated with recurrence.Such patients would benefit from their surgical debridement being planned and managed via a specialist craniofacial unit, so as to utilize the most aesthetically sensitive approach and the experience of specialists from several surgical disciplines.

  12. 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...

  13. Skull base development and craniosynostosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blaser, Susan I. [The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Division of Neuroradiology, Toronto (Canada); University of Toronto, Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Toronto (Canada); Padfield, Nancy [The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Division of Neuroradiology, Toronto (Canada); Chitayat, David [The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, Division of Clinical and Metabolic Genetics, Toronto (Canada); Mount Sinai Hospital and University of Toronto, Prenatal Diagnosis and Medical Genetics Program, Toronto (Canada); Forrest, Christopher R. [The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, Centre for Craniofacial Care and Research, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Toronto (Canada)

    2015-09-15

    Abnormal skull shape resulting in craniofacial deformity is a relatively common clinical finding, with deformity either positional (positional plagiocephaly) or related to premature ossification and fusion of the skull sutures (craniosynostosis). Growth restriction occurring at a stenosed suture is associated with exaggerated growth at the open sutures, resulting in fairly predictable craniofacial phenotypes in single-suture non-syndromic pathologies. Multi-suture syndromic subtypes are not so easy to understand without imaging. Imaging is performed to define the site and extent of craniosynostosis, to determine the presence or absence of underlying brain anomalies, and to evaluate both pre- and postoperative complications of craniosynostosis. Evidence for intracranial hypertension may be seen both pre- and postoperatively, associated with jugular foraminal stenosis, sinovenous occlusion, hydrocephalus and Chiari 1 malformations. Following clinical assessment, imaging evaluation may include radiographs, high-frequency US of the involved sutures, low-dose (20-30 mAs) CT with three-dimensional reformatted images, MRI and nuclear medicine brain imaging. Anomalous or vigorous collateral venous drainage may be mapped preoperatively with CT or MR venography or catheter angiography. (orig.)

  14. The evolutionary significance of the Wajak skulls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Storm, P.

    1995-01-01

    Ever since their description by Dubois (1920, 1922) the Wajak skulls Java) have played an important role in the discussions on the evolution of modern humans in Australasia. Because of the robust morphology of the skull, Wajak Man was seen as a link between Pleistocene hominids from Java (Solo) and

  15. Skull thickness in patients with clefts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arntsen, T; Kjaer, I; Sonnesen, L

    2010-01-01

    The purpose was to analyze skull thickness in incomplete cleft lip (CL), cleft palate (CP), and combined cleft lip and palate (UCLP).......The purpose was to analyze skull thickness in incomplete cleft lip (CL), cleft palate (CP), and combined cleft lip and palate (UCLP)....

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. CT atlas of the skull base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inoue, Hiroshi; Kawafuchi, Jun-ichi; Takahashi, Kazukuni

    1980-01-01

    Although CT is generally used for lesions of the face, the orbit, the nasal and paranasal cavity, and the skull base, a CT atlas of these regions has not been reported. Furthermore, the skull base, that lies nearly tangential to the conventional axial plane of CT, can not be precisely evaluated on ordinary horizontal pictures. For the purpose of a clear demonstration of the skull-base structures by CT, a model human skull was investigated. The results and its clinical value have previously been reported. For the CT atlas of the skull base, three model human skulls (embedded in agar gel containing iodine in a manner previously reported) were also examined by EMI-CT1010 with a 5 mm thickness. The magnification and wide-window techniques were also used for demonstration. Ordinary-0 sections (scanning plane at 0 0 to Reid's base line), ordinary-25 sections (+25 0 to RBL), reverse-20 sections (-20 0 to RBL), reverse-80 sections (-80 0 to RBL; coronal sections), and sagittal sections were selected in order to illustrate the anatomical details of the skull base. Pictures of the inner aspect and the outer aspect of the skull base were also provided. Clinically it is very important to recognize osseous change and the relationship between the lesion and the skull base in three dimensions. In evaluating lesions of the skull base and those of the tentorial notch a two-plane CT examination (ordinary-25 sections and reverse-20 sections) is usually used. This method is useful in determining the surgical approach, for instance, to decide between a transsphenoidal approach or intracranial approach for a sellar lesion, or between a subtemporal approach, posterior fossa approach, or combined approach for a lesion of the tentorial notch. It is also helpful to make a map of the lesin on a plain craniogram using this two-plane method in some cases for radiotherapy and stereotactic brain biopsy. (author)

  1. A New Basal Hadrosauroid Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Northeastern Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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), transversely straight frontoparietal suture, caudodorsally faced supraoccipital, no participation of the supraoccipital in the foramen magnum, mesiodistally wide leaf-shaped dentary tooth with primary and secondary ridges on the lingual surface of the crown, perpendicularly-erected and large coronoid process of dentary, and nonvisible antorbital fossa of the maxilla in lateral view. Phylogenetic analysis revealed S. khoratensis as among the most basal hadrosauroids. Sirindhorna khoratensis is the best-preserved iguanodontian ornithopod in Southeast Asia and sheds new light to resolve the evolution of basal hadrosauriforms.

  2. A New Basal Hadrosauroid Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Northeastern Thailand.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masateru Shibata

    Full Text Available 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, transversely straight frontoparietal suture, caudodorsally faced supraoccipital, no participation of the supraoccipital in the foramen magnum, mesiodistally wide leaf-shaped dentary tooth with primary and secondary ridges on the lingual surface of the crown, perpendicularly-erected and large coronoid process of dentary, and nonvisible antorbital fossa of the maxilla in lateral view. Phylogenetic analysis revealed S. khoratensis as among the most basal hadrosauroids. Sirindhorna khoratensis is the best-preserved iguanodontian ornithopod in Southeast Asia and sheds new light to resolve the evolution of basal hadrosauriforms.

  3. 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

  4. Palaeontology: Dinosaurs, Boneheads and Recovery from Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, Michael J

    2016-10-10

    The Triassic was a time of turmoil, as life recovered from near-annihilation. Archosauromorph reptiles flourished and diversified as they filled empty ecological niches, and some of them presaged later dinosaurian inventions, such as thickened skull roofs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Using dental enamel wrinkling to define sauropod tooth morphotypes from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation, Patagonia, Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Femke M Holwerda

    Full Text Available The early Middle Jurassic is regarded as the period when sauropods diversified and became major components of the terrestrial ecosystems. Not many sites yield sauropod material of this time; however, both cranial and postcranial material of eusauropods have been found in the Cañadón Asfalto Formation (latest Early Jurassic-early Middle Jurassic in Central Patagonia (Argentina, which may help to shed light on the early evolution of eusauropods. These eusauropod remains include teeth associated with cranial and mandibular material as well as isolated teeth found at different localities. In this study, an assemblage of sauropod teeth from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation found in four different localities in the area of Cerro Condor (Chubut, Argentina is used as a mean of assessing sauropod species diversity at these sites. By using dental enamel wrinkling, primarily based on the shape and orientation of grooves and crests of this wrinkling, we define and describe three different morphotypes. With the exception of one taxon, for which no cranial material is currently known, these morphotypes match the local eusauropod diversity as assessed based on postcranial material. Morphotype I is tentatively assigned to Patagosaurus, whereas morphotypes II and III correspond to new taxa, which are also distinguished by associated postcranial material. This study thus shows that enamel wrinkling can be used as a tool in assessing sauropod diversity.

  6. Using dental enamel wrinkling to define sauropod tooth morphotypes from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation, Patagonia, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holwerda, Femke M; Pol, Diego; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2015-01-01

    The early Middle Jurassic is regarded as the period when sauropods diversified and became major components of the terrestrial ecosystems. Not many sites yield sauropod material of this time; however, both cranial and postcranial material of eusauropods have been found in the Cañadón Asfalto Formation (latest Early Jurassic-early Middle Jurassic) in Central Patagonia (Argentina), which may help to shed light on the early evolution of eusauropods. These eusauropod remains include teeth associated with cranial and mandibular material as well as isolated teeth found at different localities. In this study, an assemblage of sauropod teeth from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation found in four different localities in the area of Cerro Condor (Chubut, Argentina) is used as a mean of assessing sauropod species diversity at these sites. By using dental enamel wrinkling, primarily based on the shape and orientation of grooves and crests of this wrinkling, we define and describe three different morphotypes. With the exception of one taxon, for which no cranial material is currently known, these morphotypes match the local eusauropod diversity as assessed based on postcranial material. Morphotype I is tentatively assigned to Patagosaurus, whereas morphotypes II and III correspond to new taxa, which are also distinguished by associated postcranial material. This study thus shows that enamel wrinkling can be used as a tool in assessing sauropod diversity.

  7. Skull Thickness Morphing for an Age and Sex Specific FE Model of the Skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Derek A; Urban, Jillian E; Lillie, Elizabeth M; Stitzel, Joel D

    2015-01-01

    Skull deformation is believed to be a contributing factor in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Furthermore, skull thickness is thought to be an important factor governing deformation of the skull and its susceptibility to fracture. Although many studies have been done to understand the mechanisms of brain injury and skull fracture, the majority of the cadaveric and finite element (FE) modeling efforts are comprised of older males and 50th percentile male skulls, respectively, which do not accurately represent the population as a whole. This study employed a set of skull table thickness regressions defined at homologous landmarks on the skull which were calculated from 123 pre-existing head CT scans (ages 20-100) using a cortical density-based algorithm. A method was developed to morph the Global Human Body Models Consortium (GHBMC) 50th percentile male skull model to age and gender specific geometries based on the full thickness regressions using a Thin Plate Spline algorithm. A quantitative measure of morphing error was devised and measured using the morphed and desired full thickness values at the homologous landmark locations. This methodology can be used to create gender and age-specific FE models of the skull and will ultimately be used to understand the relationship between cortical thickness, skull deformation, and head injury.

  8. CT findings in patient with skull fractures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jo, Han Gi; Suh, Won Hyuck [Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1988-12-15

    CT scan has been inevitable method for patient with head trauma. CT scans of 94 cases, which were confirmed skull fracture by plain film, were reviewed for better and useful dealing of CT. The results were as follows: 1. Car accident was the most frequent cause of head injury. 2. No evidence of intracranial abnormality in CT scan of skull fractures on plane film was 45.7%, and alert mentality was 46.8% of skull fracture on skull fracture on simple film. 3. Detection rate on CT scan to skull fractures was 27.7%, but detection rate to depression fractures of skull fracture was 70.2%. 4. Mortality rate of patients with skull fracture was 10.6%. 5. Associated CT findings were pneumocephalus on CT scan 3.2%, contusion of edema 4.2%, epidural hematoma 16.0%, subdural hematoma 17.0%, subdural hygroma 2.1%, intracerebral hemorrhage 4.9%, and subarachnoid hemorrhage 2.0%.

  9. Broadband acoustic properties of a murine skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrada, Héctor; Rebling, Johannes; Turner, Jake; Razansky, Daniel

    2016-03-07

    It has been well recognized that the presence of a skull imposes harsh restrictions on the use of ultrasound and optoacoustic techniques in the study, treatment and modulation of the brain function. We propose a rigorous modeling and experimental methodology for estimating the insertion loss and the elastic constants of the skull over a wide range of frequencies and incidence angles. A point-source-like excitation of ultrawideband acoustic radiation was induced via the absorption of nanosecond duration laser pulses by a 20 μm diameter microsphere. The acoustic waves transmitted through the skull are recorded by a broadband, spherically focused ultrasound transducer. A coregistered pulse-echo ultrasound scan is subsequently performed to provide accurate skull geometry to be fed into an acoustic transmission model represented in an angular spectrum domain. The modeling predictions were validated by measurements taken from a glass cover-slip and ex vivo adult mouse skulls. The flexible semi-analytical formulation of the model allows for seamless extension to other transducer geometries and diverse experimental scenarios involving broadband acoustic transmission through locally flat solid structures. It is anticipated that accurate quantification and modeling of the skull transmission effects would ultimately allow for skull aberration correction in a broad variety of applications employing transcranial detection or transmission of high frequency ultrasound.

  10. Megalosauripus transjuranicus ichnosp. nov. A new Late Jurassic theropod ichnotaxon from NW Switzerland and implications for tridactyl dinosaur ichnology and ichnotaxomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razzolini, Novella L; Belvedere, Matteo; Marty, Daniel; Paratte, Géraldine; Lovis, Christel; Cattin, Marielle; Meyer, Christian A

    2017-01-01

    long trackways very consistently present Morphotype II features (notably blunt digits) and do not exhibit any of the features that are typical for Megalosauripus (notably phalangeal pads). Therefore, it is not very likely that these tracks are preservational variants of Megalosauripus transjuranicus or Megalosauripus isp. These trackways are interpreted to have been left by an ornithopod dinosaur. The high frequency of large theropod tracks in tidal-flat deposits of the Jura carbonate platform, associated on single ichnoassemblages with minute to medium-sized tridactyl and tiny to large sauropod tracks has important implications for the dinosaur community and for paleoenvironmental and paleogeographical reconstructions. As with most other known occurrences of Megalosauripus tracks, M. transjuranicus is found in coastal settings, which may reflect the preference of their theropod trackmakers for expanded carbonate flats where food was abundant.

  11. 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).

  12. Management of osteomyelitis of the skull base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benecke, J.E. Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Osteomyelitis of the skull base is the most severe form of malignant otitis externa. As a result of having treated 13 patients with skull base osteomyelitis over a 4-year period, we have developed a method of staging and monitoring this malady using gallium and technetium scanning techniques. Stage I is localized to soft tissues, stage II is limited osteomyelitis, and stage III represents extensive skull base osteomyelitis. All stages are treated with appropriate antipseudomonal antibiotics. The duration of therapy depends upon the clearing of inflammation as shown on the gallium scan. Each case must be looked at independently and not subjected to an arbitrary treatment protocol

  13. The Genetics of Canine Skull Shape Variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenebeck, Jeffrey J.; Ostrander, Elaine A.

    2013-01-01

    A dog’s craniofacial diversity is the result of continual human intervention in natural selection, a process that began tens of thousands of years ago. To date, we know little of the genetic underpinnings and developmental mechanisms that make dog skulls so morphologically plastic. In this Perspectives, we discuss the origins of dog skull shapes in terms of history and biology and highlight recent advances in understanding the genetics of canine skull shapes. Of particular interest are those molecular genetic changes that are associated with the development of distinct breeds. PMID:23396475

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Skull base tumours part I: Imaging technique, anatomy and anterior skull base tumours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borges, Alexandra

    2008-01-01

    Advances in cross-sectional imaging, surgical technique and adjuvant treatment have largely contributed to ameliorate the prognosis, lessen the morbidity and mortality of patients with skull base tumours and to the growing medical investment in the management of these patients. Because clinical assessment of the skull base is limited, cross-sectional imaging became indispensable in the diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up of patients with suspected skull base pathology and the radiologist is increasingly responsible for the fate of these patients. This review will focus on the advances in imaging technique; contribution to patient's management and on the imaging features of the most common tumours affecting the anterior skull base. Emphasis is given to a systematic approach to skull base pathology based upon an anatomic division taking into account the major tissue constituents in each skull base compartment. The most relevant information that should be conveyed to surgeons and radiation oncologists involved in patient's management will be discussed

  19. 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

  20. 21 CFR 882.4030 - Skull plate anvil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Skull plate anvil. 882.4030 Section 882.4030 Food... DEVICES NEUROLOGICAL DEVICES Neurological Surgical Devices § 882.4030 Skull plate anvil. (a) Identification. A skull plate anvil is a device used to form alterable skull plates in the proper shape to fit...

  1. 21 CFR 882.4460 - Neurosurgical head holder (skull clamp).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Neurosurgical head holder (skull clamp). 882.4460... holder (skull clamp). (a) Identification. A neurosurgical head holder (skull clamp) is a device used to clamp the patient's skull to hold head and neck in a particular position during surgical procedures. (b...

  2. Imaging in tuberculosis of the skull and skull-base: case report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sencer, S.; Aydin, K.; Poyanli, A.; Minareci, O.; Sencer, A.; Hepguel, K.

    2003-01-01

    We report a 19-year-old girl, who presented with headache and tonic/clonic seizures. Imaging revealed a lytic parietal skull lesion with an adjacent epidural mass, masses in the right parietal lobe and a posterior skull-base mass. The diagnosis of tuberculosis was made after resection of the extradural mass and later verified with culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The parenchymal and skull-base lesions resolved following antituberculous treatment. We present CT, scintigraphic, angiographic and MRI findings. (orig.)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Skull of Phyllomedusa sauvagii (Anura, Hylidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Monachesi, Mario R; Lavilla, Esteban O; Montero, Ricardo

    2016-05-01

    The hylid genus Phyllomedusa comprises charismatic frogs commonly known as monkey, leaf or green frogs, and is the most diverse genus of the subfamily Phyllomedusinae, including about 31 species. Although there is some information about the anatomy of these frogs, little is known about the osteology. Here the adult skull of Phyllomedusa sauvagii, both articulated and disarticulated, is described and the intraspecific variation is reported. Additionally, cartilage associated with the adult skull, such as the nasal capsules, auditory apparatus, and hyobranchial apparatus, are included in the analysis. Further examination of disarticulated bones reveals their remarkable complexity, specifically in the sphenethmoid and of the oocipital region. The description of disarticulated bones is useful for the identification of fossil remains as well as providing morphological characteristics that are phylogenetically informative. When comparing the skull morphology with the available information of other species of the genus, Phyllomesusa sauvagii skull resembles more that of P. vaillantii and P. venusta than P. atelopoides. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Computerized tomographic diagnosis of basal skull fracture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanaka, Tokutaro; Shimoyama, Ichiro; Endoh, Mitsutoshi; Ninchoji, Toshiaki; Uemura, Kenichi.

    1984-01-01

    The diagnosis of basal skull fractures used to be difficult, particularly on the basis of routine skull roentgenography alone. We have now examined the diagnostic value of conventional computerized tomography in basal skull fractures. We studied 82 cases clinically diagnosed as basal skull fractures. We examined them based on at least one of the following computerized tomographic criteria for basal skull fractures: 1) fracture line(s), 2) intracranial air, 3) fluid in the paranasal sinuses, and 4) fluid in the middle ear, including the mastoid air cells. The signs of the fracture line and of the intracranial air are definite indications of basal skull fracture, but the signs of fluid in the paranasal sinuses and/or in the middle ear are not definite. When combined, however, with such other clinical signs as black eye, Battle's sign, CSF leakage, CSF findings, and profuse nasal or ear bleeding, the diagnosis is more reliable. Seventy cases (85.4%) in this series had basal skull fractures according to our computerized tomographic criteria. Among them , 26 cases (31.7%) were diagnosed with fracture lines, 17 cases (20.7%) with intracranial air, 16 cases (19.5%) with fluid in the paranasal sinuses, 10 cases (12.2%) with fluid in the middle ear, and one case (1.2%) with fluid in both. Twelve cases (14.6%) of the 82 cases clinically diagnosed as basal skull fractures could not have been diagnosed on our computerized tomographic criteria alone. We diagnosed them because of CSF leakage, CSF findings, surgical findings, etc. (author)

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The conductivity of neonatal piglet skulls

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pant, Shilpa; Te, Tang; Tucker, Aaron; Sadleir, Rosalind J

    2011-01-01

    We report the first measured values of conductivities for neonatal mammalian skull samples. We measured the average radial (normal to the skull surface) conductivity of fresh neonatal piglet skull samples at 1 kHz and found it to be around 30 mS m −1 at ambient room temperatures of about 23 °C. Measurements were made on samples of either frontal or parietal cranial bone, using a saline-filled cell technique. The conductivity value we observed was approximately twice the values reported for adult skulls (Oostendorp et al 2000 IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 47 1487–92) using a similar technique, but at a frequency of around 5 Hz. Further, we found that the conductivity of skull fragments increased linearly with thickness. We found evidence that this was related to differences in composition between the frontal and parietal bone samples tested, which we believe is because frontal bones contained a larger fraction of higher conductivity cancellous bone material

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Bone scintigraphy in lesions of the skull

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fischer, M.; Wasilewski, A.; Deitmer, T.

    1982-01-01

    The value of 3-phase-scintigraphy in bone lesions of the skull with a new seeking agent 99mTc-2,3-dicarboxypropane-1,1-diphosphonic acid (DPD) is studied. A high soft tissue-bone-ratio of DPD is emphasized. For this reason DPD is used for bone scintigraphy of the skull, because the mass of soft tissue in relation to bone is high and a higher clearance improves the interpretation of the images of the first two phases. An increased tracer uptake is found for skeletal neoplasms (malignant and benign lesions) and for acute osteomyelitis. By contrast, the chronic inflammatory bone lesions showed normal tracer uptake. This new bone seeking agent allows to localize and differentiate tumorous or acute inflammatory lesions and chronic inflammatory bone lesions of the skull

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Introduction: surgical management of skull base meningiomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zada, Gabriel; Başkaya, Mustafa K; Shah, Mitesh V

    2017-10-01

    Meningiomas represent the most common primary intracranial neoplasm treated by neurosurgeons. Although multimodal treatment of meningiomas includes surgery, radiation-based treatments, and occasionally medical therapy, surgery remains the mainstay of treatment for most symptomatic meningiomas. Because of the intricate relationship of the dura mater and arachnoid mater with the central nervous system and cranial nerves, meningiomas can arise anywhere along the skull base or convexities, and occasionally even within the ventricular system, thereby mandating a catalog of surgical approaches that neurosurgeons may employ to individualize treatment for patients. Skull base meningiomas represent some of the most challenging pathology encountered by neurosurgeons, on account of their depth, invasion, vascularity, texture/consistency, and their relationship to bony anatomy, cranial nerves, and blood vessels. Resection of complex skull base meningiomas often mandates adequate bony removal to achieve sufficient exposure of the tumor and surrounding region, in order to minimize brain retraction and optimally identify, protect, control, and manipulate sensitive neurovascular structures. A variety of traditional skull base approaches has evolved to address complex skull base tumors, of which meningiomas are considered the paragon in terms of both complexity and frequency. In this supplemental video issue of Neurosurgical Focus, contributing authors from around the world provide instructional narratives demonstrating resection of a variety of skull base meningiomas arising from traditionally challenging origins, including the clinoid processes, tuberculum sellae, dorsum sellae, petroclival region, falco-tentorial region, cerebellopontine angle, and foramen magnum. In addition, two cases of extended endoscopic endonasal approaches for tuberculum sellae and dorsum sellae meningiomas are presented, representing the latest evolution in accessing the skull base for selected tumors

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Peculiarities of skull roentgenological picture during hyperparathyroid osteodystrophia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spuzyak, M.I.

    1985-01-01

    Results of the analysis of skull roentgenological pictures of 61 patients wih primary hyperparathyroidism are presented. All the patients were operated. Diagnosis is confirmed during the operation and histological examination. Alterations of skull are disclosed in 90% of patients

  13. Changes of the skull in general body diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koval', G.Yu.; Perepust, L.A.; Novikova, Eh.Z.

    1984-01-01

    Changes of the skull in the following body disease are considered. Diseases: endocrine diseases, fibrous osteodystrophy, reticulohistocytoses and noninfectious granulomas, the blood system diseases, disturbance of vitamin balance. Skull roentgenograms in some above-mentioned diseases are presented and analysed

  14. Paraperesis: A rare complication after depressed skull fracture ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Paraperesis: A rare complication after depressed skull fracture. ... presentations, but midline depressed skull fracture presenting as motor weakness of both lower ... Patient was managed conservatively, made remarkable recovery and was ...

  15. 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

  16. 21 CFR 882.5960 - Skull tongs for traction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Skull tongs for traction. 882.5960 Section 882...) MEDICAL DEVICES NEUROLOGICAL DEVICES Neurological Therapeutic Devices § 882.5960 Skull tongs for traction. (a) Identification. Skull tongs for traction is an instrument used to immobilize a patient with a...

  17. Growth of the skull in young children in Baotou, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Hai-dong; Liu, Ming; Gong, Ke-rui; Shao, Guo; Zhang, Chun-Yang

    2014-09-01

    There are some controversies about the optimal time to perform skull repair in very young Chinese children because of the rapid skull growth in this stage of life. The purpose of this current study is to describe the characteristics of skull growth and to discuss the optimal time for skull repair in young Chinese children with skull defects. A total of 112 children born in the First Affiliated Hospital of Baotou Medical College were measured for six consecutive years starting in 2006. Cranial length (CL, linear distance between the eyebrows to the pillow tuberosity), cranial width (CW, double-sided linear distance of connection of external auditory canal), ear over the top line (EOTL), the eyebrows-the posterior tuberosity line (EPTL), and head circumference (HC) were measured to describe the skull growth. The most rapid period of skull growth occurs during the first year of life. The second and third most rapid periods are the second and third years, respectively. Then, the skull growth slowed and the values of the skull growth index of 6-year-old children were close to those of adults. Children 0-1 years old should not receive skull repair due to their rapid skull growth. The indexes of children 3 years old or older were close to those of the adult; therefore, 3 years old or older may receive skull repair.

  18. The Growing-Skull Fracture of Childhood

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A Black female, aged 2 months, was brought to the hospital on 20 January 1973, after being dropped from a ... A Black male, aged 16 months, was referred from. Butterworth in the Transkei, because his mother had ... Alajouanine and Thurel,' that at least some of the holes found in ancient skulls, long cited by archaeologists ...

  19. Skull base tumors: a kaleidoscope of challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanna, J N; Natrajan, Srivalli; Galinde, Jyotsna

    2014-08-01

    Resection of skull base lesions has always been riddled with problems like inadequate access, proximity to major vessels, dural tears, cranial nerve damage, and infection. Understanding the modular concept of the facial skeleton has led to the development of transfacial swing osteotomies that facilitates resection in a difficult area with minimal morbidity and excellent cosmetic results. In spite of the current trend toward endonasal endoscopic management of skull base tumors, our series presents nine cases of diverse extensive skull base lesions, 33% of which were recurrent. These cases were approached through different transfacial swing osteotomies through the mandible, a midfacial swing, or a zygomaticotemporal osteotomy as dictated by the three-dimensional spatial location of the lesion, and its extent and proximity to vital structures. Access osteotomies ensured complete removal and good results through the most direct and safe route and good vascular control. This reiterated the fact that transfacial approaches still hold a special place in the management of extensive skull base lesions.

  20. Encephalocele and associated skull defects | Komolafe | West ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The case notes of the patients with encephalocele managed over a 5 year period were reviewed and the relevant data obtained. Seventy-six percent of the patients had occipital encephalocele. The average diameter of the skull defect was 1.8cm. Only 2(9.5%) of the patients had cranioplasty. Cosmesis was acceptable to all ...

  1. A critical inventory of preoperative skull replicas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasel, J H D; Beinemann, J; Schaller, K; Gailloud, P

    2013-09-01

    Physical replicas of organs are used increasingly for preoperative planning. The quality of these models is generally accepted by surgeons. In view of the strong trend towards minimally invasive and personalised surgery, however, the aim of this investigation was to assess qualitatively the accuracy of such replicas, using skull models as an example. Skull imaging was acquired for three cadavers by computed tomography using clinical routine parameters. After digital three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction, physical replicas were produced by 3D printing. The facsimilia were analysed systematically and compared with the best gold standard possible: the macerated skull itself. The skull models were far from anatomically accurate. Non-conforming rendering was observed in particular for foramina, sutures, notches, fissures, grooves, channels, tuberosities, thin-walled structures, sharp peaks and crests, and teeth. Surgeons should be aware that preoperative models may not yet render the exact anatomy of the patient under consideration and are advised to continue relying, in specific conditions, on their own analysis of the native computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging.

  2. How to Make a Bird Skull: Major Transitions in the Evolution of the Avian Cranium, Paedomorphosis, and the Beak as a Surrogate Hand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Hanson, Michael; Fabbri, Matteo; Pritchard, Adam; Bever, Gabe S; Hoffman, Eva

    2016-09-01

    The avian skull is distinctive in its construction and in its function. Much of bird anatomical variety is expressed in the beak; but the beak itself, largely formed of the premaxillary bone, is set upon a shortened face and a bulbous, enlarged braincase. Here, we use original anatomical observations and reconstructions to describe the overall form of the avian skull in a larger context and to provide a general account of the evolutionary transformation from the early dinosaur skull-the skull of an archosaurian macropredator-to that of modern birds. Facial shortening, the enlargement of the braincase around an enlarged brain (with consequential reduction of circumorbital elements and the adductor chamber), and general thinning and looser articulation of bones are trends. Many of these owe to juvenilization or paedomorphosis, something that is abundantly evident from comparison of a juvenile early theropod (Coelophysis) to early avialans like Archaeopteryx Near the avian crown, the premaxilla becomes dramatically enlarged and integrated into the characteristic mobile kinetic system of birds. We posit that this addition of a large element onto the skull may be biomechanically feasible only because of the paedomorphic shortening of the face; and kinesis of the beak only because of the paedomorphic thinning of the bones and loosening of articulations, as played out in reverse during the maturation of Coelophysis Finally, the beak itself becomes elaborated as the hands are integrated into the wing. There are structural, kinematic, and neurological similarities between avian pecking and primate grasping. The ability to precision-select high-quality food against a complex but depauperate background may have permitted crown birds to survive the end-Cretaceous cataclysm by feeding on insects, seeds, and other detritus after the collapse of higher trophic levels in the food web. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative

  3. Anatomy and Cranial Functional Morphology of the Small-Bodied Dinosaur Fruitadens haagarorum from the Upper Jurassic of the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Richard J.; Porro, Laura B.; Galton, Peter M.; Chiappe, Luis M.

    2012-01-01

    Background Heterodontosaurids are an important but enigmatic and poorly understood early radiation of ornithischian dinosaurs. The late-surviving heterodontosaurid Fruitadens haagarorum from the Late Jurassic (early Tithonian) Morrison Formation of the western USA is represented by remains of several small (dinosaurs. Methodology/Principal Findings We describe the cranial and postcranial anatomy of Fruitadens in detail, providing comparisons to all other known heterodontosaurid taxa. High resolution micro-CT data provides new insights into tooth replacement and the internal anatomy of the tooth-bearing bones. Moreover, we provide a preliminary functional analysis of the skull of late-surviving heterodontosaurids, discuss the implications of Fruitadens for current understanding of heterodontosaurid monophyly, and briefly review the evolution and biogeography of heterodontosaurids. Conclusions/Significance The validity of Fruitadens is supported by multiple unique characters of the dentition and hindlimb as well as a distinct character combination. Fruitadens shares highly distinctive appendicular characters with other heterodontosaurids, strengthening monophyly of the clade on the basis of the postcranium. Mandibular morphology and muscle moment arms suggest that the jaws of late-surviving heterodontosaurids, including Fruitadens, were adapted for rapid biting at large gape angles, contrasting with the jaws of the stratigraphically older Heterodontosaurus, which were better suited for strong jaw adduction at small gapes. The lack of wear facets and plesiomorphic dentition suggest that Fruitadens used orthal jaw movements and employed simple puncture-crushing to process food. In combination with its small body size, these results suggest that Fruitadens was an ecological generalist, consuming select plant material and possibly insects or other invertebrates. PMID:22509242

  4. Skull base tumours part I: Imaging technique, anatomy and anterior skull base tumours

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borges, Alexandra [Instituto Portugues de Oncologia Francisco Gentil, Centro de Lisboa, Servico de Radiologia, Rua Professor Lima Basto, 1093 Lisboa Codex (Portugal)], E-mail: borgesalexandra@clix.pt

    2008-06-15

    Advances in cross-sectional imaging, surgical technique and adjuvant treatment have largely contributed to ameliorate the prognosis, lessen the morbidity and mortality of patients with skull base tumours and to the growing medical investment in the management of these patients. Because clinical assessment of the skull base is limited, cross-sectional imaging became indispensable in the diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up of patients with suspected skull base pathology and the radiologist is increasingly responsible for the fate of these patients. This review will focus on the advances in imaging technique; contribution to patient's management and on the imaging features of the most common tumours affecting the anterior skull base. Emphasis is given to a systematic approach to skull base pathology based upon an anatomic division taking into account the major tissue constituents in each skull base compartment. The most relevant information that should be conveyed to surgeons and radiation oncologists involved in patient's management will be discussed.

  5. 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.

  6. A new ankylosaurine dinosaur from the Judith River Formation of Montana, USA, based on an exceptional skeleton with soft tissue preservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbour, Victoria M.; Evans, David C.

    2017-05-01

    The terrestrial Judith River Formation of northern Montana was deposited over an approximately 4 Myr interval during the Campanian (Late Cretaceous). Despite having been prospected and collected continuously by palaeontologists for over a century, few relatively complete dinosaur skeletons have been recovered from this unit to date. Here we describe a new genus and species of ankylosaurine dinosaur, Zuul crurivastator, from the Coal Ridge Member of the Judith River Formation, based on an exceptionally complete and well-preserved skeleton (ROM 75860). This is the first ankylosaurin skeleton known with a complete skull and tail club, and it is the most complete ankylosaurid ever found in North America. The presence of abundant soft tissue preservation across the skeleton, including in situ osteoderms, skin impressions and dark films that probably represent preserved keratin, make this exceptional skeleton an important reference for understanding the evolution of dermal and epidermal structures in this clade. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Zuul as an ankylosaurin ankylosaurid within a clade of Dyoplosaurus and Scolosaurus, with Euoplocephalus being more distantly related within Ankylosaurini. The occurrence of Z. crurivastator from the upper Judith River Formation fills a gap in the ankylosaurine stratigraphic and geographical record in North America, and further highlights that Campanian ankylosaurines were undergoing rapid evolution and stratigraphic succession of taxa as observed for Laramidian ceratopsids, hadrosaurids, pachycephalosaurids and tyrannosaurids.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Modeling skull's acoustic attenuation and dispersion on photoacoustic signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadi, L.; Behnam, H.; Nasiriavanaki, M. R.

    2017-03-01

    Despite the great promising results of a recent new transcranial photoacoustic brain imaging technology, it has been shown that the presence of the skull severely affects the performance of this imaging modality. In this paper, we investigate the effect of skull on generated photoacoustic signals with a mathematical model. The developed model takes into account the frequency dependence attenuation and acoustic dispersion effects occur with the wave reflection and refraction at the skull surface. Numerical simulations based on the developed model are performed for calculating the propagation of photoacoustic waves through the skull. From the simulation results, it was found that the skull-induced distortion becomes very important and the reconstructed image would be strongly distorted without correcting these effects. In this regard, it is anticipated that an accurate quantification and modeling of the skull transmission effects would ultimately allow for skull aberration correction in transcranial photoacoustic brain imaging.

  15. Skull defect reconstruction based on a new hybrid level set.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ziqun; Zhang, Ran; Song, Zhijian

    2014-01-01

    Skull defect reconstruction is an important aspect of surgical repair. Historically, a skull defect prosthesis was created by the mirroring technique, surface fitting, or formed templates. These methods are not based on the anatomy of the individual patient's skull, and therefore, the prosthesis cannot precisely correct the defect. This study presented a new hybrid level set model, taking into account both the global optimization region information and the local accuracy edge information, while avoiding re-initialization during the evolution of the level set function. Based on the new method, a skull defect was reconstructed, and the skull prosthesis was produced by rapid prototyping technology. This resulted in a skull defect prosthesis that well matched the skull defect with excellent individual adaptation.

  16. 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.

  17. Augmented reality-assisted skull base surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrilo, I; Sarrafzadeh, A; Bijlenga, P; Landis, B N; Schaller, K

    2014-12-01

    Neuronavigation is widely considered as a valuable tool during skull base surgery. Advances in neuronavigation technology, with the integration of augmented reality, present advantages over traditional point-based neuronavigation. However, this development has not yet made its way into routine surgical practice, possibly due to a lack of acquaintance with these systems. In this report, we illustrate the usefulness and easy application of augmented reality-based neuronavigation through a case example of a patient with a clivus chordoma. We also demonstrate how augmented reality can help throughout all phases of a skull base procedure, from the verification of neuronavigation accuracy to intraoperative image-guidance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. Imaging of the central skull base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Alexandra

    2009-11-01

    The central skull base (CSB) constitutes a frontier between the extracranial head and neck and the middle cranial fossa. The anatomy of this region is complex, containing most of the bony foramina and canals of the skull base traversed by several neurovascular structures that can act as routes of spread for pathologic processes. Lesions affecting the CSB can be intrinsic to its bony-cartilaginous components; can arise from above, within the intracranial compartment; or can arise from below, within the extracranial head and neck. Crosssectional imaging is indispensable in the diagnosis, treatment planning, and follow-up of patients with CSB lesions. This review focuses on a systematic approach to this region based on an anatomic division that takes into account the major tissue constituents of the CSB.

  19. Hemangioendothelioma of the skull: A case report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gana, R.; Fatemi, N.; Sghiar, J.; Maaqili, R.; Bellakhdar, F.

    2008-01-01

    Hemangioendothelioma is a rare vascular tumour of endothelial cell origin. It may involve bone or soft tissues and can behave like a benign or malignant tumour. A 54-year-old man presented with localized swelling over the parietal and occipital bones. He was neurologically intact. Radiographic images showed an expansible osteolytic lesion in the parietal-occipital bones. The patient was treated by wide surgical resection. This report contributes to the scarce literature on these tumours in the skull

  20. Neonatal skull depression unassociated with birth trauma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eisenberg, D.; Kirchner, S.G.; Perrin, E.C.

    1984-01-01

    With few exceptions, a depression of the calvaria in a neonate is caused by birth trauma and often is associated with fracture. Localized depression of the skull without trauma is rare, and such a case is reported here. The cause, complications, and treatment of this condition are briefly discussed. Computed tomography (CT) was useful in clinical management. Although sizable, the depression was not associated with neurologic features and disappeared spontaneously

  1. INFRAORBITAL SULCUS: A STUDY IN 100 SKULLS

    OpenAIRE

    Roshni; . Jayanthi; Shubha

    2014-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: A study was done on 100 intact, unsexed human skulls in the Department of Anatomy, KIMS, Bangalore, to observe and record the presence of a groove in the lateral wall of the orbit, synonymous with infra orbital sulcus. This entity has been described by the fortieth edition of Gray’s text book of Anatomy to extend from the lateral end of superior orbital fissure to the orbital floor. It sometimes contains an anastomosis between middle meningeal artery and infr...

  2. Congenital malformations of the skull and meninges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanev, Paul M

    2007-02-01

    The surgery and management of children who have congenital malformations of the skull and meninges require multidisciplinary care and long-term follow-up by multiple specialists in birth defects. The high definition of three-dimensional CT and MRI allows precise surgery planning of reconstruction and management of associated malformations. The reconstruction of meningoencephaloceles and craniosynostosis are challenging procedures that transform the child's appearance. The embryology, clinical presentation, and surgical management of these malformations are reviewed.

  3. Periorbital skull fractures in five horses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caron, J.P.; Barber, S.M.; Bailey, J.V.; Fretz, P.B.; Pharr, J.W.

    1986-01-01

    Periorbital skull fractures were diagnosed in 5 horses, and were associated with ophthalmic complications including corneal ulceration, uveitis, and entrapment of the eye by retrobulbar bone fragments. Physical examination was of greater diagnostic use than radiography. Surgical repair was performed on all horses and was associated with a more favorable postoperative appearance in horses treated acutely; however, the cosmetic results were considered acceptable in all horses. Major postoperative complications were not observed

  4. 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

  5. Chronic imaging through "transparent skull" in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Steinzeig

    Full Text Available Growing interest in long-term visualization of cortical structure and function requires methods that allow observation of an intact cortex in longitudinal imaging studies. Here we describe a detailed protocol for the "transparent skull" (TS preparation based on skull clearing with cyanoacrylate, which is applicable for long-term imaging through the intact skull in mice. We characterized the properties of the TS in imaging of intrinsic optical signals and compared them with the more conventional cranial window preparation. Our results show that TS is less invasive, maintains stabile transparency for at least two months, and compares favorably to data obtained from the conventional cranial window. We applied this method to experiments showing that a four-week treatment with the antidepressant fluoxetine combined with one week of monocular deprivation induced a shift in ocular dominance in the mouse visual cortex, confirming that fluoxetine treatment restores critical-period-like plasticity. Our results demonstrate that the TS preparation could become a useful method for long-term visualization of the living mouse brain.

  6. 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.

  7. Breathing life into dinosaurs: tackling challenges of soft-tissue restoration and nasal airflow in extinct species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourke, Jason M; Porter, W M Ruger; Ridgely, Ryan C; Lyson, Tyler R; Schachner, Emma R; Bell, Phil R; Witmer, Lawrence M

    2014-11-01

    The nasal region plays a key role in sensory, thermal, and respiratory physiology, but exploring its evolution is hampered by a lack of preservation of soft-tissue structures in extinct vertebrates. As a test case, we investigated members of the "bony-headed" ornithischian dinosaur clade Pachycephalosauridae (particularly Stegoceras validum) because of their small body size (which mitigated allometric concerns) and their tendency to preserve nasal soft tissues within their hypermineralized skulls. Hypermineralization directly preserved portions of the olfactory turbinates along with an internal nasal ridge that we regard as potentially an osteological correlate for respiratory conchae. Fossil specimens were CT-scanned, and nasal cavities were segmented and restored. Soft-tissue reconstruction of the nasal capsule was functionally tested in a virtual environment using computational fluid dynamics by running air through multiple models differing in nasal soft-tissue conformation: a bony-bounded model (i.e., skull without soft tissue) and then models with soft tissues added, such as a paranasal septum, a scrolled concha, a branched concha, and a model combining the paranasal septum with a concha. Deviations in fluid flow in comparison to a phylogenetically constrained sample of extant diapsids were used as indicators of missing soft tissue. Models that restored aspects of airflow found in extant diapsids, such as appreciable airflow in the olfactory chamber, were judged as more likely. The model with a branched concha produced airflow patterns closest to those of extant diapsids. These results from both paleontological observation and airflow modeling indicate that S. validum and other pachycephalosaurids could have had both olfactory and respiratory conchae. Although respiratory conchae have been linked to endothermy, such conclusions require caution in that our re-evaluation of the reptilian nasal apparatus indicates that respiratory conchae may be more widespread

  8. 'Do not touch' lesions of the skull base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobre, Mircea C.; Fischbein, Nancy

    2014-01-01

    Imaging of the skull base presents many challenges due to its anatomical complexity, numerous normal variants and lack of familiarity to many radiologists. As the skull base is a region which is not amenable to physical examination and as lesions of the skull base are generally difficult to biopsy and even more difficult to operate on, the radiologist plays a major role in directing patient management via accurate image interpretation. Knowledge of the skull base should not be limited to neuroradiologists and head and neck radiologists, however, as the central skull base is routinely included in the field of view when imaging the brain, cervical spine, or head and neck with computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, and hence, its nuances should be familiar to general radiologists as well. We herein review the imaging findings of a subcategory of lesions of the central skull base, the 'do not touch' lesions.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. Quality criteria in diagnostic radiology of the skull

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedmann, G.

    1985-01-01

    Diagnostic survey radiology of the skull relies on pictures to be taken if indicated and to meet all conceivable requirements. Those radiograph directions and projections were selected out of the profusion of known and described ones which allow both as small a number of pictures and as comprehensive a demonstration of all skull sections and1structures as possible. With this in mind, quality criteria for plain radiographs of the skull taken laterally and sagittably, for partial radiographs of the visceral cranium including orbit and of the base of the skull including petrons bone are described. (orig./MG) [de

  13. A large, switchable optical clearing skull window for cerebrovascular imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chao; Feng, Wei; Zhao, Yanjie; Yu, Tingting; Li, Pengcheng; Xu, Tonghui; Luo, Qingming; Zhu, Dan

    2018-01-01

    Rationale: Intravital optical imaging is a significant method for investigating cerebrovascular structure and function. However, its imaging contrast and depth are limited by the turbid skull. Tissue optical clearing has a great potential for solving this problem. Our goal was to develop a transparent skull window, without performing a craniotomy, for use in assessing cerebrovascular structure and function. Methods: Skull optical clearing agents were topically applied to the skulls of mice to create a transparent window within 15 min. The clearing efficacy, repeatability, and safety of the skull window were then investigated. Results: Imaging through the optical clearing skull window enhanced both the contrast and the depth of intravital imaging. The skull window could be used on 2-8-month-old mice and could be expanded from regional to bi-hemispheric. In addition, the window could be repeatedly established without inducing observable inflammation and metabolic toxicity. Conclusion: We successfully developed an easy-to-handle, large, switchable, and safe optical clearing skull window. Combined with various optical imaging techniques, cerebrovascular structure and function can be observed through this optical clearing skull window. Thus, it has the potential for use in basic research on the physiopathologic processes of cortical vessels. PMID:29774069

  14. 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

  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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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. Evolutionary morphology of the rabbit skull

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Kraatz

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The skull of leporids (rabbits and hares is highly transformed, typified by pronounced arching of the dorsal skull and ventral flexion of the facial region (i.e., facial tilt. Previous studies show that locomotor behavior influences aspects of cranial shape in leporids, and here we use an extensive 3D geometric morphometrics dataset to further explore what influences leporid cranial diversity. Facial tilt angle, a trait that strongly correlates with locomotor mode, significantly predicts the cranial shape variation captured by the primary axis of cranial shape space, and describes a small proportion (13.2% of overall cranial shape variation in the clade. However, locomotor mode does not correlate with overall cranial shape variation in the clade, because there are two district morphologies of generalist species, and saltators and cursorial species have similar morphologies. Cranial shape changes due to phyletic size change (evolutionary allometry also describes a small proportion (12.5% of cranial shape variation in the clade, but this is largely driven by the smallest living leporid, the pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis. By integrating phylogenetic history with our geometric morphometric data, we show that the leporid cranium exhibits weak phylogenetic signal and substantial homoplasy. Though these results make it difficult to reconstruct what the ‘ancestral’ leporid skull looked like, the fossil records suggest that dorsal arching and facial tilt could have occurred before the origin of the crown group. Lastly, our study highlights the diversity of cranial variation in crown leporids, and highlights a need for additional phylogenetic work that includes stem (fossil leporids and includes morphological data that captures the transformed morphology of rabbits and hares.

  20. Evolutionary origin of the turtle skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bever, G S; Lyson, Tyler R; Field, Daniel J; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2015-09-10

    Transitional fossils informing the origin of turtles are among the most sought-after discoveries in palaeontology. Despite strong genomic evidence indicating that turtles evolved from within the diapsid radiation (which includes all other living reptiles), evidence of the inferred transformation between an ancestral turtle with an open, diapsid skull to the closed, anapsid condition of modern turtles remains elusive. Here we use high-resolution computed tomography and a novel character/taxon matrix to study the skull of Eunotosaurus africanus, a 260-million-year-old fossil reptile from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, whose distinctive postcranial skeleton shares many unique features with the shelled body plan of turtles. Scepticism regarding the status of Eunotosaurus as the earliest stem turtle arises from the possibility that these shell-related features are the products of evolutionary convergence. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate strong cranial support for Eunotosaurus as a critical transitional form in turtle evolution, thus fortifying a 40-million-year extension to the turtle stem and moving the ecological context of its origin back onto land. Furthermore, we find unexpected evidence that Eunotosaurus is a diapsid reptile in the process of becoming secondarily anapsid. This is important because categorizing the skull based on the number of openings in the complex of dermal bone covering the adductor chamber has long held sway in amniote systematics, and still represents a common organizational scheme for teaching the evolutionary history of the group. These discoveries allow us to articulate a detailed and testable hypothesis of fenestral closure along the turtle stem. Our results suggest that Eunotosaurus represents a crucially important link in a chain that will eventually lead to consilience in reptile systematics, paving the way for synthetic studies of amniote evolution and development.

  1. Leonardo da Vinci's "A Skull Sectioned" : Skull and dental formula revisited

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerrits, Peter O.; Veening, Jan G.

    What can be learned from historical anatomical drawings and how to incorporate these drawings into anatomical teaching? The drawing A skull sectioned (RL 19058v) by Leonardo da Vinci (14521519), hides more detailed information than reported earlier. A well-chosen section cut explores sectioned

  2. Leonardo da Vinci's "A Skull Sectioned": Skull and dental formula revisited

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerrits, P.O.; Veening, J.G.

    2013-01-01

    What can be learned from historical anatomical drawings and how to incorporate these drawings into anatomical teaching? The drawing "A skull sectioned" (RL 19058v) by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), hides more detailed information than reported earlier. A well-chosen section cut explores sectioned

  3. Adenoidal size in lateral roentgenogram of skull

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Won, H. S.; Byun, Y. S.; Hahm, C. K.; Kim, J. J.

    1983-01-01

    Adenoid is a kind of tonsil located in the posterior wall of the nasopharynx. Enlargement of the adenoid can produce obstruction of the nasopharynx and eustachian tube. Disturbance in discharge of nasal and paranasal secretions can be a cause of chronic rhinitis, sinusitis and otitis media. The diagnosis of enlarged adenoid by inspection is difficult due to its location. In the lateral roentgenogram of the skull the anterior wall of the adenoid is sharply delineated by air in the nasopharynx. The authors measured the sizes of adenoid and nasopharynx and calculated the adenoid-nasopharyngeal ratio (AN ratio) from 1,000 simple skull lateral roentgenograms of the children between the age of 0 to 16 years. Adenoid size is gradually increasing in the children up to 9 years of age but almost uncharged in the older age group. The AN ratio is highest in the age group of 8-9 years. In the age groups above 9 years of age the AN ratio is gradually decreased due to atrophic changes of the adenoid

  4. Cases of Trephination in Ancient Greek Skulls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasiliki Ζafiri

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Trephination, or trepanning, is considered to be one of the most ancient surgical operations with an especially extensive geographical incidence, both in the New World and in the Old. In Europe, more than 200 finds of trephination have been found, from Scandinavia to the Balkans. The technique of trephination or trepanning covers overall the last 10,000 years and exhibits great versatility and adjustability in the knowledge, technical means, therapeutic needs, prejudices and social standards of each period and of each population group. Hippocrates was the one to classify for the first time the kinds of cranial fractures and define the conditions and circumstances for carrying out a trepanning.Aim: The present research aims to investigate the Greek cranial trephinations on sculls from the collection of the Anthropological Museum of the Medical School of Athens that come from archaeological excavations.Method: Skulls were examined by macroscopic observation with reflective light. Furthermore, radiographic representation of the skulls was used.Results: The anthropological researches and the studies of anthropological skeleton remains that came out during archaeological excavations from different eras and areas have given information about the medical practices in the very important geographic area of Greece and in particular, we referred to cases of Greek trephinations.

  5. Adenoidal size in lateral roentgenogram of skull

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Won, H. S.; Byun, Y. S.; Hahm, C. K.; Kim, J. J. [College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1983-03-15

    Adenoid is a kind of tonsil located in the posterior wall of the nasopharynx. Enlargement of the adenoid can produce obstruction of the nasopharynx and eustachian tube. Disturbance in discharge of nasal and paranasal secretions can be a cause of chronic rhinitis, sinusitis and otitis media. The diagnosis of enlarged adenoid by inspection is difficult due to its location. In the lateral roentgenogram of the skull the anterior wall of the adenoid is sharply delineated by air in the nasopharynx. The authors measured the sizes of adenoid and nasopharynx and calculated the adenoid-nasopharyngeal ratio (AN ratio) from 1,000 simple skull lateral roentgenograms of the children between the age of 0 to 16 years. Adenoid size is gradually increasing in the children up to 9 years of age but almost uncharged in the older age group. The AN ratio is highest in the age group of 8-9 years. In the age groups above 9 years of age the AN ratio is gradually decreased due to atrophic changes of the adenoid.

  6. Skull base osteomyelitis: current microbiology and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spielmann, P M; Yu, R; Neeff, M

    2013-01-01

    Skull base osteomyelitis typically presents in an immunocompromised patient with severe otalgia and otorrhoea. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the commonest pathogenic micro-organism, and reports of resistance to fluoroquinolones are now emerging, complicating management. We reviewed our experience of this condition, and of the local pathogenic organisms. A retrospective review from 2004 to 2011 was performed. Patients were identified by their admission diagnostic code, and computerised records examined. Twenty patients were identified. A facial palsy was present in 12 patients (60 per cent). Blood cultures were uniformly negative, and culture of ear canal granulations was non-diagnostic in 71 per cent of cases. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was isolated in only 10 (50 per cent) cases; one strain was resistant to ciprofloxacin but all were sensitive to ceftazidime. Two cases of fungal skull base osteomyelitis were identified. The mortality rate was 15 per cent. The patients' treatment algorithm is presented. Our treatment algorithm reflects the need for multidisciplinary input, early microbial culture of specimens, appropriate imaging, and prolonged and systemic antimicrobial treatment. Resolution of infection must be confirmed by close follow up and imaging.

  7. The contribution of high-resolution multiplanar reformats of the skull base to the detection of skull-base fractures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connor, S.E.J.; Flis, C.

    2005-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the contribution of routine review of submillimetric multiplanar reformats to the diagnosis of skull-base fractures. METHODS: A prospective analysis was performed of 407 cases referred over a 6-month period for CT of the skull following cranial trauma. The reformatted 5-mm axial sections and subsequently the high-resolution multiplanar reformats (HRMPRs) were viewed on an ADW 4.1 workstation using bone windows and algorithm. All skull-base fractures and related features, recorded by the consensus of two radiologists, were classified as anatomically significant or non-significant on the basis of eight criteria. The clinical features of skull-base injury and any subsequent treatment were noted in all cases of skull-base fracture. RESULTS: HRMPRs detected 80 separate skull-base fractures in 36/407 cases. Of these 80 fractures, 57 were visible on 5-mm axial sections. In 8 of the 36 cases, the significant anatomical features were only evident on review of the HRMPRs. In 6 of the 36 cases, none of the skull-base fractures was visible on 5-mm sections, but these individuals had only minor associated clinical features and no therapeutic requirements. Review of HRMPRs could have been confined to patients with skull-base fractures, abnormal intracranial and extracranial air collections or opacified mastoid air cells revealed by 5-mm axial sections. This policy would have led to the detection of 79/80 (99%) of skull-base fractures and all significant anatomical features. CONCLUSION: The 5-mm axial sections demonstrated 71% of skull-base fractures and 78% of skull-base fractures with significant anatomical features, using HRMPRs as a gold standard. There were no significant clinical sequelae at short-term follow-up of those fractures only evident on HRMPRs

  8. The Radiological Diagnosis of Defects of the Skull Vault

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    scalp and its inner relationship to meninges and brain. Brain lesions which produce skull defects usually present as brain lesions and scalp lesions which produce skull defects always present as scalp lesions. This leave" us with the same general principle, that, though there may be 40 more or less common diseases which ...

  9. Bilaterally symmetric Fourier approximations of the skull outlines of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Present work illustrates a scheme of quantitative description of the shape of the skull outlines of temnospondyl amphibians using bilaterally symmetric closed Fourier curves. Some special points have been identified on the Fourier fits of the skull outlines, which are the local maxima, or minima of the distances from the ...

  10. The copper-beaten skull | Mahomed | SA Journal of Radiology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The copper-beaten skull appearance is typically associated with craniosynostosis, where premature fusion of the cranial bone sutures results in the growing brain exerting pressure on the malleable cranium, producing a pattern known as the copper-beaten skull appearance. SA JOURNAL OF RADIOLOGY • February 2012 ...

  11. The Development of Skull Prosthesis Through Active Contour Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi-Wen; Shih, Cheng-Ting; Cheng, Chen-Yang; Lin, Yu-Cheng

    2017-09-09

    Skull defects result in brain infection and inadequate brain protection and pose a general danger to patient health. To avoid these situations and prevent re-injury, a prosthesis must be constructed and grafted onto the deficient region. With the development of rapid customization through additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology, skull prostheses can be fabricated accurately and efficiently prior to cranioplasty. However, an unfitted skull prosthesis made with a metal implant can cause repeated infection, potentially necessitating secondary surgery. This paper presents a method of creating suitably geometric graphics of skull defects to be applied in skull repair through active contour models. These models can be adjusted in each computed tomography slice according to the graphic features, and the curves representing the skull defect can be modeled. The generated graphics can adequately mimic the natural curvature of the complete skull. This method will enable clinical surgeons to rapidly implant customized prostheses, which is of particular importance in emergency surgery. The findings of this research can help surgeons provide patients with skull defects with treatment of the highest quality.

  12. Skull's acoustic attenuation and dispersion modeling on photoacoustic signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammadi, Leila; Behnam, Hamid; Tavakkoli, Jahan; Nasiriavanaki, Mohammadreza

    2018-02-01

    Despite the promising results of the recent novel transcranial photoacoustic (PA) brain imaging technology, it has been demonstrated that the presence of the skull severely affects the performance of this imaging modality. We theoretically investigate the effects of acoustic heterogeneity induced by skull on the PA signals generated from single particles, with firstly developing a mathematical model for this phenomenon and then explore experimental validation of the results. The model takes into account the frequency dependent attenuation and dispersion effects occur with wave reflection, refraction and mode conversion at the skull surfaces. Numerical simulations based on the developed model are performed for calculating the propagation of photoacoustic waves through the skull. The results show a strong agreement between simulation and ex-vivo study. The findings are as follow: The thickness of the skull is the most PA signal deteriorating factor that affects both its amplitude (attenuation) and phase (distortion). Also we demonstrated that, when the depth of target region is low and it is comparable to the skull thickness, however, the skull-induced distortion becomes increasingly severe and the reconstructed image would be strongly distorted without correcting these effects. It is anticipated that an accurate quantification and modeling of the skull transmission effects would ultimately allow for aberration correction in transcranial PA brain imaging.

  13. Diffusely increased uptake in the skull in normal bone scans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suematsu, Toru; Yoshida, Shoji; Motohara, Tomofumi; Fujiwara, Hirofumi; Nishii, Hironori; Komiyama, Toyozo; Yanase, Masakazu; Mizutani, Masahiro

    1992-01-01

    Diffusely increased skull uptake (a hot skull) is often seen in patients with bone metastases and metabolic disease. This finding is also, however, noticed in normal bone scans of aged women. To determine whether the hot skull could be considered a normal variant in elderly women and is associated to menopause, we studied 282 normal bone scans (166 women and 116 men without metabolic and hormonal disease; age range 11 to 84 yr). We divided the patients into eight age groups--ages 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80-89 yrs. Measurements of skull uptake were obtained from anterior total body views using contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). CNR for the skull was calculated using an equation. The sex dependent difference in skull uptake began to develop in the age group 30-39 yrs (p<0.05). The skull showed greater activity in women than in men for age groups from 30-39 to 80-89 yrs. In the age groups 50-59 and 60-69, the difference was particularly large (p<0.001). For women, the 50-59 yr age group had a significantly higher CNR than the 40-49 yr (p<0.01), 30-39 yr (p<0.05), and 20-29 yr age group (p<0.05). On the other hand, there was no significant difference between the 20-29 yr, 30-39 yr and 40-49 yr age groups. For men, the skull uptake was virtually unchanged with age. Our data strongly suggested that the hot skull in normal bone scan is related to menopausal estrogen deficiency. One should not necessarily regard it abnormal that elderly women suffer hot skull. (J.P.N.)

  14. Skulls and Human Evolution: The Use of Casts of Anthropoid Skulls in Teaching Concepts of Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gipps, John

    1991-01-01

    Proposes the use of a series of 11 casts of fossil skulls as a method of teaching about the theory of human evolution. Students explore the questions of which skulls are "human" and which came first in Homo Sapien development, large brain or upright stance. (MDH)

  15. Skull trepanation in the Bismarck archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watters, David A K

    2007-01-01

    Skull trepanation is an ancient art and has been recognized in many, if not most, primitive societies. Papua New Guinea came into contact with Europeans in the late 1800s and therefore it was possible for the art to be documented at a time when cranial surgery in Europe was still in its infancy. A reviewof published articles and accounts of those who observed skull trepanation or spoke to those who had. Review of a video of trepanation as practised today in Lihir. Richard Parkinson was a trader turned amateur anthropologist who was able to observe the surgical procedure being practised in Blanche Bay (New Britain). Trepanation was also witnessed by Rev. J.A. Crump in the Duke of Yorks. In New Britain the operation was performed for trauma but in New Ireland it was also employed on conscious patients for epilepsy or severe headache, particularly in the first five years of life. There was, however, a tendency to operate on frontal depressed and open fractures, rather than temporoparietal ones. Once the decision to operate was made the wound was irrigated in coconut juice and this was also used to wash the hands of the surgeon. Anaesthesia was not required as the traumatized patient was unconscious. The procedure is described and the tools included local materials such as obsidian, shark's tooth, a sharpened shell, rattan, coconut shell and bamboo. Of particular interest is the observation of brain pulsations and their relationship to a successful outcome. The outcomes were good, in that 70% of patients were thought to survive, contrasting with a 75% mortality for cranial surgery in London in the 1870s. There is supporting evidence in that many trepanned skulls show evidence of healing and life long after the procedure was completed. Other societies have reported similar survival rates. The good outcomes may have been due to wise case selection as well as a high level of surgical skill following sound principles of wound debridement without necessarily being able to

  16. 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

  17. Osteomyelitis of the base of the skull

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chandler, J.R.; Grobman, L.; Quencer, R.; Serafini, A.

    1986-01-01

    Infection in the marrow of the temporal, occipital, and sphenoid bones is an uncommon, but increasing occurrence. It is usually secondary to infections beginning in the external auditory canal and is caused almost uniformly by the gram negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. Technetium and gallium scintigraphy help in the early detection of such infections while CT scans demonstrate dissolution of bone in well-developed cases. Headache is the predominant symptom. Dysphagia, hoarseness, and aspiration herald the inevitable march of cranial nerves. We have diagnosed and treated 17 cases of osteomyelitis of the skull base. Although the total mortality rate is 53%, it is now a curable disease. Six of our last 8 patients remain alive, although 1 is still under treatment. Treatment is medical and requires the long-term concomitant intravenous administration of an aminoglycoside and a broad spectrum semisynthetic penicillin effective against the causative organism

  18. The Curious History of the Talgai Skull

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jim Allen

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available In the Australian winter of 1886 William Naish, a shearer in summer and a fencing contractor in the winter, erected a farm fence along Dalrymple Creek on East Talgai Station, c.125 km southwest of Brisbane. Work was interrupted by six days of torrential rain. On returning to the site Naish found that the rain had extended an erosion channel which he now had to cross walking to work, and from the extended section he retrieved a skull, heavily encrusted in carbonate, but clearly of human origin. Although it would take three decades to recognise and a further five to confirm, Naish had discovered the first direct proof of the Pleistocene antiquity of humans in Australia. Details of this history of Talgai are taken principally and extensively from Macintosh (1963, 1965, 1967a, 1967b, 1969, Elkin (1978, Gill (1978 and Langham (1978.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Trans-skull ultrasonic Doppler system aided by fuzzy logic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hata, Yutaka; Nakamura, Masato; Yagi, Naomi; Ishikawa, Tomomoto

    2012-06-01

    This paper describes a trans-skull ultrasonic Doppler system for measuring the blood flow direction in brain under skull. In this system, we use an ultrasonic array probe with the center frequency of 1.0 MHz. The system determines the fuzzy degree of blood flow by Doppler Effect, thereby it locates blood vessel. This Doppler Effect is examined by the center of gravity shift of the frequency magnitudes. In in-vitro experiment, a cow bone was employed as the skull, and three silicon tubes were done as blood vessels, and bubble in water as blood. We received the ultrasonic waves through a protein, the skull and silicon tubes in order. In the system, fuzzy degrees are determined with respect to the Doppler shift, amplitude of the waves and attenuation of the tissues. The fuzzy degrees of bone and blood direction are calculated by them. The experimental results showed that the system successfully visualized the skull and flow direction, compared with the location and flow direction of the phantom. Thus, it detected the flow direction by Doppler Effect under skull, and automatically extracted the region of skull and blood vessel.

  4. New insights into the skull of Istiodactylus latidens (Ornithocheiroidea, Pterodactyloidea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark P Witton

    Full Text Available The skull of the Cretaceous pterosaur Istiodactylus latidens, a historically important species best known for its broad muzzle of interlocking, lancet-shaped teeth, is almost completely known from the broken remains of several individuals, but the length of its jaws remains elusive. Estimates of I. latidens jaw length have been exclusively based on the incomplete skull of NHMUK R3877 and, perhaps erroneously, reconstructed by assuming continuation of its broken skull pieces as preserved in situ. Here, an overlooked jaw fragment of NHMUK R3877 is redescribed and used to revise the skull reconstruction of I. latidens. The new reconstruction suggests a much shorter skull than previously supposed, along with a relatively tall orbital region and proportionally slender maxilla, a feature documented in the early 20(th century but ignored by all skull reconstructions of this species. These features indicate that the skull of I. latidens is particularly distinctive amongst istiodactylids and suggests greater disparity between I. latidens and I. sinensis than previously appreciated. A cladistic analysis of istiodactylid pterosaurs incorporating new predicted I. latidens skull metrics suggests Istiodactylidae is constrained to five species (Liaoxipterus brachyognathus, Lonchengpterus zhoai, Nurhachius ignaciobritoi, Istiodactylus latidens and Istiodactylus sinensis defined by their distinctive dentition, but excludes the putative istiodactylids Haopterus gracilis and Hongshanopterus lacustris. Istiodactylus latidens, I. sinensis and Li. brachyognathus form an unresolved clade of derived istiodactylids, and the similarity of comparable remains of I. sinensis and Li. brachyognathus suggest further work into their taxonomy and classification is required. The new skull model of I. latidens agrees with the scavenging habits proposed for these pterosaurs, with much of their cranial anatomy converging on that of habitually scavenging birds.

  5. Hand in glove: brain and skull in development and dysmorphogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flaherty, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The brain originates relatively early in development from differentiated ectoderm that forms a hollow tube and takes on an exceedingly complex shape with development. The skull is made up of individual bony elements that form from neural crest- and mesoderm-derived mesenchyme that unite to provide support and protection for soft tissues and spaces of the head. The meninges provide a protective and permeable membrane between brain and skull. Across evolutionary and developmental time, dynamic changes in brain and skull shape track one another so that their integration is evidenced in two structures that fit soundly regardless of changes in biomechanical and physiologic functions. Evidence for this tight correspondence is also seen in diseases of the craniofacial complex that are often classified as diseases of the skull (e.g., craniosynostosis) or diseases of the brain (e.g., holoprosencephaly) even when both tissues are affected. Our review suggests a model that links brain and skull morphogenesis through coordinated integration of signaling pathways (e.g., FGF, TGFβ, Wnt) via processes that are not currently understood, perhaps involving the meninges. Differences in the earliest signaling of biological structure establish divergent designs that will be enhanced during morphogenesis. Signaling systems that pattern the developing brain are also active in patterning required for growth and assembly of the skull and some members of these signaling families have been indicated as causal for craniofacial diseases. Because cells of early brain and skull are sensitive to similar signaling families, variation in the strength or timing of signals or shifts in patterning boundaries that affect one system (neural or skull) could also affect the other system and appropriate co-adjustments in development would be made. Interactions of these signaling systems and of the tissues that they pattern are fundamental to the consistent but labile functional and structural association

  6. New Insights into the Skull of Istiodactylus latidens (Ornithocheiroidea, Pterodactyloidea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witton, Mark P.

    2012-01-01

    The skull of the Cretaceous pterosaur Istiodactylus latidens, a historically important species best known for its broad muzzle of interlocking, lancet-shaped teeth, is almost completely known from the broken remains of several individuals, but the length of its jaws remains elusive. Estimates of I. latidens jaw length have been exclusively based on the incomplete skull of NHMUK R3877 and, perhaps erroneously, reconstructed by assuming continuation of its broken skull pieces as preserved in situ. Here, an overlooked jaw fragment of NHMUK R3877 is redescribed and used to revise the skull reconstruction of I. latidens. The new reconstruction suggests a much shorter skull than previously supposed, along with a relatively tall orbital region and proportionally slender maxilla, a feature documented in the early 20th century but ignored by all skull reconstructions of this species. These features indicate that the skull of I. latidens is particularly distinctive amongst istiodactylids and suggests greater disparity between I. latidens and I. sinensis than previously appreciated. A cladistic analysis of istiodactylid pterosaurs incorporating new predicted I. latidens skull metrics suggests Istiodactylidae is constrained to five species (Liaoxipterus brachyognathus, Lonchengpterus zhoai, Nurhachius ignaciobritoi, Istiodactylus latidens and Istiodactylus sinensis) defined by their distinctive dentition, but excludes the putative istiodactylids Haopterus gracilis and Hongshanopterus lacustris. Istiodactylus latidens, I. sinensis and Li. brachyognathus form an unresolved clade of derived istiodactylids, and the similarity of comparable remains of I. sinensis and Li. brachyognathus suggest further work into their taxonomy and classification is required. The new skull model of I. latidens agrees with the scavenging habits proposed for these pterosaurs, with much of their cranial anatomy converging on that of habitually scavenging birds. PMID:22470442

  7. The MDP skull uptake test: A new diagnostic tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ell, P.J.; Jarritt, P.H.; Cullum, I.; Lui, D.

    1984-01-01

    An original approach to the measurement of bone turnover is presented. With SPECT, the authors have measured in pgr/ml, the uptake of MDP by the skull in man. The Cleon 710 scanner, ring phantoms and bone biopsies were used for ultimate in vivo/in vitro count recovery correlation and calibration. A normal range for 24 patients was found: 8.5 to 19.5 pgr/ml with a mean of 14. For patients with bony metastases (12), the values were: 22.5 to 50, mean of 30. For 5 patients with osteomalacia, the values were 46 to 68, mean of 62: for 12 patients with hyperparathyroidism, the values were 37 to 48.5, mean of 43. In 3 patients with Pagets disease, the values were 58.5 to 75, with a mean of 65. In 76 patients with metastatic disease to bone, the conventional wholebody bone scan was investigated against the following: 24h wholebody retention of MDP (WBR), skull uptake as described and GFR by Cr-51-DTPA. There is a correlation between GFR and WBR - r=0.67. There is a lesser correlation between GFR and skull uptake - r=0.3. There is no correlation between skull uptake and WBR - r=0.1. The comparison of skull uptake data with normal whole body bone scans leads to a significant proportion of cancer patients with positive skull uptake data. Monostotic disease (especially if metabolic in nature) expresses itself by abnormal skull uptake even if the clinical site of abnormality lies outside the skull. This new technique is ideal as a tool to investigate phosphonate concentration in bone. With it, the authors have shown the effect of specific activity of label on skull uptake, which increases as the specific activity of labelled MDP decreases

  8. Gamma-ray spectra from the age of the dinosaurs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, M.W.

    1994-01-01

    Gamma-ray spectroscopy has been tested as a technique for assisting in the excavation of paleontological sites in the Morrison Formation of western New Mexico. Excavation of these sites is difficult, owing to remoteness and to environmental concerns that militate against wholesale removal of overburden. Various researchers have used remote-sensing techniques to attempt to locate sub-surface bone near known, exposed fossils, thereby to confine excavation to areas where success in finding bone is most likely. Bones accumulate uranium from surrounding rock during fossilization; accordingly, in-situ gamma-ray spectroscopy might serve to locate bone, by detecting the 609- and 1764-keV gamma rays from uranium daughters. Because of the high uranium content of fossils in the Morrison Formation, calculations suggest the feasibility of locating bone despite the presence of several cm of rock and soil overburden. Investigations at several sites with fossils of large sauropods have revealed increased count rates for the key gamma rays near exposed bone, possibly implying the presence of additional fossils beneath the surface of the ground. However, attempts to use spectroscopy inside shafts drilled into possible fossil-bearing rock have been less successful. Results are presented and prospects for additional work discussed

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Epigenetic control of skull morphogenesis by histone deacetylase 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberland, Michael; Mokalled, Mayssa H.; Montgomery, Rusty L.; Olson, Eric N.

    2009-01-01

    Histone deacetylases (Hdacs) are transcriptional repressors with crucial roles in mammalian development. Here we provide evidence that Hdac8 specifically controls patterning of the skull by repressing a subset of transcription factors in cranial neural crest cells. Global deletion of Hdac8 in mice leads to perinatal lethality due to skull instability, and this is phenocopied by conditional deletion of Hdac8 in cranial neural crest cells. Hdac8 specifically represses the aberrant expression of homeobox transcription factors such as Otx2 and Lhx1. These findings reveal how the identity and patterning of vertebrate-specific portions of the skull are epigenetically controlled by a histone deacetylase. PMID:19605684

  12. Chordoma of skull base presenting as nasopharyngeal mass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sant Prakash Kataria

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available While the nasopharynx is most commonly regarded by the otolaryngologist as a primary site of neoplastic involvement, it is also an avenue of spread of base-of-the-skull tumors presenting as bulging nasopharyngeal masses. Chordoma is a relatively rare tumor of the skull base and sacrum thought to originate from embryonic remnants of the notochord. Chordomas arising from the skull base/clivus are typically locally aggressive with lytic bone destruction. The optimal treatment may be photon/proton radiotherapy alone or combined with a gross total resection, when feasible. We report a case of intracranial chordoma presenting as nasopharyngeal mass.

  13. Imaging of the skull base anatomy; Schnittbildanatomie der Schaedelbasis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wuest, Wolfgang; Uder, Michael; Lell, Michael [Erlangen-Nuernberg Univ., Universitaetsklinikum (Germany). Radiologisches Institut

    2016-09-15

    The skull base divides the extracranial from the intracranial compartment and contains a multiplicity of bony and soft tissue structures. For evaluating the skull base profound knowledge of the complex anatomy is mandatory. To limit the number of differential diagnosis it is important to be familiar with the contents of the different compartments. Due to the technical progress and the difficulty in assessing the skull base clinically imaging plays a significant role in diagnosis. For imaging both MRI and CT are used, which represent not competing but complementary methods.

  14. Observation of skull-guided acoustic waves in a water-immersed murine skull using optoacoustic excitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrada, Héctor; Rebling, Johannes; Razansky, Daniel

    2017-02-01

    The skull bone, a curved solid multilayered plate protecting the brain, constitutes a big challenge for the use of ultrasound-mediated techniques in neuroscience. Ultrasound waves incident from water or soft biological tissue are mostly reflected when impinging on the skull. To this end, skull properties have been characterized for both high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) operating in the narrowband far-field regime and optoacoustic imaging applications. Yet, no study has been conducted to characterize the near-field of water immersed skulls. We used the thermoelastic effect with a 532 nm pulsed laser to trigger a wide range of broad-band ultrasound modes in a mouse skull. In order to capture the waves propagating in the near-field, a thin hydrophone was scanned in close proximity to the skull's surface. While Leaky pseudo-Lamb waves and grazing-angle bulk water waves are clearly visible in the spatio-temporal data, we were only able to identify skull-guided acoustic waves after dispersion analysis in the wavenumber-frequency space. The experimental data was found to be in a reasonable agreement with a flat multilayered plate model.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Radiological skull diagnosing - questions of the neurosurgeon to the radiologist

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fahlbusch, R.; Hamburger, C.; Ringel, K.

    1982-01-01

    A well-adjusted overall picture of the skull is very important to the neurosurgeon for diagnosis and therapy. Without an overall picture of the skull the neurosurgeon is hardly likely to begin a trepanation. There are, however, still same questions open in radiological diagnostics. A solution of the problem might be offered soon by computerized radiography which might even replace the conventional X-ray examination of the skull. The radiological CT-total skeletal examination of polytraumatised patients, which can be carried out in 30 seconds by modern CT equipment makes it possible to also obtain overall pictures of the skull and the upper cervical vertebral column. An advantage in addition to the fast information is the significant reduction of the radiation exposure in comparison to conventional methods. (orig./APR) [de

  18. Bilaterally symmetric Fourier approximations of the skull outlines of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    These points denotes break in curvature of the outline and their positions can be compared to .... temnospondyl skull outlines by their shape variations. 2. .... their dentition are related to the feeding habits. Future ... pondyl families is not easy.

  19. Aplasia cutis congenita, skull defect, brain heterotopia, and intestinal lymphangiectasia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonioli, Eugenio; Hennekam, Raoul C.; Spena, Gianantonio; Morcaldi, Guido; Di Stefano, Antonio; Serra, Giovanni; Bellini, Carlo

    2005-01-01

    We describe a female infant with a previously unreported combination of manifestations characterized by aplasia cutis, skull defect, brain heterotopia, mild congenital lymphedema, and intestinal lymphangiectasia. The association of intestinal lymphangiectasia and aplasia cutis, and the association

  20. Sagittal synostosis: I. Preoperative morphology of the skull

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guimaraes-Ferreira, J.; Gewalli, F.; David, L.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to characterise the preoperative morphology of the skull in sagittal synostosis in an objective and quantified way. The shapes of the skulls of 105 patients with isolated premature synostosis of the sagittal suture ( SS group) were studied and compared with those......, skull base, and orbit ( 42 in the lateral and 46 in the frontal projections), the production of plots of mean shape for each group, and the intergroup comparison of a series of 81 variables ( linear distance between selected landmarks, and angles defined by groups of three landmarks). Data from...... skull width. Comparison of the mean values of an SS subgroup to age-matched normative data showed a longer (p differ significantly...

  1. CHONDROID SKULL BASE TUMORS (A REVIEW OF LITERATURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. G. Gasparyan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Chondroid skull base tumors are a rare and little studied pathology; many problems of their classification, diagnosis and treatment remain to be solved. This group of neoplasms is referred to as bone tumors arising from the cartilaginous tissue of the skull base bones, particularly from the bones formed during chondral osteogenesis. The paper details the clinical picture, X-ray and morphological diagnosis of chondroid tumors. Particular attention is given to surgery and radiotherapy for this category of tumors.

  2. Epigenetic control of skull morphogenesis by histone deacetylase 8

    OpenAIRE

    Haberland, Michael; Mokalled, Mayssa H.; Montgomery, Rusty L.; Olson, Eric N.

    2009-01-01

    Histone deacetylases (Hdacs) are transcriptional repressors with crucial roles in mammalian development. Here we provide evidence that Hdac8 specifically controls patterning of the skull by repressing a subset of transcription factors in cranial neural crest cells. Global deletion of Hdac8 in mice leads to perinatal lethality due to skull instability, and this is phenocopied by conditional deletion of Hdac8 in cranial neural crest cells. Hdac8 specifically represses the aberrant expression of...

  3. Radiation dose and cancer risk to children undergoing skull radiography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazonakis, Michael; Damilakis, John; Raissaki, Maria; Gourtsoyiannis, Nicholas

    2004-01-01

    Background: Limited data exist in the literature concerning the patient-effective dose from paediatric skull radiography. No information has been provided regarding organ doses, patient dose during PA skull projection, risk of cancer induction and dose to comforters, i.e. individuals supporting children during exposure. Objective: To estimate patient-effective dose, organ doses, lifetime cancer mortality risk to children and radiation dose to comforters associated with skull radiography. Materials and methods: Data were collected from 136 paediatric examinations, including AP, PA and lateral skull radiographs. Entrance-surface dose (ESD) and dose to comforters were measured using thermoluminescent dosimeters. Patients were divided into the following age groups: 0.5-2, 3-7, 8-12 and 13-18 years. The patient-effective dose and corresponding organ doses were calculated using data from the NRPB and Monte Carlo techniques. The risk for fatal cancer induction was assessed using appropriate risk coefficients. Results: For AP, PA and lateral skull radiography, effective dose ranges were 8.8-25.4, 8.2-27.3 and 8.4-22.7 μSv respectively, depending upon the age of the child. For each skull projection, the organs receiving doses above 10 μGy are presented. The number of fatal cancers was found to be less than or equal to 2 per 1 million children undergoing a skull radiograph. The mean radiation dose absorbed by the hands of comforters was 13.4 μGy. Conclusions: The current study provides detailed tabular and graphical data on ESD, effective dose, organ doses and lifetime cancer mortality risk to children associated with AP, PA and lateral skull projections at all patient ages. (orig.)

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. CT findings of skull tumors forming subcutaneous masses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niida, Hirohito; Takeda, Norio; Onda, Kiyoshi; Tanaka, Ryuichi

    1991-01-01

    Some characteristics of CT findings in 27 patients with skull tumors forming subcutaneous tumors were studied. There were sixteen metastatic skull tumors, six primary skull tumors, and five meningiomas. A CT scan was found to be helpful in the diagnosis of the lesions. Especially, bone-window CT images proved very sensitive in the detection of destructive and permeative lesions of the skull. In 19 of the 27 cases, some lytic lesions were observed. In all cases with skull metastasis from carcinomas, a complete osteolytic change of the skull was observed. Furthermore, all of the metastatic tumors from thyroid carcinoma showed well circumscribed and homogeneously enhanced lesions, in contrast with the other metastatic carcinomas, which usually showed heterogeneously enhanced lesions with irregular margins. Osteoblastic changes were characteristically observed in all cases of meningiomas, osteosarcoma, and chondrosarcoma. Meningiomas were located mainly in the intracranial region and extended extracranially. In one case of malignant lymphoma, one of a neuroblastoma, and one of leukemia, there was little or no gross cortical bone change, despite a large mass. (author)

  7. Peramorphic traits in the tokay gecko skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daza, Juan D; Mapps, Aurelia A; Lewis, Patrick J; Thies, Monte L; Bauer, Aaron M

    2015-08-01

    Traditionally, geckos have been conceived to exhibit paedomorphic features relative to other lizards (e.g., large eyes, less extensively ossified skulls, and amphicoelous and notochordal vertebrae). In contrast, peramorphosis has not been considered an important process in shaping their morphology. Here, we studied different sized specimens of Gekko gecko to document ontogenetic changes in cranial anatomy, especially near maturity. Comparison of this species with available descriptions of other geckos resulted in the identification of 14 cranial characteristics that are expressed more strongly with size increase. These characteristics become move evident in later stages of post-hatching development, especially near maturation, and are, therefore, attributed to peramorphosis (hyperossification). ACCTRAN and DELTRAN character optimizations were applied to these characters using a tree of 11 genera derived from a gekkotan molecular phylogeny. This analysis revealed that G. gecko expresses the majority of these putative peramorphic features near maturity, and that some of these features are also expressed in species closely related to G. gecko. The characters studied have the potential to be applied in future phylogenetic and taxonomic studies of this group of lizards. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumour of the Skull Base

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    Jean-Philippe Maire

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs are rare benign clinical and pathological entities. IMTs have been described in the lungs, abdomen, retroperitoneum, and extremities but rarely in the head and neck region. A 38-year-old man presented with headache, right exophthalmia, and right 6th nerve palsy. A CT scan revealed enlargement of the right cavernous sinus and osteolytic lesions of the right sphenoid and clivus. MR imaging showed a large tumor of the skull base which was invading the sella turcica, right cavernous sinus, and sphenoidal sinus. A biopsy was performed and revealed an IMT. Corticosteroids were given for 3 months but were inefficient. In the framework of our pluridisciplinary consultation, fractionated conformal radiotherapy (FRT was indicated at a low dose; 20 Gy in 10 fractions of 2 Gy over 12 days were delivered. Clinical response was complete 3 months after FRT. Radiological response was subtotal 6 months after FRT. Two years later, the patient is well.

  9. Alterations of the skull Usher's syndrome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Popsavov, P.; Medzhidieva, D.; Zahov, Vl.; Tonchev, Z.

    2004-01-01

    Usher's syndrome is relatively often met. It is cited that it comprehends 2/3 of the recessive hereditary diseases in otology. Sensorineural hearing loss, vestibular dysfunction and hemeralopia are not so rarely met in our country, but their connection to this syndrome are scarcely cited in the newer specialized literature. In it we didn't find description of the characteristic, as we consider them, osteolytic focuses in the flat bones. The cases presented by us were monitored clinically and roentrgenographically for long years. Periodically were performed roentgenograms, CT and MRI of the skull, where the changes are most often met. We analyzed the imaging information that was found in our patients and compared it with the citations in world literature, which are not too many. It is analysed the course of the clinical signs and the algorithm of the imaging techniques to be evaluated the progress of the disease and the results of the applied therapy. We consider that the diagnostic and differential-diagnostic analysis of the cases will be helpful for the popularisation and the more precise diagnose of this serious disease

  10. Malocclusions in a juvenile medieval skull material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsson, E

    1983-01-01

    From a mostly medieval skull material--the "Schreiner collections" in Oslo--juvenile crania were selected as follows: Group A: Crania with complete and intact primary dentition. n = 20. Group B: Crania with early mixed dentition. Incisors only erupted or under eruption. n = 47. Group C: Crania with late mixed dentition. n = 14. The author recorded visually: Sagittal and transversal dental relation, frontal dental contact, anterior cross-bite, rotation and crowding. There was good basal stability. Sagittally 1 moderately postnormal dentition was recorded, transversally there were no anomalies. Slight anterior cross-bite was recorded in 1 case, anterior cross-bite of one and two lateral incisors respectively in 2 others, and tête-à-tête contact in 3 cases. Crowding was recorded in 6 cases, in one of them being general, in the others located solely in the mandibular incisor segment. Broken contact and more or less pronounced rotation occurred in these dentitions. Rotation was also recorded in 2 other cases. The prevalence of malocclusions of the type that can be related to continuing finger-sucking or sucking of dummylike objects was very low in this material. This observation prompted the author to discuss a hypothesis concerning the aetiology of dummy- and finger-sucking habits.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

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

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    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Leonardo da Vinci's "A skull sectioned": skull and dental formula revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrits, Peter O; Veening, Jan G

    2013-05-01

    What can be learned from historical anatomical drawings and how to incorporate these drawings into anatomical teaching? The drawing "A skull sectioned" (RL 19058v) by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), hides more detailed information than reported earlier. A well-chosen section cut explores sectioned paranasal sinuses and ductus nasolacrimalis. A dissected lateral wall of the maxilla is also present. Furthermore, at the level of the foramen mentale, the drawing displays compact and spongious bony components, together with a cross-section through the foramen mentale and its connection with the canalis mandibulae. Leonardo was the first to describe a correct dental formula (6424) and made efforts to place this formula above the related dental elements. However, taking into account, the morphological features of the individual elements of the maxilla, it can be suggested that Leonardo sketched a "peculiar dental element" on the position of the right maxillary premolar in the dental sketch. The fact that the author did not make any comment on that special element is remarkable. Leonardo could have had sufficient knowledge of the precise morphology of maxillary and mandibular premolars, since the author depicted these elements in the dissected skull. The fact that the author also had access to premolars in situ corroborates our suggestion that "something went wrong" in this part of the drawing. The present study shows that historical anatomical drawings are very useful for interactive learning of detailed anatomy for students in medicine and dentistry. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. 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.

  20. Frequency of extradural haematoma in patients with linear skull fracture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aurangzeb, A.; Afridi, E.A.K.; Khan, S.A.

    2015-01-01

    Apparently normal looking patients after traumatic brain injury can have serious neurological deterioration, and one of the common causes of such deterioration is extradural haematomas. This study was conducted to determine the frequency of extradural hematoma and common types of trauma leading to it among patients presenting with skull fracture due to head injury. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the department of Neurosurgery Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad from June 2011 to June 2012. All patients who were suspected to have Skull fracture on X-ray skull, during the study period, were included in study after informed consent and later on CT-Scan brain was done to see for extradural hematoma. Findings were recorded on a predesigned proforma including demographic data, radiological findings and the type of head trauma. Results: Out of 114 patients 85 (74.5%) were males and 29 (225.4%) were females. Age ranged from 2 to 70 years (18.23 ± 16.5 years). Among these patients the most important cause of head injury was fall from height in 65(57%), followed by road traffic accidents in 39 (34.2%), and assault in 10 (8.8%) patients. The most common site of fracture was parietal in 49 (43%) of patients, followed by frontal bone in 28 (24.6%) of patients, occipital bone in 24 (21.1%) of patients, and temporal bone in 23 (20.2%) of patients. Frequency of extradural hematoma among linear skull fracture was in 34 (29.8%) patients. Extradural hematoma was most common with parietotemporal linear skull fractures (73.5%). Conclusion: Extradural haematoma occurs commonly with linear skull fractures, so patients with linear skull fracture should be properly evaluated with CT brain. (author)

  1. Earliest directly-dated human skull-cups.

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    Silvia M Bello

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The use of human braincases as drinking cups and containers has extensive historic and ethnographic documentation, but archaeological examples are extremely rare. In the Upper Palaeolithic of western Europe, cut-marked and broken human bones are widespread in the Magdalenian (∼15 to 12,000 years BP and skull-cup preparation is an element of this tradition. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we describe the post-mortem processing of human heads at the Upper Palaeolithic site of Gough's Cave (Somerset, England and identify a range of modifications associated with the production of skull-cups. New analyses of human remains from Gough's Cave demonstrate the skilled post-mortem manipulation of human bodies. Results of the research suggest the processing of cadavers for the consumption of body tissues (bone marrow, accompanied by meticulous shaping of cranial vaults. The distribution of cut-marks and percussion features indicates that the skulls were scrupulously 'cleaned' of any soft tissues, and subsequently modified by controlled removal of the facial region and breakage of the cranial base along a sub-horizontal plane. The vaults were also 'retouched', possibly to make the broken edges more regular. This manipulation suggests the shaping of skulls to produce skull-cups. CONCLUSIONS: Three skull-cups have been identified amongst the human bones from Gough's Cave. New ultrafiltered radiocarbon determinations provide direct dates of about 14,700 cal BP, making these the oldest directly dated skull-cups and the only examples known from the British Isles.

  2. Case of pycnodysostosis. Observation of skull by CT scan

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    Anegawa, Shigetaka; Bekki, Yoshiaki; Furukawa, Yasuhiro; Yokota, Seishi; Torigoe, Ryuichiro

    1987-07-01

    A 13-year-old boy was presented to the Department of Neurosurgery, Saiseikai Fukuoka General Hospital for further examinations concerning abnormal findings in the skull radiogram taken when he struck his head. His physical features showed some characteristics the same as those of pycnodysostosis as follows - proportionate dwarfism, prominent forehead, short spoon-shaped fingers, bilateral exophthalmos. A skull radiogram revealed widely open cranial sutures with no healing of the fracture and craniotomy which was performed for an acute epidural hematoma 6 years ago. Furthermore, the mandible was hypoplastic with a virtural loss of mandibular angle. CT of the soft tissues showed somewhat dilated cortical sulci and ventricles without any structural abnormalities in the brain. CT of bone algorythum revealed specific characteristics of this disease. The paranasal sinuses were quite hypoplastic. Especially in the maxillary sinuses, frontal sinussus and mastoid air cells, none of developments of sinuses were noted, even though the middle and internal ear seemed to be normal. Moreover, the ethomoid and sphenoid sinuses were noted, although their developments were poor. The appearance of skull base was normal, including the inlets and outlets of cranial nerves or vessels and synchondroses. However, the density of the skull base, especially in the diploe, was higher than normal in Hansfield number. Furthermore, detailed measurements of skull base demonstrated that the skull base itself was also dwarfish. In our study, the development of sinuses in bones with intramembranous ossification are worse than that with endochondral ossification. Furthermore, sutures or synchondroses in the skull base were well-developed than those of the convex. So, it is considered that pycnodysostosis must be the neighboring entity of diseases such as achondroplastic dwarfism or cleidocranial dysplasia. (J.P.N.).

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Morphological convergence in ‘river dolphin’ skulls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte E. Page

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Convergent evolution can provide insights into the predictability of, and constraints on, the evolution of biodiversity. One striking example of convergence is seen in the ‘river dolphins’. The four dolphin genera that make up the ‘river dolphins’ (Inia geoffrensis, Pontoporia blainvillei, Platanista gangetica and Lipotes vexillifer do not represent a single monophyletic group, despite being very similar in morphology. This has led many to using the ‘river dolphins’ as an example of convergent evolution. We investigate whether the skulls of the four ‘river dolphin’ genera are convergent when compared to other toothed dolphin taxa in addition to identifying convergent cranial and mandibular features. We use geometric morphometrics to uncover shape variation in the skulls of the ‘river dolphins’ and then apply a number of phylogenetic techniques to test for convergence. We find significant convergence in the skull morphology of the ‘river dolphins’. The four genera seem to have evolved similar skull shapes, leading to a convergent morphotype characterised by elongation of skull features. The cause of this morphological convergence remains unclear. However, the features we uncover as convergent, in particular elongation of the rostrum, support hypotheses of shared feeding mode or diet and thus provide the foundation for future work into convergence within the Odontoceti.

  6. Imaging diagnosis of Granulocytic Sarcoma in the skull base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Shaoyan; Xie Jiming; Yang Zhiyun; Zhou Zhou; Li Shurong

    2010-01-01

    Objective: To improve the understanding and imaging diagnosis of granulocytic sarcoma in the skull base. Methods: Three cases of granulocytic sarcomas in the skull base are reported. The clinical features and imaging findings were analyzed. Results: The three cases occurred in children with acute myeloid leukemia. Two patients presented with oculomotor paralysis before the diagnosis of leukemia, the third patient with history of leukemia presented with headache. Diffuse infiltration of basal skull bone marrow and extracranial soft tissue masses were shown on MRI. The signal intensities of the masses were similar to that of gray matter on T 1 WI and T 2 WI with marked contrast enhancement. The soft tissue masses were located in the para-sellar region and surrounded the lateral wall of the maxillary sinus in one case. The soft tissue mass of the second case infiltrated the orbital cavity, cavernous sinus and oculomotor nerve. Tumor infiltrating the meninges, cranial nerves and paranasal sinuses was seen in the third patient. Conclusion: Cranial nerve paralysis can be the presenting symptom of basal skull granulocytic sarcoma in children. Granulocytic sarcoma should be considered in the different diagnosis when diffuse abnormal signal intensities in the basal skull bone marrow with solitary or multiple soft tissue masses are shown on MRI. (authors)

  7. Flip-avoiding interpolating surface registration for skull reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Shudong; Leow, Wee Kheng; Lee, Hanjing; Lim, Thiam Chye

    2018-03-30

    Skull reconstruction is an important and challenging task in craniofacial surgery planning, forensic investigation and anthropological studies. Existing methods typically reconstruct approximating surfaces that regard corresponding points on the target skull as soft constraints, thus incurring non-zero error even for non-defective parts and high overall reconstruction error. This paper proposes a novel geometric reconstruction method that non-rigidly registers an interpolating reference surface that regards corresponding target points as hard constraints, thus achieving low reconstruction error. To overcome the shortcoming of interpolating a surface, a flip-avoiding method is used to detect and exclude conflicting hard constraints that would otherwise cause surface patches to flip and self-intersect. Comprehensive test results show that our method is more accurate and robust than existing skull reconstruction methods. By incorporating symmetry constraints, it can produce more symmetric and normal results than other methods in reconstructing defective skulls with a large number of defects. It is robust against severe outliers such as radiation artifacts in computed tomography due to dental implants. In addition, test results also show that our method outperforms thin-plate spline for model resampling, which enables the active shape model to yield more accurate reconstruction results. As the reconstruction accuracy of defective parts varies with the use of different reference models, we also study the implication of reference model selection for skull reconstruction. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. Skull repair materials applied in cranioplasty: History and progress

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qingsheng Yu; Lin Chen; Zhiye Qiu; Yuqi Zhang; Tianxi Song; Fuzhai Cui

    2017-01-01

    The skull provides protection and mechanical support, and acts as a container for the brain and its accessory organs. Some defects in the skull can fatally threaten human life. Many efforts have been taken to repair defects in the skull, among which cranioplasty is the most prominent technique. To repair the injury, numerous natural and artificial materials have been adopted by neurosurgeons. Many cranioprostheses have been tried in the past decades, from autoplast to bioceramics. Neurosurgeons have been evaluating their advantages andshortages through clinical practice. Among those prostheses, surgeons gradually prefer bionic ones due to their marvelous osteoconductivity, osteoinductivity, biocompatibility,and biodegradability. Autogeneic bone has been widely recognized as the"gold standard" for renovating large-sized bone defects. However, the access to this technique is restricted by limited availability and complications associated with its use. Many metal and polymeric materials with mechanical characteristics analogous to natural bones were consequently applied to cranioplasty. But most of them were unsatisfactory concerning osteoconductiion and biodegradability owe to their intrinsic properties. With the microstructures almost identical to natural bones, mineralized collagen hasbiological performance nearly identical to autogeneic bone, such as osteoconduction. Implants made of mineralized collagen can integrate themselves into the newly formed bones through a process called"creeping substitution". In this review, the authors retrospect the evolution of skull repair material applied in cranioplasty. The ultimate skull repair material should have microstructure and bioactive qualities that enable osteogenesis induction and intramembranous ossification.

  9. Robotic Anterior and Midline Skull Base Surgery: Preclinical Investigations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Malley, Bert W.; Weinstein, Gregory S.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: To develop a minimally invasive surgical technique to access the midline and anterior skull base using the optical and technical advantages of robotic surgical instrumentation. Methods and Materials: Ten experimental procedures focusing on approaches to the nasopharynx, clivus, sphenoid, pituitary sella, and suprasellar regions were performed on one cadaver and one live mongrel dog. Both the cadaver and canine procedures were performed in an approved training facility using the da Vinci Surgical Robot. For the canine experiments, a transoral robotic surgery (TORS) approach was used, and for the cadaver a newly developed combined cervical-transoral robotic surgery (C-TORS) approach was investigated and compared with standard TORS. The ability to access and dissect tissues within the various areas of the midline and anterior skull base were evaluated, and techniques to enhance visualization and instrumentation were developed. Results: Standard TORS approaches did not provide adequate access to the midline and anterior skull base; however, the newly developed C-TORS approach was successful in providing the surgical access to these regions of the skull base. Conclusion: Robotic surgery is an exciting minimally invasive approach to the skull base that warrants continued preclinical investigation and development

  10. Implant-retained skull prosthesis to cover a large defect of the hairy skull resulting from treatment of a basal cell carcinoma: A clinical report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoekstra, Jitske; Vissink, Arjan; Raghoebar, Gerry M; Visser, Anita

    2017-05-01

    Skin carcinoma, particularly basal cell carcinoma, and its treatment can result in large defects of the hairy skull. A 53-year-old man is described who was surgically treated for a large basal cell carcinoma invading the skin and underlying tissue at the top of the hairy skull. Treatment consisted of resecting the tumor and external part of the skull bone. To protect the brain and to cover the defect of the hairy skull, an acrylic resin skull prosthesis with hair was designed to mask the defect. The skull prosthesis was retained on 8 extraoral implants placed at the margins of the defect in the skull bone. The patient was satisfied with the treatment outcome. Copyright © 2016 Editorial Council for the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. [Extensive tumor of the skull base: sphenoid sinus adenocarcinoma].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallel, Souha; Sellami, Moncef

    2017-01-01

    We report a rare case of adenocarcinoma of the sphenoid sinus manifesting as extended skull base tumor. The patient included in the study was a 42-year old woman presenting with unilateral right symptomatology consisting of nasal obstruction, diplopia and hemifacial neuralgias. Clinical examination showed paralysis of the cranial nerve pairs V and VI. Brain scanner showed voluminous heterogeneous sphenoid and clival mass reaching the right cavernous sinus, with a peripheral tissue component at the level of the sphenoid sinus. Biopsy was performed under general anesthesia, through endonasal sphenoidotomy approach. Histological examination showed non-intestinal adenocarcinoma. The patient died due to impaired general condition occurred during examinations. Skull base adenocarcinomas mainly occur in the ethmoid bone. Sphenoid origin is exceptional. Radiological appearance is not specific and suggests malignancy. Diagnosis should be suspected in patients with aggressive tumor, even when it occurs in the midline skull base.

  12. Sex estimation in forensic anthropology: skull versus postcranial elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spradley, M Katherine; Jantz, Richard L

    2011-03-01

    When the pelvis is unavailable, the skull is widely considered the second best indicator of sex. The goals of this research are to provide an objective hierarchy of sexing effectiveness of cranial and postcranial elements and to test the widespread notion that the skull is superior to postcranial bones. We constructed both univariate and multivariate discriminant models using data from the Forensic Anthropology Data Bank. Discriminating effectiveness was assessed by cross-validated classification, and in the case of multivariate models, Mahalanobis D(2). The results clearly indicate that most postcranial elements outperform the skull in estimating sex. It is possible to correctly sex 88-90% of individuals with joint size, up to 94% with multivariate models of the postcranial bones. The best models for the cranium do not exceed 90%. We conclude that postcranial elements are to be preferred to the cranium for estimating sex when the pelvis is unavailable. © 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  13. Properties and architecture of the sperm whale skull amphitheatre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, Parvez; Amini, Shahrouz; Tadayon, Maryam; Miserez, Ali; Chinsamy, Anusuya

    2016-02-01

    The sperm whale skull amphitheatre cradles an enormous two-tonne spermaceti organ. The amphitheatre separates this organ from the cranium and the cervical vertebrae that lie in close proximity to the base of the skull. Here, we elucidate that this skull amphitheatre is an elastic, flexible, triple-layered structure with mechanical properties that are conjointly guided by bone histology and the characteristics of pore space. We contend that the amphitheatre will flex elastically to equilibrate forces transmitted via the spermaceti organ that arise through diving. We find that collisions from sperm whale aggression do not cause the amphitheatre to bend, but rather localise stress to the base of the amphitheatre on its anterior face. We consider, therefore, that the uniquely thin and extended construction of the amphitheatre, has relevance as an energy absorptive structure in diving. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. The ecological origins of snakes as revealed by skull evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Silva, Filipe O; Fabre, Anne-Claire; Savriama, Yoland; Ollonen, Joni; Mahlow, Kristin; Herrel, Anthony; Müller, Johannes; Di-Poï, Nicolas

    2018-01-25

    The ecological origin of snakes remains amongst the most controversial topics in evolution, with three competing hypotheses: fossorial; marine; or terrestrial. Here we use a geometric morphometric approach integrating ecological, phylogenetic, paleontological, and developmental data for building models of skull shape and size evolution and developmental rate changes in squamates. Our large-scale data reveal that whereas the most recent common ancestor of crown snakes had a small skull with a shape undeniably adapted for fossoriality, all snakes plus their sister group derive from a surface-terrestrial form with non-fossorial behavior, thus redirecting the debate toward an underexplored evolutionary scenario. Our comprehensive heterochrony analyses further indicate that snakes later evolved novel craniofacial specializations through global acceleration of skull development. These results highlight the importance of the interplay between natural selection and developmental processes in snake origin and diversification, leading first to invasion of a new habitat and then to subsequent ecological radiations.

  15. SPECT/CT in the Diagnosis of Skull Base Osteomyelitis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Damle, Nishikant Avinash; Kumar, Rakesh; Kumar, Praveen; Jaganthan, Sriram; Patnecha, Manish; Bal, Chandrasekhar; Bandopadhyaya, Gurupad; Malhotra, Arun

    2011-01-01

    Skull base osteomyelitis is a potentially fatal disease. We demonstrate here the utility of SPECT/CT in diagnosing this entity, which was not obvious on a planar bone scan. A 99mT c MDP bone scan with SPECT/CT was carried out on a patient with clinically suspected skull base osteomyelitis. Findings were correlated with contrast enhanced CT (CECT) and MRI. Planar images were equivocal, but SPECT/CT showed intense uptake in the body of sphenoid and petrous temporal bone as well as the atlas corresponding to irregular bone destruction on CT and MRI. These findings indicate that SPECT/CT may have an additional role beyond planar imaging in the detection of skull base osteomyelitis.

  16. Skull Defects in Finite Element Head Models for Source Reconstruction from Magnetoencephalography Signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Stephan; Güllmar, Daniel; Flemming, Lars; Grayden, David B.; Cook, Mark J.; Wolters, Carsten H.; Haueisen, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals are influenced by skull defects. However, there is a lack of evidence of this influence during source reconstruction. Our objectives are to characterize errors in source reconstruction from MEG signals due to ignoring skull defects and to assess the ability of an exact finite element head model to eliminate such errors. A detailed finite element model of the head of a rabbit used in a physical experiment was constructed from magnetic resonance and co-registered computer tomography imaging that differentiated nine tissue types. Sources of the MEG measurements above intact skull and above skull defects respectively were reconstructed using a finite element model with the intact skull and one incorporating the skull defects. The forward simulation of the MEG signals reproduced the experimentally observed characteristic magnitude and topography changes due to skull defects. Sources reconstructed from measured MEG signals above intact skull matched the known physical locations and orientations. Ignoring skull defects in the head model during reconstruction displaced sources under a skull defect away from that defect. Sources next to a defect were reoriented. When skull defects, with their physical conductivity, were incorporated in the head model, the location and orientation errors were mostly eliminated. The conductivity of the skull defect material non-uniformly modulated the influence on MEG signals. We propose concrete guidelines for taking into account conducting skull defects during MEG coil placement and modeling. Exact finite element head models can improve localization of brain function, specifically after surgery. PMID:27092044

  17. The relationship between skull asymmetry and CT findings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamori, Yuriko; Yuge, Mariko; Kanda, Toyoko; Ashida, Hiromi; Fukase, Hiroshi

    1987-01-01

    In order to clarify the relationship between brain damage and skull asymmetry or supine head position preference, we classified CT findings of 330 cases with cerebral palsy or risk of motor disturbance into 6 groups according to skull shape. Those were severe (I, n = 37) and mild (II, n = 114) grades in the right occipital flatness, severe (III, n = 34) and mild (IV, n = 58) grades in the left occipital flatness, long skull with temporal flatness (V, n = 33) and symmetric round skull (control, n = 54). It was considered that the asymmetry of cortical atrophy in appearance was formed physicaly by skull asymmetry but that the asymmetric dilatation in appearance of lateral ventricle was related to the asymmetry of brain damage. The severity and the asymmetry of brain damage were tend to increase the grade of skull asymmetry. The incidence of cases with the right occipital flatness was 1.6 times more frequently than the left sided. The incidence of cases whose left (lateral) ventricle was larger than the right was 4.1 times more than the cases whose right ventricle was larger than the left. The cases with occipital flatness in the contralateral side of the larger lateral ventricle were found more than the cases with occipital flatness in the ipsilateral side of the larger ventricle, that is to say, the direction of supine head position preference during early infant was suspected to be the more severely disturbed side of body. These results suggest that the supine head position preference to the right in newborn babies and infants with scoliosis or cerebral palsy might be the result of transient or permanent asymmetric (left > right) brain dysfunction. (author)

  18. Radiologic assessment of maxillofacial, mandibular, and skull base trauma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schuknecht, Bernhard; Graetz, Klaus

    2005-01-01

    Cranio-maxillofacial injuries affect a significant proportion of trauma patients either in isolation or concurring with other serious injuries. Contrary to maxillofacial injuries that result from a direct impact, central skull base and lateral skull base (petrous bone) fractures usually are caused by a lateral or sagittal directed force to the skull and therefore are indirect fractures. The traditional strong role of conventional images in patients with isolated trauma to the viscerocranium is decreasing. Spiral multislice CT is progressively replacing the panoramic radiograph, Waters view, and axial films for maxillofacial trauma, and is increasingly being performed in addition to conventional films to detail and classify trauma to the mandible as well. Imaging thus contributes to accurately categorizing mandibular fractures based on location, into alveolar, mandibular proper, and condylar fractures - the last are subdivided into intracapsular and extracapsular fractures. In the midface, CT facilitates attribution of trauma to the categories central, lateral, or combined centrolateral fractures. The last frequently encompass orbital trauma as well. CT is the imaging technique of choice to display the multiplicity of fragments, the degree of dislocation and rotation, or skull base involvement. Transsphenoid skull base fractures are classified into transverse and oblique types; lateral base (temporal bone) trauma is subdivided into longitudinal and transverse fractures. Supplementary MR examinations are required when a cranial nerve palsy occurs in order to recognize neural compression. Early and late complications of trauma related to the orbit, anterior cranial fossa, or lateral skull base due to infection, brain concussion, or herniation require CT to visualize the osseous prerequisites of complications, and MR to define the adjacent brain and soft tissue involvement. (orig.)

  19. 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

  20. Skull lichens: a curious chapter in the history of phytotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modenesi, P

    2009-04-01

    Lichens growing on skulls were known in late medieval times as usnea or moss of a dead man's skull and were recommended as highly beneficial in various diseases. They were, in addition, the main ingredient of Unguentum armariun, a liniment used in a curious medical practice: the magnetic cure of wounds. We can place this chapter of the history of phytotherapy within the wider cultural context of the period, which saw the definition of nature become increasingly more fluid and open to a variety of novel interpretations.

  1. Interspecific variation of ontogeny and skull shape among porpoises (Phocoenidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galatius-Jørgensen, Anders; Berta, Annalisa; Frandsen, Marie Michele Schou

    2011-01-01

    . dioptrica, for which large series were available, were further compared in terms of ontogeny of cranial shape by three-dimensional geometric morphometrics. Ph. dalli and P. dioptrica generally showed further development of cranial sutures than the other species. Postnatal skull shape development was similar...... was detected; in species with pelagic preference the position and orientation of the foramen magnum aligned the skull with the vertebral column; the rostrum showed less ventral inclination, and the facial region was larger and more concave in lateral aspect. J. Morphol., 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc....

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Segmentation, surface rendering, and surface simplification of 3-D skull images for the repair of a large skull defect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Weibing; Shi, Pengfei; Li, Shuguang

    2009-10-01

    Given the potential demonstrated by research into bone-tissue engineering, the use of medical image data for the rapid prototyping (RP) of scaffolds is a subject worthy of research. Computer-aided design and manufacture and medical imaging have created new possibilities for RP. Accurate and efficient design and fabrication of anatomic models is critical to these applications. We explore the application of RP computational methods to the repair of a pediatric skull defect. The focus of this study is the segmentation of the defect region seen in computerized tomography (CT) slice images of this patient's skull and the three-dimensional (3-D) surface rendering of the patient's CT-scan data. We see if our segmentation and surface rendering software can improve the generation of an implant model to fill a skull defect.

  5. If the skull fits: magnetic resonance imaging and microcomputed tomography for combined analysis of brain and skull phenotypes in the mouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Marissa C.; Roman, Brian B.; Henkelman, R. Mark; Millen, Kathleen J.

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian brain and skull develop concurrently in a coordinated manner, consistently producing a brain and skull that fit tightly together. It is common that abnormalities in one are associated with related abnormalities in the other. However, this is not always the case. A complete characterization of the relationship between brain and skull phenotypes is necessary to understand the mechanisms that cause them to be coordinated or divergent and to provide perspective on the potential diagnostic or prognostic significance of brain and skull phenotypes. We demonstrate the combined use of magnetic resonance imaging and microcomputed tomography for analysis of brain and skull phenotypes in the mouse. Co-registration of brain and skull images allows comparison of the relationship between phenotypes in the brain and those in the skull. We observe a close fit between the brain and skull of two genetic mouse models that both show abnormal brain and skull phenotypes. Application of these three-dimensional image analyses in a broader range of mouse mutants will provide a map of the relationships between brain and skull phenotypes generally and allow characterization of patterns of similarities and differences. PMID:22947655

  6. Difficulties of clinical radiodiagnosis of concomitant injuries of fornix and base of the skull

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krutitskij, A.G.; Semisalov, S.Ya.

    1987-01-01

    Clinical radiological semiotics in 234 patients with injuries of fornix and base of the skull is studied. Among skull injuries the most critical are those of fornix and base of anterior parts of the skull. Severity of state doesn't exclude, but requires an obligatory X-ray examination, at least - review radiographs of the skull. When choosing the volume of surgical intervention the data on X-ray examination along with clinical pattern should be taken account of

  7. Single-layer skull approximations perform well in transcranial direct current stimulation modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rampersad, S.M.; Stegeman, D.F.; Oostendorp, T.F.

    2013-01-01

    In modeling the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation, the representation of the skull is an important factor. In a spherical model, we compared a realistic skull modeling approach, in which the skull consisted of three isotropic layers, to anisotropic and isotropic single-layer

  8. Positional skull deformation in infants: heading towards evidence-based practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wijk, Renske

    2014-01-01

    The shape of a young infant’s skull can deform as a result of prolonged external forces. The prevalence of positional skull deformation increased dramatically during the last decades. The primary aim of this dissertation was to provide a stronger evidence base for the treatment of skull deformation.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Viscoelastic finite-element analysis of human skull - dura mater ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2008-03-18

    Mar 18, 2008 ... The elastic-viscous mechanical characteristics must be used for the skull. The viscous strains .... different actions for fresh human dura mater (L0 = 23 mm, θ = 370). f. Creep compliance .... 3180±300. 4026±372. *. 1. 0. E. E.

  15. Automated human skull landmarking with 2D Gabor wavelets

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Markus A.; Gül, Atilla; de Gijt, Jan Pieter; Koudstaal, Maarten J.; Kayser, Manfred; Wolvius, Eppo B.; Böhringer, Stefan

    2018-05-01

    Landmarking of CT scans is an important step in the alignment of skulls that is key in surgery planning, pre-/post-surgery comparisons, and morphometric studies. We present a novel method for automatically locating anatomical landmarks on the surface of cone beam CT-based image models of human skulls using 2D Gabor wavelets and ensemble learning. The algorithm is validated via human inter- and intra-rater comparisons on a set of 39 scans and a skull superimposition experiment with an established surgery planning software (Maxilim). Automatic landmarking results in an accuracy of 1–2 mm for a subset of landmarks around the nose area as compared to a gold standard derived from human raters. These landmarks are located in eye sockets and lower jaw, which is competitive with or surpasses inter-rater variability. The well-performing landmark subsets allow for the automation of skull superimposition in clinical applications. Our approach delivers accurate results, has modest training requirements (training set size of 30–40 items) and is generic, so that landmark sets can be easily expanded or modified to accommodate shifting landmark interests, which are important requirements for the landmarking of larger cohorts.

  16. Evaluation of radiation dose received in skull radiographic examination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Omer, Noora Elshiekh

    2014-12-01

    Diagnostic X-ray examination play an important role in the health care of the population. These examinations may involve significant irradiation of the patient and probably represent the largest mam-made source of radiation exposure for the population. This study was performed in Khartoum Teaching Hospital in period of January to June 2014. This study was performed to assess the effective dose (ED) received in skull radiographic examination and to analyze effective dose distributions among radiological department under study. The study was performed in Khartoum Teaching Hospital, covering two x-ray units and a sample of 50 patients. The following parameters were recorded: age, weight, height, body mass index (BMI) derived from weight (kg) and (height (m)) and exposure factors. The dose was measured for skull x-ray examinations. For effective dose calculation, the entrance surface dose (ESD) values were estimated from the x-ray tube output parameters for skull AP and lateral examinations. The ED values were then calculated from the obtained ESD values using IAEA calculation methods. Effective doses were calculated from energy imparted using ED conversion factors proposed were within the normal range of exposure. The mean ED values calculated were 3.03±0.08 and 4.23±0.61 for skull AP and lateral examination, respectively. Further studies are recommended with more number of patients and using more than two modalities for comparison. (Author)

  17. Osteochondroma of the skull base: MRI and histological correlation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sato, K.; Kodera, T.; Kitai, R.; Kubota, T.

    1996-01-01

    A skull base osteochondroma (benign exostosis) in a 38-year-old man is reported. MRI was not only very useful for determining the extent of the tumour, but also showed its far content and, on contrast-enhanced fat-suppressed images, its vascularity. (orig.)

  18. Osteoradionecrosis of the skull base after radiotherapy for nasopharynx cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mnejja, W.; Siala, W.; Daoud, J.; Boudawara, T.; Ghorbel, A.; Frikha, M.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to study the incidence and the risk factors of osteoradionecrosis occurrence at the skull base after radiotherapy for nasopharynx cancer. It is often asymptomatic. Its incidence is not low. The systematic realisation of radiological examinations during the surveillance allows to detect the asymptomatic forms. No factor of risk was identified in the study. (N.C.)

  19. An Anatomic Morphological Study of Occipital Spurs in Human Skulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Monika; Asghar, Adil; Srivastava, Nitya Nand; Gupta, Nandkishore; Jain, Anuj; Verma, Jayant

    2018-01-01

    Occipital spurs are quite common; however, they are also the source of frequent discomfort to the patients. Their role has been implicated in causation of pain at the base of skull, which may extend to shoulder limiting the movement of the shoulder and neck. The present was carried out to find out the prevalence of occipital spur in human skull and to find out the anatomic morphological characteristics of occipital spur. A total of 30 cadaveric skulls were examined in the Department of Anatomy, Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences, for the presence of occipital spur. These skulls were the part of boneset obtained as a part of undergraduate training in the department. All the measurements were taken using a digital Vernier Caliper after taking all necessary precaution to avoid any damage to these spurs. The prevalence of occipital spur in the present study was 10%. The mean width recorded in the present study was 13.40 mm (±6.7) and the mean length recorded was 13.45 mm (±1.05). Similarly, mean thickness noted was 2.43 mm (±0.43). Thus, the present study concludes that occipital spurs are the frequent source of discomfort to patients. The knowledge of this tubercle is of paramount importance to neurosurgeons, sports physicians, and radiologists for the diagnosis of such discomfort.

  20. Thin-section CT of the skull base

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beyer-Enke, S.A.; Goerich, J.; Gamroth, A.; Tiedemann, K.

    1987-01-01

    High-resolution CT-images of the skull base are depicted and anatomical structures are described. A large variety of osseous and soft tissue structures can be differentiated in the temporal bone, nasopharynx and orbita. Knowledge of the anatomical structures is essential for the recognition of pathological changes and also plays an essential role for the diagnostically involved radiologist. (orig.) [de

  1. The skull of Chios: trepanation in Hippocratic medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsermoulas, Georgios; Aidonis, Asterios; Flint, Graham

    2014-08-01

    Cranial trepanation is the oldest neurosurgical operation and its roots date back to prehistory. For many centuries, religion and mysticism were strongly linked to the cause of diseases, and trepanation was associated with superstitions such as releasing evil spirits from inside the skull. The Hippocratic treatise "On injuries of the head" was therefore a revolutionary work, as it presented a systematic approach to the management of cranial trauma, one that was devoid of spiritual elements. Unfortunately, there are only a limited number of skeletal findings that confirm that the practice of trepanation was performed as part of Hippocratic medicine. In this historical vignette, the authors present a trepanned skull that was found in Chios, Greece, as evidence of the procedure having been performed in accordance with the Hippocratic teaching. The skull bears a parietal bur hole in association with a linear fracture, and it is clear that the patient survived the procedure. In this analysis, the authors examine the application of the original Hippocratic teaching to the skull of Chios. The rationalization of trepanation was clearly a significant achievement in the evolution of neurosurgery.

  2. Effects of the murine skull in optoacoustic brain microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneipp, Moritz; Turner, Jake; Estrada, Héctor; Rebling, Johannes; Shoham, Shy; Razansky, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Despite the great promise behind the recent introduction of optoacoustic technology into the arsenal of small-animal neuroimaging methods, a variety of acoustic and light-related effects introduced by adult murine skull severely compromise the performance of optoacoustics in transcranial imaging. As a result, high-resolution noninvasive optoacoustic microscopy studies are still limited to a thin layer of pial microvasculature, which can be effectively resolved by tight focusing of the excitation light. We examined a range of distortions introduced by an adult murine skull in transcranial optoacoustic imaging under both acoustically- and optically-determined resolution scenarios. It is shown that strong low-pass filtering characteristics of the skull may significantly deteriorate the achievable spatial resolution in deep brain imaging where no light focusing is possible. While only brain vasculature with a diameter larger than 60 µm was effectively resolved via transcranial measurements with acoustic resolution, significant improvements are seen through cranial windows and thinned skull experiments. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.”

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.