WorldWideScience

Sample records for sauropod dinosaur skull

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chure, Daniel; Britt, Brooks B.; Whitlock, John A.; Wilson, Jeffrey A.

    2010-04-01

    Sauropod dinosaur bones are common in Mesozoic terrestrial sediments, but sauropod skulls are exceedingly rare—cranial materials are known for less than one third of sauropod genera and even fewer are known from complete skulls. Here we describe the first complete sauropod skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas, Abydosaurus mcintoshi, n. gen., n. sp., known from 104.46 ± 0.95 Ma (megannum) sediments from Dinosaur National Monument, USA. Abydosaurus shares close ancestry with Brachiosaurus, which appeared in the fossil record ca. 45 million years earlier and had substantially broader teeth. A survey of tooth shape in sauropodomorphs demonstrates that sauropods evolved broad crowns during the Early Jurassic but did not evolve narrow crowns until the Late Jurassic, when they occupied their greatest range of crown breadths. During the Cretaceous, brachiosaurids and other lineages independently underwent a marked diminution in tooth breadth, and before the latest Cretaceous broad-crowned sauropods were extinct on all continental landmasses. Differential survival and diversification of narrow-crowned sauropods in the Late Cretaceous appears to be a directed trend that was not correlated with changes in plant diversity or abundance, but may signal a shift towards elevated tooth replacement rates and high-wear dentition. Sauropods lacked many of the complex herbivorous adaptations present within contemporaneous ornithischian herbivores, such as beaks, cheeks, kinesis, and heterodonty. The spartan design of sauropod skulls may be related to their remarkably small size—sauropod skulls account for only 1/200th of total body volume compared to 1/30th body volume in ornithopod dinosaurs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.J. (Tom van Loon

    2012-10-01

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

  3. New Australian sauropods shed light on Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    van Loon, A.J. (Tom)

    2012-01-01

    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 t...

  5. A Complete Skull of an Early Cretaceous Sauropod and the Evolution of Advanced Titanosaurians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaher, Hussam; Pol, Diego; Carvalho, Alberto B.; Nascimento, Paulo M.; Riccomini, Claudio; Larson, Peter; Juarez-Valieri, Rubén; Pires-Domingues, Ricardo; da Silva, Nelson Jorge; de Almeida Campos, Diógenes

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21326881

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Temporal and phylogenetic evolution of the sauropod dinosaur body plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bates, Karl T.; Mannion, Philip D.; Falkingham, Peter L.; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Hutchinson, John R.; Otero, Alejandro; Sellers, William I.; Sullivan, Corwin; Stevens, Kent A.; Allen, Vivian

    2016-03-01

    The colossal size and body plan of sauropod dinosaurs are unparalleled in terrestrial vertebrates. However, to date, there have been only limited attempts to examine temporal and phylogenetic patterns in the sauropod bauplan. Here, we combine three-dimensional computational models with phylogenetic reconstructions to quantify the evolution of whole-body shape and body segment properties across the sauropod radiation. Limitations associated with the absence of soft tissue preservation in fossils result in large error bars about mean absolute body shape predictions. However, applying any consistent skeleton : body volume ratio to all taxa does yield changes in body shape that appear concurrent with major macroevolutionary events in sauropod history. A caudad shift in centre-of-mass (CoM) in Middle Triassic Saurischia, associated with the evolution of bipedalism in various dinosaur lineages, was reversed in Late Triassic sauropodomorphs. A craniad CoM shift coincided with the evolution of quadrupedalism in the Late Triassic, followed by a more striking craniad shift in Late Jurassic-Cretaceous titanosauriforms, which included the largest sauropods. These craniad CoM shifts are strongly correlated with neck enlargement, a key innovation in sauropod evolution and pivotal to their gigantism. By creating a much larger feeding envelope, neck elongation is thought to have increased feeding efficiency and opened up trophic niches that were inaccessible to other herbivores. However, we find that relative neck size and CoM position are not strongly correlated with inferred feeding habits. Instead the craniad CoM positions of titanosauriforms appear closely linked with locomotion and environmental distributions, potentially contributing to the continued success of this group until the end-Cretaceous, with all other sauropods having gone extinct by the early Late Cretaceous.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-15

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

  11. 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.

  12. Birds have paedomorphic dinosaur skulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Racimo, Fernando; Bever, Gabe S; Rowe, Timothy B; Norell, Mark A; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2012-07-12

    The interplay of evolution and development has been at the heart of evolutionary theory for more than a century. Heterochrony—change in the timing or rate of developmental events—has been implicated in the evolution of major vertebrate lineages such as mammals, including humans. Birds are the most speciose land vertebrates, with more than 10,000 living species representing a bewildering array of ecologies. Their anatomy is radically different from that of other vertebrates. The unique bird skull houses two highly specialized systems: the sophisticated visual and neuromuscular coordination system allows flight coordination and exploitation of diverse visual landscapes, and the astonishing variations of the beak enable a wide range of avian lifestyles. Here we use a geometric morphometric approach integrating developmental, neontological and palaeontological data to show that the heterochronic process of paedomorphosis, by which descendants resemble the juveniles of their ancestors, is responsible for several major evolutionary transitions in the origin of birds. We analysed the variability of a series of landmarks on all known theropod dinosaur skull ontogenies as well as outgroups and birds. The first dimension of variability captured ontogeny, indicating a conserved ontogenetic trajectory. The second dimension accounted for phylogenetic change towards more bird-like dinosaurs. Basally branching eumaniraptorans and avialans clustered with embryos of other archosaurs, indicating paedomorphosis. Our results reveal at least four paedomorphic episodes in the history of birds combined with localized peramorphosis (development beyond the adult state of ancestors) in the beak. Paedomorphic enlargement of the eyes and associated brain regions parallels the enlargement of the nasal cavity and olfactory brain in mammals. This study can be a model for investigations of heterochrony in evolutionary transitions, illuminating the origin of adaptive features and inspiring

  13. Vascularised endosteal bone tissue in armoured sauropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinsamy, Anusuya; Cerda, Ignacio; Powell, Jaime

    2016-04-26

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D D'Emic

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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.

  2. Discovery of a short-necked sauropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period of Patagonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauhut, Oliver W M; Remes, Kristian; Fechner, Regina; Cladera, Gerardo; Puerta, Pablo

    2005-06-02

    Sauropod dinosaurs are one of the most conspicuous groups of Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrates. They show general trends towards an overall increase in size and elongation of the neck, by means of considerable elongation of the length of individual vertebrae and a cervical vertebra count that, in some cases, increases to 19 (ref. 1). The long neck is a particular hallmark of sauropod dinosaurs and is usually regarded as a key feeding adaptation. Here we describe a new dicraeosaurid sauropod, from the latest Jurassic period of Patagonia, that has a particularly short neck. With a neck that is about 40% shorter than in other known dicraeosaurs, this taxon demonstrates a trend opposite to that seen in most sauropods and indicates that the ecology of dicraeosaurids might have differed considerably from that of other sauropods. The new taxon indicates that there was a rapid radiation and dispersal of dicraeosaurids in the Late Jurassic of the Southern Hemisphere, after the separation of Gondwana from the northern continents by the late Middle Jurassic.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristian Remes

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: Spinophorosaurus demonstrates that many putatively derived characters of Middle Jurassic East Asian sauropods are plesiomorphic for eusauropods, while South Gondwanan eusauropods may represent a specialized line. The anatomy of Spinophorosaurus indicates that key innovations in Jurassic sauropod evolution might have taken place in North Africa, an area close to the equator with summer-wet climate at that time. Jurassic climatic zones and phytogeography possibly controlled early sauropod diversification.

  4. 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 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann S. Schulp

    2008-06-01

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

  6. Allometry of visceral organs in living amniotes and its implications for sauropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franz, Ragna; Hummel, Jürgen; Kienzle, Ellen; Kölle, Petra; Gunga, Hanns-Christian; Clauss, Marcus

    2009-01-01

    Allometric equations are often used to extrapolate traits in animals for which only body mass estimates are known, such as dinosaurs. One important decision can be whether these equations should be based on mammal, bird or reptile data. To address whether this choice will have a relevant influence on reconstructions, we compared allometric equations for birds and mammals from the literature to those for reptiles derived from both published and hitherto unpublished data. Organs studied included the heart, kidneys, liver and gut, as well as gut contents. While the available data indicate that gut content mass does not differ between the clades, the organ masses for reptiles are generally lower than those for mammals and birds. In particular, gut tissue mass is significantly lower in reptiles. When applying the results in the reconstruction of a sauropod dinosaur, the estimated volume of the coelomic cavity greatly exceeds the estimated volume of the combined organ masses, irrespective of the allometric equation used. Therefore, substantial deviation of sauropod organ allometry from that of the extant vertebrates can be allowed conceptually. Extrapolations of retention times from estimated gut contents mass and food intake do not suggest digestive constraints on sauropod dinosaur body size. PMID:19324837

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. No gastric mill in sauropod dinosaurs: new evidence from analysis of gastrolith mass and function in ostriches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wings, Oliver; Sander, P. Martin

    2006-01-01

    Polished pebbles occasionally found within skeletons of giant herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs are very likely to be gastroliths (stomach stones). Here, we show that based on feeding experiments with ostriches and comparative data for relative gastrolith mass in birds, sauropod gastroliths do not represent the remains of an avian-style gastric mill. Feeding experiments with farm ostriches showed that bird gastroliths experience fast abrasion in the gizzard and do not develop a polish. Relative gastrolith mass in sauropods (gastrolith mass much less than 0.1% of body mass) is at least an order of magnitude less than that in ostriches and other herbivorous birds (gastrolith mass approximates 1% of body mass), also arguing against the presence of a gastric mill in sauropods. Sauropod dinosaurs possibly compensated for their limited oral processing and gastric trituration capabilities by greatly increasing food retention time in the digestive system. Gastrolith clusters of some derived theropod dinosaurs (oviraptorosaurs and ornithomimosaurs) compare well with those of birds, suggesting that the gastric mill evolved in the avian stem lineage. PMID:17254987

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel Tschopp

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P. Taylor

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Attempts to reconstruct the neutral neck posture of sauropod dinosaurs, or indeed any tetrapod, are doomed to failure when based only on the geometry of the bony cervical vertebrae. The thickness of the articular cartilage between the centra of adjacent vertebrae affects posture. It extends (raises the neck by an amount roughly proportional to the thickness of the cartilage. It is possible to quantify the angle of extension at an intervertebral joint: it is roughly equal, in radians, to the cartilage thickness divided by the height of the zygapophyseal facets over the centre of rotation. Applying this formula to published measurements of well-known sauropod specimens suggests that if the thickness of cartilage were equal to 4.5%, 10% or 18% of centrum length, the neutral pose of the Apatosaurus louisae holotype CM 3018 would be extended by an average of 5.5, 11.8 or 21.2 degrees, respectively, at each intervertebral joint. For the Diplodocus carnegii holotype CM 84, the corresponding angles of additional extension are even greater: 8.4, 18.6 or 33.3 degrees. The cartilaginous neutral postures (CNPs calculated for 10% cartilage—the most reasonable estimate—appear outlandish. But it must be remembered that these would not have been the habitual life postures, because tetrapods habitually extend the base of their neck and flex the anterior part, yielding the distinctive S-curve most easily seen in birds.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge O. Calvo

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available A unique site at the northern area of Patagonia (Neuquén, Argentina reveals a terrestrial ecosystem preserved in a detail never reported before in a Late Cretaceous deposit. An extraordinary diversity and abundance of fossils was found concentrated in a 0.5 m horizon in the same quarry, including a new titanosaur sauropod, Futalognkosaurus dukei n.gen., n.sp, which is the most complete giant dinosaur known so far. Several plant leaves, showing a predominance of angiosperms over gymnosperms that likely constituted the diet of F. dukei were found too. Other dinosaurs (sauropods, theropods, ornithopods, crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, and fishes were also discovered, allowing a partial reconstruction of this Gondwanan continental ecosystem.Um depósito fóssil na região norte da Patagônia (Neuquén, Argentina revela um ecossistema nunca antes registrado a este nível de detalhes em depósitos do Cretáceo Superior. Uma diversidade e abundância extraordinária de fósseis encontra-se concentrada em uma camada de 0,5 m no mesmo sítio, incluindo um novo saurópodo titanossaurídeo, Futalognkosaurus dukei n. gen, n. sp., que é o mais completo dinossauro gigante encontrado até a presente data. Foram descobertas váriasfolhas de plantas indicando a predominância de angiospermas sobre gimnospermas que possivelmente formavam a base da dieta de F. dukei. Outros dinossauros (saurópodes, terópodes, ornitópodes, crocodilomorfos, pterossauros e peixes foram também encontrados possibilitando a reconstrução parcialdeste ecossistema continental do Gondwana.

  16. The earliest known titanosauriform sauropod dinosaur and the evolution of Brachiosauridae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moine, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Brachiosauridae is a clade of titanosauriform sauropod dinosaurs that includes the well-known Late Jurassic taxa Brachiosaurus and Giraffatitan. However, there is disagreement over the brachiosaurid affinities of most other taxa, and little consensus regarding the clade’s composition or inter-relationships. An unnamed partial sauropod skeleton was collected from middle–late Oxfordian (early Late Jurassic) deposits in Damparis, in the Jura department of eastern France, in 1934. Since its brief description in 1943, this specimen has been informally known in the literature as the ‘Damparis sauropod’ and ‘French Bothriospondylus’, and has been considered a brachiosaurid by most authors. If correctly identified, this would make the specimen the earliest known titanosauriform. Coupled with its relatively complete nature and the rarity of Oxfordian sauropod remains in general, this is an important specimen for understanding the early evolution of Titanosauriformes. Full preparation and description of this specimen, known from teeth, vertebrae and most of the appendicular skeleton of a single individual, recognises it as a distinct taxon: Vouivria damparisensis gen. et sp. nov. Phylogenetic analysis of a data matrix comprising 77 taxa (including all putative brachiosaurids) scored for 416 characters recovers a fairly well resolved Brachiosauridae. Vouivria is a basal brachiosaurid, confirming its status as the stratigraphically oldest known titanosauriform. Brachiosauridae consists of a paraphyletic array of Late Jurassic forms, with Europasaurus, Vouivria and Brachiosaurus recovered as successively more nested genera that lie outside of a clade comprising (Giraffatitan + Sonorasaurus) + (Lusotitan + (Cedarosaurus + Venenosaurus)). Abydosaurus forms an unresolved polytomy with the latter five taxa. The Early Cretaceous South American sauropod Padillasaurus was previously regarded as a brachiosaurid, but is here placed within Somphospondyli. A recent study

  17. The earliest known titanosauriform sauropod dinosaur and the evolution of Brachiosauridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip D. Mannion

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Brachiosauridae is a clade of titanosauriform sauropod dinosaurs that includes the well-known Late Jurassic taxa Brachiosaurus and Giraffatitan. However, there is disagreement over the brachiosaurid affinities of most other taxa, and little consensus regarding the clade’s composition or inter-relationships. An unnamed partial sauropod skeleton was collected from middle–late Oxfordian (early Late Jurassic deposits in Damparis, in the Jura department of eastern France, in 1934. Since its brief description in 1943, this specimen has been informally known in the literature as the ‘Damparis sauropod’ and ‘French Bothriospondylus’, and has been considered a brachiosaurid by most authors. If correctly identified, this would make the specimen the earliest known titanosauriform. Coupled with its relatively complete nature and the rarity of Oxfordian sauropod remains in general, this is an important specimen for understanding the early evolution of Titanosauriformes. Full preparation and description of this specimen, known from teeth, vertebrae and most of the appendicular skeleton of a single individual, recognises it as a distinct taxon: Vouivria damparisensis gen. et sp. nov. Phylogenetic analysis of a data matrix comprising 77 taxa (including all putative brachiosaurids scored for 416 characters recovers a fairly well resolved Brachiosauridae. Vouivria is a basal brachiosaurid, confirming its status as the stratigraphically oldest known titanosauriform. Brachiosauridae consists of a paraphyletic array of Late Jurassic forms, with Europasaurus, Vouivria and Brachiosaurus recovered as successively more nested genera that lie outside of a clade comprising (Giraffatitan + Sonorasaurus + (Lusotitan + (Cedarosaurus + Venenosaurus. Abydosaurus forms an unresolved polytomy with the latter five taxa. The Early Cretaceous South American sauropod Padillasaurus was previously regarded as a brachiosaurid, but is here placed within Somphospondyli. A

  18. The Effect of Intervertebral Cartilage on Neutral Posture and Range of Motion in the Necks of Sauropod Dinosaurs

    OpenAIRE

    Taylor, Michael P.; Mathew J Wedel

    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...

  19. Sauropodomorph dinosaur trackways from the Fleming Fjord Formation of East Greenland: Evidence for Late Triassic sauropods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens N. Lallensack

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The Late Triassic (Norian–early Rhaetian Fleming Fjord Formation of central East Greenland preserves a diverse fossil fauna, including both body and trace fossils. Trackways of large quadrupedal archosaurs, although already reported in 1994 and mentioned in subsequent publications, are here described and figured in detail for the first time, based on photogrammetric data collected during fieldwork in 2012. Two trackways can be referred to Eosauropus, while a third, bipedal trackway may be referred to Evazoum, both of which have been considered to represent sauropodomorph dinosaur tracks. Both the Evazoum and the Eosauropus trackways are distinctly larger than other trackways referred to the respective ichnogenera. The trackmaker of the best preserved Eosauropus trackway is constrained using a synapomorphy-based approach. The quadrupedal posture, the entaxonic pes structure, and five weight-bearing digits indicate a derived sauropodiform trackmaker. Other features exhibited by the tracks, including the semi-digitigrade pes and the laterally deflected unguals, are commonly considered synapomorphies of more exclusive clades within Sauropoda. The present trackway documents an early acquisition of a eusauropod-like pes anatomy while retaining a well-developed claw on pedal digit IV, which is reduced in eusauropods. Although unequivocal evidence for sauropod dinosaurs is no older than the Early Jurassic, the present trackway provides evidence for a possible Triassic origin of the group.

  20. 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 km2) 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. PMID:23874409

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan C Mallon

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Pol

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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

  6. Sauropod and theropod dinosaur tracks from the Upper Cretaceous of Mendoza (Argentina): Trackmakers and anatomical evidences

    Science.gov (United States)

    González Riga, Bernardo Javier; Ortiz David, Leonardo Daniel; Tomaselli, María Belén; dos Anjos Candeiro, Carlos Roberto; Coria, Juan Pedro; Prámparo, Mercedes

    2015-08-01

    New findings of dinosaur ichnites from Agua del Choique section (Mendoza Province, Argentina) provides ichnological and anatomical information about the Cretaceous sauropods and theropods. Around 330 tracks distributed in six footprint levels were identified in this area, one of most important of South America. Two ichnocenoses are located in different paleoenvironmental contexts. In the Anacleto Formation (early Campanian) around 20 titanosaurian tracks were found in floodplain and ephemeral channel deposits. Herein, one pes track shows three claw impressions and this is congruent to two new titanosaur specimens recently discovered in Mendoza Province that have articulated and complete pedes. In this context, for the first time to titanosaurs, ichnological evidences are supported by skeletal elements. In the Loncoche Formation (late Campanian-early Maastrichtian) titanosaurian tracks of Titanopodus mendozensis are abundant (around 310 tracks) and were produced by titanosaurs that walked in a very wet substrate of tidally dominated deltas related with the first Atlantic transgression for northern Patagonia. In this facies association, three different trydactl tracks indicate the presence of small theropods (1-2 m long), expanding the knowledge about the faunistic components that lived in these marine marginal environments.

  7. Caudal Pneumaticity and Pneumatic Hiatuses in the Sauropod Dinosaurs Giraffatitan and Apatosaurus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedel, Mathew J.; Taylor, Michael P.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24205162

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedel, Mathew J; Taylor, Michael P

    2013-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien Knoll

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

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koen W H Stein

    Full Text Available Osteocytes harbour much potential for paleobiological studies. Synchrotron radiation and spectroscopic analyses are providing fascinating data on osteocyte density, size and orientation in fossil taxa. However, such studies may be costly and time consuming. Here we describe an uncomplicated and inexpensive method to measure osteocyte lacunar densities in bone thin sections. We report on cell lacunar densities in the long bones of various extant and extinct tetrapods, with a focus on sauropodomorph dinosaurs, and how lacunar densities can help us understand bone formation rates in the iconic sauropod dinosaurs. Ordinary least square and phylogenetic generalized least square regressions suggest that sauropodomorphs have lacunar densities higher than scaled up or comparably sized mammals. We also found normal mammalian-like osteocyte densities for the extinct bovid Myotragus, questioning its crocodilian-like physiology. When accounting for body mass effects and phylogeny, growth rates are a main factor determining the density of the lacunocanalicular network. However, functional aspects most likely play an important role as well. Observed differences in cell strategies between mammals and dinosaurs likely illustrate the convergent nature of fast growing bone tissues in these groups.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Wilson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The axial skeleton of extinct saurischian dinosaurs (i.e., theropods, sauropodomorphs, like living birds, was pneumatized by epithelial outpocketings of the respiratory system. Pneumatic signatures in the vertebral column of fossil saurischians include complex branching chambers within the bone (internal pneumaticity and large chambers visible externally that are bounded by neural arch laminae (external pneumaticity. Although general aspects of internal pneumaticity are synapomorphic for saurischian subgroups, the individual internal pneumatic spaces cannot be homologized across species or even along the vertebral column, due to their variability and absence of topographical landmarks. External pneumatic structures, in contrast, are defined by ready topological landmarks (vertebral laminae, but no consistent nomenclatural system exists. This deficiency has fostered confusion and limited their use as character data in phylogenetic analysis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We present a simple system for naming external neural arch fossae that parallels the one developed for the vertebral laminae that bound them. The nomenclatural system identifies fossae by pointing to reference landmarks (e.g., neural spine, centrum, costal articulations, zygapophyses. We standardize the naming process by creating tripartite names from "primary landmarks," which form the zygodiapophyseal table, "secondary landmarks," which orient with respect to that table, and "tertiary landmarks," which further delineate a given fossa. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The proposed nomenclatural system for lamina-bounded fossae adds clarity to descriptions of complex vertebrae and allows these structures to be sourced as character data for phylogenetic analyses. These anatomical terms denote potentially homologous pneumatic structures within Saurischia, but they could be applied to any vertebrate with vertebral laminae that enclose spaces, regardless of their developmental

  17. Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Vicki; Happel, Sue

    Facts, activities, and student worksheets about dinosaurs are presented. General information about dinosaurs (when they lived and what they were like) and fossils (how they are created and what information they can provide) is followed by a worksheet and answer sheet. A timeline of the dinosaur age and a classification chart which divides…

  18. Structural extremes in a cretaceous dinosaur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Sereno

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preuschoft, Holger; Klein, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    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 studies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Wilson

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Derived large-mouthed snakes (macrostomatans possess numerous specializations in their skull and lower jaws that allow them to consume large vertebrate prey. In contrast, basal snakes lack these adaptations and feed primarily on small prey items. The sequence of osteological and behavioral modifications involved in the evolution of the macrostomatan condition has remained an open question because of disagreement about the origin and interrelationships of snakes, the paucity of well-preserved early snake fossils on many continental landmasses, and the lack of information about the feeding ecology of early snakes. We report on a partial skeleton of a new 3.5-m-long snake, Sanajeh indicus gen. et sp. nov., recovered from Upper Cretaceous rocks of western India. S. indicus was fossilized in association with a sauropod dinosaur egg clutch, coiled around an egg and adjacent to the remains of a ca. 0.5-m-long hatchling. Multiple snake-egg associations at the site strongly suggest that S. indicus frequented nesting grounds and preyed on hatchling sauropods. We interpret this pattern as "ethofossil" preservation of feeding behavior. S. indicus lacks specializations of modern egg-eaters and of macrostomatans, and skull and vertebral synapomorphies place it in an intermediate position in snake phylogeny. Sanajeh and its large-bodied madtsoiid sister taxa Yurlunggur camfieldensis and Wonambi naracoortensis from the Neogene of Australia show specializations for intraoral prey transport but lack the adaptations for wide gape that characterize living macrostomatan snakes. The Dholi Dungri fossils are the second definitive association between sauropod eggs and embryonic or hatchling remains. New fossils from western India provide direct evidence of feeding ecology in a Mesozoic snake and demonstrate predation risks for hatchling sauropod dinosaurs. Our results suggest that large body size and jaw mobility afforded some non-macrostomatan snakes a greater

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Jeffrey A; Mohabey, Dhananjay M; Peters, Shanan E; Head, Jason J

    2010-03-02

    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 diversity of prey items

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. The second Jurassic dinosaur rush and the dawn of dinomania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Paul D

    2010-09-01

    During the second Jurassic dinosaur rush museum paleontologists raced to display the world's first mounted sauropod dinosaur. The American Museum of Natural History triumphed in 1905 when its Brontosaurus debuted before an admiring crowd of wealthy New Yorkers. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago and other institutions were quick to follow with their own sauropod displays. Thereafter, dinomania spread far and wide, and big, showpiece dinosaurs became a museum staple. This brief but intensely competitive period of acquisitiveness fostered important Jurassic dinosaur revisions and crucial innovations in paleontological field and lab techniques. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. A new basal sauropod from the pre-Toarcian Jurassic of South Africa: evidence of niche-partitioning at the sauropodomorph-sauropod boundary?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPhee, Blair W; Bonnan, Matthew F; Yates, Adam M; Neveling, Johann; Choiniere, Jonah N

    2015-08-19

    The early evolution of sauropod dinosaurs remains poorly understood, with a paucity of unequivocal sauropod taxa known from the first twenty million years of the Jurassic. Recently, the Early Jurassic of South Africa has yielded an assemblage of dental and post-cranial remains displaying a more apomorphic character suite than any other similarly aged sauropodomorph. These remains are interpreted as a new species of basal sauropod and recovered cladistically as the sister taxon to Vulcanodon +more derived Sauropoda, underscoring its importance for our understanding of this pivotal period of sauropod evolution. Key changes in the dentition, axial skeleton and forelimb of this new species suggest a genuine functional distinction occurring at the sauropodiform-sauropod boundary. With reference to these changes, we propose a scenario in which interdependent refinements of the locomotory and feeding apparatus occurred in tandem with, or were effected by, restrictions in the amount of vertical forage initially available to the earliest sauropods. The hypothesized instance of niche-partitioning between basal sauropodan taxa and higher-browsing non-sauropodan sauropodomorphs may partially explain the rarity of true sauropods in the basal rocks of the Jurassic, while having the added corollary of couching the origins of Sauropoda in terms of an ecologically delimited 'event'.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Yeosu dinosaur track sites of Korea: The youngest dinosaur track records in Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paik, In Sung; Huh, Min; Park, Kye Hun; Hwang, Koo Geun; Kim, Kyung Sik; Kim, Hyun Joo

    2006-12-01

    Eighty two dinosaur trackways were newly discovered in Upper Cretaceous lacustrine deposits on islands in the vicinity of Yeosu, Korea. Most dinosaur tracks occur in marginal lake deposits with polygonal desiccation cracks. The dinosaur tracks at the Yeosu site include 65 ornithopod trackways, 16 theropod trackways and one sauropod trackway. The prevalence of ornithopod tracks and the limited occurrence of sauropod tracks at the Yeosu site evidently reflect decreased sauropod diversity in the Upper Cretaceous. All ornithopod trackways represent bipeds, and most of the ornithopod tracks are similar to Caririchnium from other sites of the Korean peninsula. All fossil wood specimens collected in the study area represent conifers (three species of cupressaceous and two species of taxodiaceous conifers, and a new species) except for one, which is a discotyledon. It is thus inferred that the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula was primarily covered with mesic forests with taxodiaceous trees during the Late Cretaceous. The K-Ar age of the Yeosu tracksite is determined as 81-65 Ma (Camapnian to Maastrichtian). It indicates that the Yeosu track site contains the last records of dinosaurs living in Asia. Consequently, semi-arid palaeoclimatic conditions, together with a large lake as a persistent water source and rich vegetation of gymnosperm trees as food, resulted in the preservation of abundant dinosaur tracks in the Upper Cretaceous on the Korean Peninsula.

  11. First dinosaur tracks from the Arabian Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne S Schulp

    Full Text Available 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 village, 47 km north of Sana'a, Republic of Yemen. This represents the first dinosaur tracksite from the Arabian Peninsula, and the only multi-taxon dinosaur ichnosite in the Middle East. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: Measurements were taken directly from trackway impressions, following standard ichnological conventions. The presence of bipedal trackmakers is evidenced by a long series of pes imprints preserving smoothly rounded posterior margins, no evidence of a hallux, bluntly rounded digit tips and digital divarication angles characteristic of ornithopod dinosaurs. Nearby, eleven parallel quadrupedal trackways document a sauropod herd that included large and small individuals traveling together. Based on the morphology of manus impressions along with a narrow-gauged stance, the quadrupedal trackways were made by non-titanosauriform neosauropods. Additional isolated tracks and trackways of sauropod and ornithopod dinosaurs are preserved nearby. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, these discoveries present the most evocative window to date into the evolutionary history of dinosaurs of the Arabian Peninsula. Given the limited Mesozoic terrestrial record from the region, this discovery is of both temporal and geographic significance, and massive exposures of similarly-aged outcrops nearby offer great promise for future discoveries.

  12. Skull fracture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basilar skull fracture; Depressed skull fracture; Linear skull fracture ... Skull fractures may occur with head injuries . The skull provides good protection for the brain. However, a severe impact ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. In vitro digestibility of fern and gymnosperm foliage: implications for sauropod feeding ecology and diet selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, Jürgen; Gee, Carole T; Südekum, Karl-Heinz; Sander, P Martin; Nogge, Gunther; Clauss, Marcus

    2008-05-07

    Sauropod dinosaurs, the dominant herbivores throughout the Jurassic, challenge general rules of large vertebrate herbivory. With body weights surpassing those of any other megaherbivore, they relied almost exclusively on pre-angiosperm plants such as gymnosperms, ferns and fern allies as food sources, plant groups that are generally believed to be of very low nutritional quality. However, the nutritive value of these taxa is virtually unknown, despite their importance in the reconstruction of the ecology of Mesozoic herbivores. Using a feed evaluation test for extant herbivores, we show that the energy content of horsetails and of certain conifers and ferns is at a level comparable to extant browse. Based on our experimental results, plants such as Equisetum, Araucaria, Ginkgo and Angiopteris would have formed a major part of sauropod diets, while cycads, tree ferns and podocarp conifers would have been poor sources of energy. Energy-rich but slow-fermenting Araucaria, which was globally distributed in the Jurassic, was probably targeted by giant, high-browsing sauropods with their presumably very long ingesta retention times. Our data make possible a more realistic calculation of the daily food intake of an individual sauropod and improve our understanding of how large herbivorous dinosaurs could have flourished in pre-angiosperm ecosystems.

  19. In vitro digestibility of fern and gymnosperm foliage: implications for sauropod feeding ecology and diet selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, Jürgen; Gee, Carole T; Südekum, Karl-Heinz; Sander, P. Martin; Nogge, Gunther; Clauss, Marcus

    2008-01-01

    Sauropod dinosaurs, the dominant herbivores throughout the Jurassic, challenge general rules of large vertebrate herbivory. With body weights surpassing those of any other megaherbivore, they relied almost exclusively on pre-angiosperm plants such as gymnosperms, ferns and fern allies as food sources, plant groups that are generally believed to be of very low nutritional quality. However, the nutritive value of these taxa is virtually unknown, despite their importance in the reconstruction of the ecology of Mesozoic herbivores. Using a feed evaluation test for extant herbivores, we show that the energy content of horsetails and of certain conifers and ferns is at a level comparable to extant browse. Based on our experimental results, plants such as Equisetum, Araucaria, Ginkgo and Angiopteris would have formed a major part of sauropod diets, while cycads, tree ferns and podocarp conifers would have been poor sources of energy. Energy-rich but slow-fermenting Araucaria, which was globally distributed in the Jurassic, was probably targeted by giant, high-browsing sauropods with their presumably very long ingesta retention times. Our data make possible a more realistic calculation of the daily food intake of an individual sauropod and improve our understanding of how large herbivorous dinosaurs could have flourished in pre-angiosperm ecosystems. PMID:18252667

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

    OpenAIRE

    Michael P. Taylor; 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...

  1. Locomotion speeds from trackways: Predatory dinosaurs moved faster than herbivorous dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2014-03-01

    Fossilized trackways from dinosaurs leaves evidence of their locomotion from the stride length S and foot length F which yields the leg length L. From studies of living animals, it is known that a walking animal has a relative stride length RSL (= S/L) less than 2 and a running animal has a RSL greater than 2. A statistical analysis was performed of trackways associated with three groups of herbivorous dinosaurs: sauropods (N = 23), the armored ankylosaurs and stegosaurs (N = 10), and the unarmored ornithopods (N = 23) as well as the predatory theropods (N = 35). The average RSL of the sauropods and the armored dinosaurs were both 0.9 +/- 0.3. The ornithopods had an average RSL of 1.2 +/- 0.2. None of the trackways associated with herbivorous dinosaurs have an RSL greater than 1.5, indicating that they were all walking. The theropods showed the fastest and most varied locomomtion: their highest average RSL was 1.8 +/- 0.7. Nine of the theropod trackways had an RSL greater than 2.0, indicating that the dinosaurs were running when they made those trackways. One of the theropod trackways had an RSL of 4.5, indicating that it was running very fast compared to its body length.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén D F Martínez

    Full Text Available 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 history

  5. 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. PMID:23967284

  6. Cranial biomechanics underpins high sauropod diversity in resource-poor environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Button, David J; Rayfield, Emily J; Barrett, Paul M

    2014-11-22

    High megaherbivore species richness is documented in both fossil and contemporary ecosystems despite their high individual energy requirements. An extreme example of this is the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation, which was dominated by sauropod dinosaurs, the largest known terrestrial vertebrates. High sauropod diversity within the resource-limited Morrison is paradoxical, but might be explicable through sophisticated resource partitioning. This hypothesis was tested through finite-element analysis of the crania of the Morrison taxa Camarasaurus and Diplodocus. Results demonstrate divergent specialization, with Camarasaurus capable of exerting and accommodating greater bite forces than Diplodocus, permitting consumption of harder food items. Analysis of craniodental biomechanical characters taken from 35 sauropod taxa demonstrates a functional dichotomy in terms of bite force, cranial robustness and occlusal relationships yielding two polyphyletic functional 'grades'. Morrison taxa are widely distributed within and between these two morphotypes, reflecting distinctive foraging specializations that formed a biomechanical basis for niche partitioning between them. This partitioning, coupled with benefits associated with large body size, would have enabled the high sauropod diversities present in the Morrison Formation. Further, this provides insight into the mechanisms responsible for supporting the high diversities of large megaherbivores observed in other Mesozoic and Cenozoic communities, particularly those occurring in resource-limited environments.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Life history of Tendaguru sauropods as inferred from long bone histology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. M. Sander

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Sauropod dinosaurs present exceptional challenges in understanding their biology because of their exceptional body size. One of these, life history, can be inferred from the histology of their bones. For this purpose, the diverse sauropod assemblage of the Upper Jurassic Tendaguru beds was sampled with a new coring method which provided unprecented access to and insights into sauropod bone histology. Growth series of humeri and femora as well as long growth records from single bones suggest that all four sauropod taxa are characterized by continued growth after sexual maturity but that growth was determinate. Fibrolamellär bone is dominant in the samples, indicating that the bones of the Tendaguru sauropods grew at rates comparable to those of modern large mammals. The growth pattern of these sauropods thus combines typically reptilian traits with typically mammalian traits. In the details of their bone histology, the Tendaguru sauropod taxa show considerable variation which reflects life history. In addition, Barosaurus exhibits probable sexual dimorphism in bone histology. Das Verständnis der Biologie der sauropoden Dinosaurier wird durch ihre enorme Körpergröße außerordentlich erschwert. Allerdings kann ein Aspekt, die Lebensgeschichte, anhand der Histologie ihrer Knochen untersucht werden. Zu diesem Zweck wurde die diverse Sauropoden-Vergesellschaftung der oberjurassischen Tendaguru-Schichten beprobt, und zwar mit einer neuartigen Kernbohrmethode, die einen herausragenden Zugang und Einblick in die Knochenhistologie der Sauropoden ermöglichte. Wachstumsserien von Humeri und Femora sowie umfassende Überlieferungen des Wachstums von Individuen anhand einzelner Knochen machen es wahrscheinlich, daß alle vier Sauropoden-Taxa der Tendaguru-Schichten durch ein auch nach der Geschlechtsreife anhaltendes Wachstum gekennzeichnet waren. Allerdings ging das Wachstum nicht bis zum Tode des Tieres weiter, sondern kam bei einer etwas variablen

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Fossil quality and naming dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, Michael J

    2008-12-23

    The intense interest in dinosaurs through the past 30 years might have led to an increase in poor practice in naming new species. A review of the data shows that the reverse is the case. For 130 years, from the 1820s to the 1950s, most new species of dinosaurs were based on scrappy and incomplete material. After 1960, the majority of new species have been based on complete skulls or skeletons, and sometimes on materials from several individuals. This switch in the quality of type specimens corresponds to the recent explosive renaissance of interest in dinosaurs, during which the number of new species named per year has risen, from three or four in the 1950s, to thirty or more today. The pattern of specimen quality varies by continent, with the highest proportion of new species based on good material in North America, then Asia, then South America, then Africa and finally Europe. This ranking reflects a complex pattern of perhaps overstudy in Europe, immensely rich reserves of new dinosaur materials in North America and Asia, and a relative paucity in South America and Africa.

  16. Dinosaur Dioramas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheinkman, Nancy

    2001-01-01

    Describes an art project for second-grade students where in over five class periods, they create fired clay dinosaur sculptures with dioramas as the background. States that this project, the culminating activity for a sculpture unit, teaches students many art terms and uses of different media. (CMK)

  17. Feathered Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norell, Mark A.; Xu, Xing

    2005-01-01

    Recent fossil discoveries from Early Cretaceous rocks of Liaoning Province, China, have provided a wealth of spectacular specimens. Included in these are the remains of several different kinds of small theropod dinosaurs, many of which are extremely closely related to modern birds. Unique preservation conditions allowed soft tissues of some of these specimens to be preserved. Many dinosaur specimens that preserve feathers and other types of integumentary coverings have been recovered. These fossils show a progression of integumentary types from simple fibers to feathers of modern aspect. The distribution of these features on the bodies of these animals is surprising in that some show large tail plumes, whereas others show the presence of wing-like structures on both fore and hind limbs. The phylogenetic distribution of feather types is highly congruent with models of feather evolution developed from developmental biology.

  18. 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

  19. A Sauropod Tooth from the Santonian of Hungary and the European Late Cretaceous 'Sauropod Hiatus'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ősi, Attila; Csiki-Sava, Zoltán; Prondvai, Edina

    2017-06-12

    The lack of sauropod body fossils from the 20 My-long mid-Cenomanian to the late Campanian interval of the Late Cretaceous in Europe is referred to as the 'sauropod hiatus', with only a few footprints reported from the Apulian microplate (i.e. the southern part of the European archipelago). Here we describe a single tooth from the Santonian continental beds of Iharkút, Hungary, that represents the first European body fossil evidence of a sauropod from this critical time interval. The mosaic of derived and plesiomorphic features documented by the tooth crown morphology points to a basal titanosauriform affinity suggesting the occurrence of a clade of sauropods in the Upper Cretaceous of Europe that is quite different from the previously known Campano-Maastrichtian titanosaurs. Along with the footprints coming from shallow marine sediments, this tooth further strengthens the view that the extreme rarity of sauropod remains from this period of Europe is the result of sampling bias related to the dominance of coastal over inland sediments, in the latter of which sauropod fossils usually occur. This is also in line with the hypothesis that sauropods preferred inland habitats to swampy environments.

  20. 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.

  1. First report of sauropod tracks from the Upper Jurassic Tianchihe Formation of Guxian County, Shanxi Province, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Huan; Liu, Yong-Qing; Kuang, Hong-Wei; Peng, Nan; Rodríguez-López, Juan Pedro; Xu, Shi-Chao; Wang, Suo-Zhu; Yi, Jian; Xue, Pei-Lin; Jia, Lei

    2018-02-01

    This paper presents the first report of sauropod tracks from the Upper Jurassic of Shanxi Province, China. Dinosaur tracks appear concentrated in five trackways, in different stratigraphic levels of the Late Jurassic Tianchihe Formation. Tracks are dominantly small and medium-size sauropod tracks and are tentatively assigned to Brontopodus based on preserved track morphology, trackway pattern and statistical analysis. The Tianchihe Formation in which the tracks appear shows a gradual change from meandering fluvial to sandy braided fluvial depositional systems developed in a seasonally arid environment. Comparisons of the evaluated speed of bipedal to quadruped trackways indicate that the slower walk more easily produces pes-dominated overprints. Trackways in the Guxian tracksite appear following different orientations, suggesting that these trackways were produced by different sauropods at different times. An unusual trackway following a curved pattern has been identified in the site and could represent a special locomotion character or a social behavior. The presence of eolian deposits in central Shanxi Province could have acted as a paleogeographic and paleoenvironmental barrier for the dispersion of the Yanliao Biota that survived in northern Hebei-western Liaoning and northestern Shanxi Province to the Ordos Basin during the Late Jurassic.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Neurocranial Osteology and Neuroanatomy of a Late Cretaceous Titanosaurian Sauropod from Spain (Ampelosaurus sp.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, Fabien; Ridgely, Ryan C.; Ortega, Francisco; Sanz, Jose Luis; Witmer, Lawrence M.

    2013-01-01

    Titanosaurians were a flourishing group of sauropod dinosaurs during Cretaceous times. Fossils of titanosaurians have been found on all continents and their remains are abundant in a number of Late Cretaceous sites. Nonetheless, the cranial anatomy of titanosaurians is still very poorly known. The Spanish latest Cretaceous locality of “Lo Hueco” yielded a relatively well preserved, titanosaurian braincase, which shares a number of phylogenetically restricted characters with Ampelosaurus atacis from France such as a flat occipital region. However, it appears to differ from A. atacis in some traits such as the greater degree of dorsoventral compression and the presence of proatlas facets. The specimen is, therefore, provisionally identified as Ampelosaurus sp. It was CT scanned, and 3D renderings of the cranial endocast and inner-ear system were generated. Our investigation highlights that, although titanosaurs were derived sauropods with a successful evolutionary history, they present a remarkably modest level of paleoneurological organization. Compared with the condition in the basal titanosauriform Giraffatitan brancai, the labyrinth of Ampelosaurus sp. shows a reduced morphology. The latter feature is possibly related to a restricted range of head-turning movements. PMID:23355905

  6. Neurocranial osteology and neuroanatomy of a late Cretaceous titanosaurian sauropod from Spain (Ampelosaurus sp..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien Knoll

    Full Text Available Titanosaurians were a flourishing group of sauropod dinosaurs during Cretaceous times. Fossils of titanosaurians have been found on all continents and their remains are abundant in a number of Late Cretaceous sites. Nonetheless, the cranial anatomy of titanosaurians is still very poorly known. The Spanish latest Cretaceous locality of "Lo Hueco" yielded a relatively well preserved, titanosaurian braincase, which shares a number of phylogenetically restricted characters with Ampelosaurus atacis from France such as a flat occipital region. However, it appears to differ from A. atacis in some traits such as the greater degree of dorsoventral compression and the presence of proatlas facets. The specimen is, therefore, provisionally identified as Ampelosaurus sp. It was CT scanned, and 3D renderings of the cranial endocast and inner-ear system were generated. Our investigation highlights that, although titanosaurs were derived sauropods with a successful evolutionary history, they present a remarkably modest level of paleoneurological organization. Compared with the condition in the basal titanosauriform Giraffatitan brancai, the labyrinth of Ampelosaurus sp. shows a reduced morphology. The latter feature is possibly related to a restricted range of head-turning movements.

  7. 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)

  8. Dinosaur Tracks and Traces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillette, David D.; Lockley, Martin G.

    1991-02-01

    The study of fossilized dinosaur remains, vertebrate paleontology is a well established discipline, but the discovery and rediscovery of numerous and varied dinosaur footprints and nest sites has spurred a renaissance in the associated field of ichnological research. Dinosaur Tracks and Traces is the first book ever to be devoted to this subject, and it represents the work of seventy noted dinosaur ichnologists. Contributors address the history of science and the relevance of dinosaur ichnology to the interpretation of dinosaur behaviour, paleoecology, paleoenvironments, and evolution. Several new preservation, conservation, and documentation techniques are also presented. The book is richly illustrated and is intended for students and professionals in the areas of paleontology, vertebrate zoology, geology, and paleoenvironmental analysis. The historical aspects of the book and the many site descriptions also make Dinosaur Tracks and Traces appealing to amateur fossil collectors and dinosaur enthusiasts.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Jan; Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2013-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that a high reproductive output contributes to the unique gigantism in large dinosaur taxa. In order to infer more information on dinosaur reproduction, we established allometries between body mass and different reproductive traits (egg mass, clutch mass, annual clutch mass) for extant phylogenetic brackets (birds, crocodiles and tortoises) of extinct non-avian dinosaurs. Allometries were applied to nine non-avian dinosaur taxa (theropods, hadrosaurs, and sauropodomorphs) for which fossil estimates on relevant traits are currently available. We found that the reproductive traits of most dinosaurs conformed to similar-sized or scaled-up extant reptiles or birds. The reproductive traits of theropods, which are considered more bird-like, were indeed consistent with birds, while the traits of sauropodomorphs conformed better to reptiles. Reproductive traits of hadrosaurs corresponded to both reptiles and birds. Excluding 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Werner

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Jan; Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. An overview of the dinosaur fossil record from Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubilar-Rogers, David; Otero, Rodrigo A.; Yury-Yáñez, Roberto E.; Vargas, Alexander O.; Gutstein, Carolina S.

    2012-08-01

    In Chile, the record of dinosaurs in Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments is often restricted to footprints, with few skeletal remains. Tetanuran theropods are known in the Upper Jurassic, and bones of titanosaur sauropods in the Late Cretaceous, including partial skeletons (e.g. Atacamatitan chilensis Kellner et al.). Also from the late Cretaceous, an ornithopod vertebra, a pair of theropod teeth and one tarsometatarsus of a gaviiform bird (Neogaeornis wetzeli Lambrecht) have been reported. The Cenozoic fossil record comprises abundant and well-preserved marine birds from Eocene and Miocene units, with a specially abundant record of Sphenisciformes and less frequently, Procellariiformes. There is an excellent Miocene-Pliocene record of other birds such as Odontopterygiformes, including the most complete skeleton ever found of a pelagornithid, Pelagornis chilensis Mayr and Rubilar-Rogers. Fossil birds are also known from Pliocene and Pleistocene strata. A remarkable collection of birds was discovered in lacustrine sediments of late Pleistocene age associated to human activity. The perspectives in the study of dinosaurs in Chile are promising because plenty of material stored in institutional collections is not described yet. The record of Chilean dinosaurs is relevant for understanding the dynamics and evolution of this group of terrestrial animals in the western edge of Gondwana, while Cenozoic birds from the Region may contribute to the understanding of current biogeography for instance, the effect of the emergence and establishment of the Humboldt Current.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. Paleobiology of Herbivorous Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Paul M.

    2014-05-01

    Herbivorous dinosaurs were abundant, species-rich components of Late Triassic-Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems. Obligate high-fiber herbivory evolved independently on several occasions within Dinosauria, through the intermediary step of omnivory. Anatomical character complexes associated with this diet exhibit high levels of convergence and morphological disparity, and may have evolved by correlated progression. Dinosaur faunas changed markedly during the Mesozoic, from early faunas dominated by taxa with simple, uniform feeding mechanics to Cretaceous biomes including diverse sophisticated sympatric herbivores; the environmental and biological drivers causing these changes remain unclear. Isotopic, taphonomic, and anatomical evidence implies that niche partitioning reduced competition between sympatric herbivores, via morphological differentiation, dietary preferences, and habitat selection. Large body size in dinosaur herbivores is associated with low plant productivity, and gave these animals prominent roles as ecosystem engineers. Although dinosaur herbivores lived through several major events in floral evolution, there is currently no evidence for plant-dinosaur coevolutionary interactions.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. © 2011 Curtis et al.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Global aspects of dinosaur distribution and evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sues, H.

    1988-02-01

    Late Jurassic dinosaurian assemblages show close taxonomic correspondence over wide geographical ranges. Presently available if meager evidence suggests that this is also the case for Early Cretaceous communities. Cretaceous dinosaurian assemblages of Campanian and Maastrichtian age show considerable geographical differentiation but also some wide-ranging genera. Northern Hemisphere terrestrial ecosystems were dominated by hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, both herbivores with advanced capabilities for oral food-processing, whereas Southern Hemisphere biota were characterized by the abundance of titanosaurid sauropods, which relied on gut processing. Very close taxonomic similarities exist between the Campanian and early Maastrichtian dinosaurian assemblages of Mongolia and western North America, which, in part, is matched by similarities among other tetrapods such as mammals. Endemic dinosaurs in the Southern Hemisphere appear to reflect major changes in continental configuration. Some evidence exists for interchange of fuanal elements between North and South America. In absence of late Maastrichtian dinosaurian assemblages from most regions, scenarios concerning the terminal Cretaceous extinction of the Dinosauria should be regarded with caution because they are exclusively based on the conditions in western North America.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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 protection ... a severe impact or blow can result in fracture of the skull and may be accompanied by ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockley, M.G.; White, D.; Kirkland, J.; Santucci, V.

    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. ?? Taylor and Francis Inc.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Dinosaur Eggs and Babies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Kenneth; Hirsch, Karl F.; Horner, John R.

    1996-01-01

    In the last couple of decades the study of dinosaur eggs and babies has proved to be one of the most exciting and profitable areas of dinosaur research. This is the first book solely devoted to this topic and reviews, in scientific detail, our present state of knowledge about this exciting area of palaeontology. Chapters in the book discuss all aspects of the science including the occurrence of eggs, nests and baby skeletons, descriptive osteology of juvenile skeletons, comparative histology of juvenile bone, analyses of eggs and egg shells, palaeoenvironments of nesting sites, nesting behaviour and developmental growth of baby dinosaurs. The volume will be an invaluable addition to the book collections of vertebrate palaeontologists and their graduate students.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Dinosaur fossils predict body temperatures.

    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 ...

  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. Dinosaur Fossils Predict Body Temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 °C at 12 kg to approximately 41 °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. PMID:16817695

  7. Endocast of the Late Triassic (Carnian) dinosaur Saturnalia tupiniquim: implications for the evolution of brain tissue in Sauropodomorpha.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronzati, Mario; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Bittencourt, Jonathas S; Langer, Max C

    2017-09-20

    The evolutionary history of dinosaurs might date back to the first stages of the Triassic (c. 250-240 Ma), but the oldest unequivocal records of the group come from Late Triassic (Carnian - c. 230 Ma) rocks of South America. Here, we present the first braincase endocast of a Carnian dinosaur, the sauropodomorph Saturnalia tupiniquim, and provide new data regarding the evolution of the floccular and parafloccular lobe of the cerebellum (FFL), which has been extensively discussed in the field of palaeoneurology. Previous studies proposed that the development of a permanent quadrupedal stance was one of the factors leading to the volume reduction of the FFL of sauropods. However, based on the new data for S. tupiniquim we identified a first moment of FFL volume reduction in non-sauropodan Sauropodomorpha, preceding the acquisition of a fully quadrupedal stance. Analysing variations in FFL volume alongside other morphological changes in the group, we suggest that this reduction is potentially related to the adoption of a more restricted herbivore diet. In this context, the FFL of sauropods might represent a vestigial trait, retained in a reduced version from the bipedal and predatory early sauropodomorphs.

  8. 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.…

  9. 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…

  10. 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?

  11. Everted skull fracture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasubramaniam, Srikant; Tyagi, Devendra K; Savant, Hemant V

    2011-11-01

    Skull bone fractures are common in trauma. They are usually linear undisplaced or depressed; however, a distinct possibility of elevated fracture remains. We describe an entity of everted fracture skull in which the fracture segment is totally everted. The nature of trauma, management, and complications of this unique case are discussed. A 21-year-old woman involved in a railway accident presented to us with a primary dressing on her wound. Investigations revealed an everted fracture skull. She underwent surgery with good results. We would like to add everted fracture skull to the nomenclature describing skull fractures in addition to elevated compound fracture skull as a new entity. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  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. Dinosaur evolution. Sustained miniaturization and anatomical innovation in the dinosaurian ancestors of birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Michael S Y; Cau, Andrea; Naish, Darren; Dyke, Gareth J

    2014-08-01

    Recent discoveries have highlighted the dramatic evolutionary transformation of massive, ground-dwelling theropod dinosaurs into light, volant birds. Here, we apply Bayesian approaches (originally developed for inferring geographic spread and rates of molecular evolution in viruses) in a different context: to infer size changes and rates of anatomical innovation (across up to 1549 skeletal characters) in fossils. These approaches identify two drivers underlying the dinosaur-bird transition. The theropod lineage directly ancestral to birds undergoes sustained miniaturization across 50 million years and at least 12 consecutive branches (internodes) and evolves skeletal adaptations four times faster than other dinosaurs. The distinct, prolonged phase of miniaturization along the bird stem would have facilitated the evolution of many novelties associated with small body size, such as reorientation of body mass, increased aerial ability, and paedomorphic skulls with reduced snouts but enlarged eyes and brains. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casey M Holliday

    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

  19. 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.

    2010-01-01

    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

  20. 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.

  1. Centering on Fossils and Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coble, Charles R.; McCall, Gregory K.

    1986-01-01

    Describes a set of 10 activities which introduce mainstreamed junior high school students to concepts relating to fossils and dinosaurs. Provides students with opportunities for learning the concepts of change and adaptation, as well as fossil facts and terminology. (TW)

  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. First Dinosaurs from Saudi Arabia

    OpenAIRE

    Benjamin P Kear; Rich, Thomas H; Patricia Vickers-Rich; Mohammed A. Ali; Yahya A Al-Mufarreh; Matari, Adel H.; Al-Massari, Abdu M.; Abdulaziz H Nasser; Yousry Attia; Mohammed A Halawani

    2013-01-01

    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 (similar to 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 titan...

  4. 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.

  5. Evolution and Function of Dinosaur Teeth at Ultramicrostructural Level Revealed Using Synchrotron Transmission X-ray Microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chun-Chieh; Song, Yen-Fang; Song, Sheng-Rong; Ji, Qiang; Chiang, Cheng-Cheng; Meng, Qingjin; Li, Haibing; Hsiao, Kiko; Lu, Yi-Chia; Shew, Bor-Yuan; Huang, Timothy; Reisz, Robert R

    2015-10-29

    The relationship between tooth form and dietary preference is a crucial issue in vertebrate evolution. However, the mechanical properties of a tooth are influenced not only by its shape but also by its internal structure. Here, we use synchrotron transmission X-ray microscopy to examine the internal microstructures of multiple dinosaur teeth within a phylogenetic framework. We found that the internal microstructures of saurischian teeth are very different from advanced ornithischian teeth, reflecting differences in dental developmental strategies. The three-tissue composition (enamel-mantle dentin-bulk dentin) near the dentinoenamel junction (DEJ) in saurischian teeth represents the primitive condition of dinosaur teeth. Mantle dentin, greatly reduced or absent from DEJ in derived ornithischian teeth, is a key difference between Saurischia and Ornithischia. This may be related to the derived herbivorous feeding behavior of ornithischians, but interestingly, it is still retained in the herbivorous saurischian sauropods. The protective functions of mantle dentin with porous microstructures between enamel and bulk dentin inside typical saurischian teeth are also discussed using finite-element analysis method. Evolution of the dental modifications in ornithischian dinosaurs, with the absence of mantle dentin, may be related to changes in enamel characteristics with enamel spindles extending through the DEJ.

  6. 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.

  7. Hints of the early Jehol Biota: important dinosaur footprint assemblages from the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary Tuchengzi Formation in Beijing, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lida Xing

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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,…

  10. 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 ...

  11. Taxonomy of Late Jurassic diplodocid sauropods from Tendaguru (Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Remes

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The Late Jurassic (Tithonian Tendaguru Beds of Tanzania yielded one of the richest sauropod faunas known, including the diplodocines Tornieria africana (Fraas, 1908 and Australodocus bohetii Remes, 2007, the only known representatives of their group on the southern continents. Historically, the holotypes and referred material of both taxa plus dozens of additional specimens had been subsumed under the term "Barosaurus africanus" (Fraas, 1908. Here, the taxonomic status of the referred elements is reviewed by evaluating the phylogenetic information content of their anatomical characters, in order to provide a firm footing for further studies (e.g. of morphometrics, histology, and phylogeny of the Tendaguru sauropods. Some of the material shows diplodocine synapomorphies and may belong to either Tornieria or Australodocus, while other specimens are diagnostic only on higher taxonomic levels (Diplodocidae, Flagellicaudata, or Diplodocoidea indet.. The isolated limb elements in most cases lack phylogenetically diagnostic characters. Generally, the "Barosaurus africanus" sample shows a substantial grade of morphological variation, and it cannot be ruled out that there are more flagellicaudatans represented in the Tendaguru material than the diplodocines and dicraeosaurids already known. doi:10.1002/mmng.200800008

  12. 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.

  13. Dinosaur footprints and other ichnofauna from the cretaceous Kem Kem beds of Morocco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nizar Ibrahim

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. First dinosaurs from Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kear, Benjamin P; Rich, Thomas H; Vickers-Rich, Patricia; Ali, Mohammed A; Al-Mufarreh, Yahya A; Matari, Adel H; Al-Massari, Abdu M; Nasser, Abdulaziz H; Attia, Yousry; Halawani, Mohammed A

    2013-01-01

    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.

  18. Balance and Strength - Estimating the Maximum Prey-Lifting Potential of the Large Predatory Dinosaur Carcharodontosaurus saharicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Donald M; Nicholls, Robert

    2015-08-01

    Motivated by the work of palaeo-art "Double Death (2011)," a biomechanical analysis using three-dimensional digital models was conducted to assess the potential of a pair of the large, Late Cretaceous theropod dinosaur Carcharodontosaurus saharicus to successfully lift a medium-sized sauropod and not lose balance. Limaysaurus tessonei from the Late Cretaceous of South America was chosen as the sauropod as it is more completely known, but closely related to the rebbachisaurid sauropods found in the same deposits with C. saharicus. The body models incorporate the details of the low-density regions associated with lungs, systems of air sacs, and pneumatized axial skeletal regions. These details, along with the surface meshes of the models, were used to estimate the body masses and centers of mass of the two animals. It was found that a 6 t C. saharicus could successfully lift a mass of 2.5 t and not lose balance as the combined center of mass of the body and the load in the jaws would still be over the feet. However, the neck muscles were found to only be capable of producing enough force to hold up the head with an added mass of 424 kg held at the midpoint of the maxillary tooth row. The jaw adductor muscles were more powerful, and could have held a load of 512 kg. The more limiting neck constraint leads to the conclusion that two, adult C. saharicus could successfully lift a L. tessonei with a maximum body mass of 850 kg and a body length of 8.3 m. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nirina O. Ratsimbaholison

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abelisaurid theropods were one of the most diverse groups of predatory dinosaurs in Gondwana during the Cretaceous. The group is characterized by a tall, wide skull and robust cervical region. This morphology is thought to have facilitated specialized feeding behaviors such as prolonged contact with prey. The Late Cretaceous abelisaurid Majungasaurus crenatissimus typifies this abelisaurid cranial morphotype. Recent fossil discoveries of this species include a partial growth series that allows for the first time an investigation of ontogenetic variation in cranial morphology in a representative abelisaurid. Herein we examine growth trajectories in the shape of individual cranial bones and articulated skulls of Majungasaurus using geometric morphometrics. Several major changes in skull shape were observed through ontogeny, including an increase in the height of the jugal, postorbital, and quadratojugal, an increase in the extent of the contacts between bones, and a decrease in the circumference of the orbit. The skull transitions from relatively short in the smallest individual to tall and robust in large adults, as is seen in other theropods. Such morphological change during ontogeny would likely have resulted in different biomechanical properties and feeding behaviors between small and large individuals. These findings provide a post-hatching developmental framework for understanding the evolution of the distinctive tall skull morphology seen in abelisaurids and other large-sized theropod dinosaurs.

  1. 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

    2011-02-09

    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. 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. 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 by a historical collecting bias influenced by facies and taphonomic

  2. Skull Base Tumors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz-Ertner, Daniela

    In skull base tumors associated with a low radiosensitivity for conventional radiotherapy (RT), irradiation with proton or carbon ion beams facilitates a safe and accurate application of high tumor doses due to the favorable beam localization properties of these particle beams. Cranial nerves, the brain stem and normal brain tissue can at the same time be optimally spared.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alida M Bailleul

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

  5. An exceptional fossil skull from South America and the origins of the archosauriform radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinheiro, Felipe L.; França, Marco A. G.; Lacerda, Marcel B.; Butler, Richard J.; Schultz, Cesar L.

    2016-03-01

    Birds, dinosaurs, crocodilians, pterosaurs and their close relatives form the highly diverse clade Archosauriformes. Archosauriforms have a deep evolutionary history, originating in the late Permian, prior to the end-Permian mass extinction, and radiating in the Triassic to dominate Mesozoic ecosystems. However, the origins of this clade and its extraordinarily successful body plan remain obscure. Here, we describe an exceptionally preserved fossil skull from the Lower Triassic of Brazil, representing a new species, Teyujagua paradoxa, transitional in morphology between archosauriforms and more primitive reptiles. This skull reveals for the first time the mosaic assembly of key features of the archosauriform skull, including the antorbital and mandibular fenestrae, serrated teeth, and closed lower temporal bar. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Teyujagua as the sister taxon to Archosauriformes, and is congruent with a two-phase model of early archosauriform evolution, in response to two mass extinctions occurring at the end of the Guadalupian and the Permian.

  6. Hot skull: Malignant or feminine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roos, J.C.; Isslet, J.W. van; Buul, M.M.C. van; Oei, H.Y.; Rijk, P.P. van

    1987-07-01

    Diffusely increased uptake in the calvarium on bone scintigraphy (a hot skull) is often present in patients with bone metastases and metabolic diseases. Excluding these known facts the prevalence of the hot skull and its relation with malignancy and, more specifically, with breast carcinoma have been studied in 673 patients. In women, the hot skull is clearly related to malignancy and to a lesser extent to breast carcinoma. However, another remarkable feature of the hot skull is its predominance in women in general (compared to men) and, therefore, the data suggest that the hot skull can also represent a normal variant of the female skull. We conclude that the hot skull has no clinical value in screening protocols.

  7. 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).

  8. The skull roof tracks the brain during the evolution and development of reptiles including birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabbri, Matteo; Mongiardino Koch, Nicolás; Pritchard, Adam C; Hanson, Michael; Hoffman, Eva; Bever, Gabriel S; Balanoff, Amy M; Morris, Zachary S; Field, Daniel J; Camacho, Jasmin; Rowe, Timothy B; Norell, Mark A; Smith, Roger M; Abzhanov, Arhat; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2017-10-01

    Major transformations in brain size and proportions, such as the enlargement of the brain during the evolution of birds, are accompanied by profound modifications to the skull roof. However, the hypothesis of concerted evolution of shape between brain and skull roof over major phylogenetic transitions, and in particular of an ontogenetic relationship between specific regions of the brain and the skull roof, has never been formally tested. We performed 3D morphometric analyses to examine the deep history of brain and skull-roof morphology in Reptilia, focusing on changes during the well-documented transition from early reptiles through archosauromorphs, including nonavian dinosaurs, to birds. Non-avialan taxa cluster tightly together in morphospace, whereas Archaeopteryx and crown birds occupy a separate region. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the forebrain and frontal bone and the midbrain and parietal bone. Furthermore, the position of the forebrain-midbrain boundary correlates significantly with the position of the frontoparietal suture across the phylogenetic breadth of Reptilia and during the ontogeny of individual taxa. Conservation of position and identity in the skull roof is apparent, and there is no support for previous hypotheses that the avian parietal is a transformed postparietal. The correlation and apparent developmental link between regions of the brain and bony skull elements are likely to be ancestral to Tetrapoda and may be fundamental to all of Osteichthyes, coeval with the origin of the dermatocranium.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas R Longrich

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

  10. The origin and early radiation of dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L.; Nesbitt, Sterling J.; Irmis, Randall B.; Butler, Richard J.; Benton, Michael J.; Norell, Mark A.

    2010-07-01

    Dinosaurs were remarkably successful during the Mesozoic and one subgroup, birds, remain an important component of modern ecosystems. Although the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous has been the subject of intense debate, comparatively little attention has been given to the origin and early evolution of dinosaurs during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic, one of the most important evolutionary radiations in earth history. Our understanding of this keystone event has dramatically changed over the past 25 years, thanks to an influx of new fossil discoveries, reinterpretations of long-ignored specimens, and quantitative macroevolutionary analyses that synthesize anatomical and geological data. Here we provide an overview of the first 50 million years of dinosaur history, with a focus on the large-scale patterns that characterize the ascent of dinosaurs from a small, almost marginal group of reptiles in the Late Triassic to the preeminent terrestrial vertebrates of the Jurassic and Cretaceous. We provide both a biological and geological background for early dinosaur history. Dinosaurs are deeply nested among the archosaurian reptiles, diagnosed by only a small number of characters, and are subdivided into a number of major lineages. The first unequivocal dinosaurs are known from the late Carnian of South America, but the presence of their sister group in the Middle Triassic implies that dinosaurs possibly originated much earlier. The three major dinosaur lineages, theropods, sauropodomorphs, and ornithischians, are all known from the Triassic, when continents were joined into the supercontinent Pangaea and global climates were hot and arid. Although many researchers have long suggested that dinosaurs outcompeted other reptile groups during the Triassic, we argue that the ascent of dinosaurs was more of a matter of contingency and opportunism. Dinosaurs were overshadowed in most Late Triassic ecosystems by crocodile-line archosaurs and

  11. The cranial anatomy of the neornithischian dinosaur Thescelosaurus neglectus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clint A. Boyd

    2014-11-01

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

  12. First sauropod (Dinosauria: Saurischia) remains from the Guichón Formation, Late Cretaceous of Uruguay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Matías; Perea, Daniel; Cambiaso, Andrea

    2012-02-01

    We report the first sauropod remains recorded in the Guichón Formation, western Uruguay. The materials belong to a middle-sized sauropod represented by more than one individual, and among other remains include more than fifty caudal centra. Close to the bones, several eggshell fragments resembling Sphaerovum erbeniMones, 1980 were found. We discuss the biostratigraphic implications of these findings, which for the first time allow us to confidently refer the Guichón Formation to the Late Cretaceous. The combination of several synapomorphies such as a biconvex first caudal centrum, strongly procoelous middle and distal caudal centra, and a pyramidal astragalus suggests that the sauropod remains belong to a derived lithostrotian, probably related to Pellegrinisaurus powelli, Baurutitan britoi and Alamosaurus sanjuanensis. A few isolated teeth (now lost) referred by Frederich von Huene in 1934 to ornithomimid theropods and ornithischians are herein reinterpreted as belonging to indeterminate theropods and basal iguanodontians.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The precise temporal calibration of dinosaur origins

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Dinosaur dynamics in the Jurassic Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2010-04-01

    Dinosaurs were fascinating animals and elicit much excitement in the classroom. Analysis of fossilized dinosaur trackways permits one to estimate the locomotion speeds and accelerations of these extinct beasts. Such analysis allows one to apply Newton's laws of motion to examples from the Jurassic Era.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  19. Diverse dinosaur-dominated ichnofaunas from the potomac group (Lower Cretaceous) Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanford, R.; Lockley, M.; Weems, R.

    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.

  20. The last polar dinosaurs: high diversity of latest Cretaceous arctic dinosaurs in Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godefroit, Pascal; Golovneva, Lina; Shchepetov, Sergei; Garcia, Géraldine; Alekseev, Pavel

    2009-04-01

    A latest Cretaceous (68 to 65 million years ago) vertebrate microfossil assemblage discovered at Kakanaut in northeastern Russia reveals that dinosaurs were still highly diversified in Arctic regions just before the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction event. Dinosaur eggshell fragments, belonging to hadrosaurids and non-avian theropods, indicate that at least several latest Cretaceous dinosaur taxa could reproduce in polar region and were probably year-round residents of high latitudes. Palaeobotanical data suggest that these polar dinosaurs lived in a temperate climate (mean annual temperature about 10 degrees C), but the climate was apparently too cold for amphibians and ectothermic reptiles. The high diversity of Late Maastrichtian dinosaurs in high latitudes, where ectotherms are absent, strongly questions hypotheses according to which dinosaur extinction was a result of temperature decline, caused or not by the Chicxulub impact.

  1. The evolution of cranial form and function in theropod dinosaurs: insights from geometric morphometrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, S L; Sakamoto, M; Montanari, S; Harcourt Smith, W E H

    2012-02-01

    Theropod dinosaurs, an iconic clade of fossil species including Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor, developed a great diversity of body size, skull form and feeding habits over their 160+ million year evolutionary history. Here, we utilize geometric morphometrics to study broad patterns in theropod skull shape variation and compare the distribution of taxa in cranial morphospace (form) to both phylogeny and quantitative metrics of biting behaviour (function). We find that theropod skulls primarily differ in relative anteroposterior length and snout depth and to a lesser extent in orbit size and depth of the cheek region, and oviraptorosaurs deviate most strongly from the "typical" and ancestral theropod morphologies. Noncarnivorous taxa generally fall out in distinct regions of morphospace and exhibit greater overall disparity than carnivorous taxa, whereas large-bodied carnivores independently converge on the same region of morphospace. The distribution of taxa in morphospace is strongly correlated with phylogeny but only weakly correlated with functional biting behaviour. These results imply that phylogeny, not biting function, was the major determinant of theropod skull shape. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. First discovery of a theropod (Dinosauria) from the Upper Jurassic in Mongolia and its stratigraphy

    OpenAIRE

    MAHITO, WATANABE; Khishigjav, Tsogtbaatar; RINCHEN, BARSBOLD; Center for Paleobiological Research, Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.; Mongolian Paleontological Center, Mongolian Academy of Sciences

    2008-01-01

    A theropod dinosaur is described for the first time from the Upper Jurassic of Mongolia. It is represented by a partial skull from the upper Jurassic Dariv Suite in Dariv, Ikhes Nuur Basin, Gobi-Altai Aimag, western Mongolia, situated relatively close to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Province in the western part of China. From the same beds of the locality, sauropod bones were also abundantly found. Those fossil discoveries suggest that both carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs existed in th...

  9. Heme Compounds in Dinosaur Trabecular Bone

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mary H. Schweitzer; Mark Marshall; Keith Carron; D. Scott Bohle; Scott C. Busse; Ernst V. Arnold; Darlene Barnard; J. R. Horner; Jean R. Starkey

    1997-01-01

    Six independent lines of evidence point to the existence of heme-containing compounds and/or hemoglobin breakdown products in extracts of trabecular tissues of the large theropod dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex...

  10. Saving Utah's Landscape, Dinosaur National Monument

    OpenAIRE

    Extension, USU

    2000-01-01

    At Dinosaur National Monument, an aggressive, well-planned weed management program is assisted by a host of volunteers. Last year the monument’s Weed Warrior Program 482 volunteers contributed 2,107 hours of weed removal.

  11. Neck posture and overall body design in sauropods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Christian

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The stress on the intervertebral discs in the necks of Brachiosaurus brancai, Diplodocus carnegii, and Dicraeosaurus hansemanni are calculated for various hypothetical neck postures. Assuming similar safety factors along the neck and a predominance of static or quasistatic forces, neck postures in which the stress is not more or less constant along the neck are rejected. The necks of two large and long-necked recent mammals, Giraffa camelopardalis and Camelus sp., are examined in the same way in order to test the method. The method is shown to be suitable for the reconstruction of the habitual posture of longnecked terrestrial vertebrates, even if the distribution of mass along the head and neck and the lever arms of the neck muscles and ligaments are only roughly estimated. Among sauropods, the neck posture differed considerably, being nearly vertical in Brachiosaurus brancai, but more horizontal in Dicraeosaurus hansemanni and especially in Diplodocus carnegii. Therefore, Brachiosaurus brancai appears to have been an extremely specialised high browser, whereas in Diplodocus carnegii and in Dicraeosaurus hansemanni the long neck permitted a large feeding volume. The constrast in neck posture is reflected in the overall body design, especially in tail and limb length. Für verschiedene Halsstellungen von Brachiosaurus brancai, Diplodocus carnegii und Dicraeosaurus hansemanni wurde der Druck auf den Gelenkknorpel der Zwischenwirbelgelenke berechnet. Halsstellungen, die nicht zu einem mehr oder weniger konstanten Druck entlang des Halses führten, wurden verworfen. Dabei wurden gleiche Sicherheitsfaktoren des Gelenkknorples sowie das Vorherrschen von statischen und quasistatischen Kräften entlang des Halses angenommen. Die Hälse zweier langhalsiger Säugetiere, Giraffa camelopardalis und Camelus sp., wurden in gleicher Weise analysiert, um die Methode zu überprüfen. Diese erwies sich als geeignet, die habituelle Halsstellung eines langhalsigen

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Photogrammetric survey of dinosaur skeletons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Wiedemann

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available To derive physiological data of dinosaurs, it is necessary to determine the volume and the surface area of this animals. For this purpose, a detailed survey of reconstructed skeletons is required. The skeletons of three dinosaurs in the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin and two skeletons in the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris have been surveyed using stereo photogrammetry. Two of the Berlin skeletons were also surveyed with the close range laser scanners of the Institut für Navigation of the Universität Stuttgart. Both data acquisition techniques require a geodetic control network as a geometric reference system. The surveying methods used, together with results of mathematical approaches for the determination of the volume and surface of the animals are presented in this paper. Zur Herleitung physiologischer Daten der Dinosaurier ist es erforderlich, zunächst Volumen und Oberfläche ihres Körpers zu bestimmen. Dazu wurde eine detaillierte Vermessung rekonstruierter Skelette durchgeführt. Die Skelette dreier Saurier im Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin und zweier im Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris wurden stereophotogrammetrisch vermessen. Bei zwei der Berliner Skelette wurden zusätzlich die Laserscanner des Instituts für Navigation der Universität Stuttgart eingesetzt. Beide Datenerfassungstechniken benötigen ein Paßpunktfeld als geometrisches Referenzsystem. Die verwendeten Vermessungsmethoden, die mathematischen Ansätze für die Berechnung von Volumina und Oberflächen und die Ergebnisse werden in diesem Aufsatz vorgestellt. doi:10.1002/mmng.1999.4860020108

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanti, Federico; Cau, Andrea; Cantelli, Luigi; Hassine, Mohsen; Auditore, Marco

    2015-01-01

    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-Jurassic extinction of

  17. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Tai Kubo; Mugino O Kubo

    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...

  19. Avian-like breathing mechanics in maniraptoran dinosaurs

    OpenAIRE

    Codd, Jonathan R.; Phillip L Manning; 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 th...

  20. 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…

  1. The Great Dinosaur Feud: Science against All Odds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James; Carpinelli, Amy

    2008-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Europatitan eastwoodi, a new sauropod from the lower Cretaceous of Iberia in the initial radiation of somphospondylans in Laurasia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fidel Torcida Fernández-Baldor

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The sauropod of El Oterillo II is a specimen that was excavated from the Castrillo de la Reina Formation (Burgos, Spain, late Barremian–early Aptian, in the 2000s but initially remained undescribed. A tooth and elements of the axial skeleton, and the scapular and pelvic girdle, represent it. It is one of the most complete titanosauriform sauropods from the Early Cretaceous of Europe and presents an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the radiation of this clade in the Early Cretaceous and study the paleobiogeographical relationships of Iberia with Gondwana and with other parts of Laurasia. The late Barremian–early Aptian is the time interval in the Cretaceous with the greatest diversity of sauropod taxa described in Iberia: two titanosauriforms, Tastavinsaurus and Europatitan; and a rebbachisaurid, Demandasaurus. The new sauropod Europatitan eastwoodi n. gen. n. sp. presents a series of autapomorphic characters in the presacral vertebrae and scapula that distinguish it from the other sauropods of the Early Cretaceous of Iberia. Our phylogenetic study locates Europatitan as the basalmost member of the Somphospondyli, clearly differentiated from other clades such as Brachiosauridae and Titanosauria, and distantly related to the contemporaneous Tastavinsaurus. Europatitan could be a representative of a Eurogondwanan fauna like Demandasaurus, the other sauropod described from the Castrillo de la Reina Formation. The presence of a sauropod fauna with marked Gondwananan affinities in the Aptian of Iberia reinforces the idea of faunal exchanges between this continental masses during the Early Cretaceous. Further specimens and more detailed analysis are needed to elucidate if this Aptian fauna is caused by the presence of previously unnoticed Aptian land bridges, or it represents a relict fauna from an earlier dispersal event.

  4. 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

    2010-11-22

    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. 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. 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.

  5. The evolution of dinosaur tooth enamel microstructure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Sunny H

    2011-02-01

    The evolution of tooth enamel microstructure in both extinct and extant mammalian groups has been extensively documented, but is poorly known in reptiles, including dinosaurs. Previous intensive sampling of dinosaur tooth enamel microstructure revealed that: (1) the three-dimensional arrangement of enamel types and features within a tooth-the schmelzmuster-is most useful in diagnosing dinosaur clades at or around the family level; (2) enamel microstructure complexity is correlated with tooth morphology complexity and not necessarily with phylogenetic position; and (3) there is a large amount of homoplasy within Theropoda but much less within Ornithischia. In this study, the examination of the enamel microstructure of 28 additional dinosaur taxa fills in taxonomic gaps of previous studies and reinforces the aforementioned conclusions. Additionally, these new specimens reveal that within clades such as Sauropodomorpha, Neotheropoda, and Euornithopoda, the more basal taxa have simpler enamel that is a precursor to the more complex enamel of more derived taxa and that schmelzmusters evolve in a stepwise fashion. In the particularly well-sampled clade of Euornithopoda, correlations between the evolution of dental and enamel characters could be drawn. The ancestral schmelzmuster for Genasauria remains ambiguous due to the dearth of basal ornithischian teeth available for study. These new specimens provide new insights into the evolution of tooth enamel microstructure in dinosaurs, emphasizing the importance of thorough sampling within broadly inclusive clades, especially among their more basal members. © 2010 The Author. Biological Reviews © 2010 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Imaging of the Posterior Skull Base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Job, Joici; Branstetter, Barton F

    2017-01-01

    The posterior skull base can be involved by a variety of pathologic processes. They can be broadly classified as: traumatic, neoplastic, vascular, and inflammatory. Pathology in the posterior skull base usually involves the lower cranial nerves, either as a source of pathology or a secondary source of symptoms. This review will categorize pathology arising in the posterior skull base and describe how it affects the skull base itself and surrounding structures. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2014-05-01

    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 paper, we explore the role of longitudinal stress in the femur bones due to the weight of the dinosaur in determining how the geometry of the femur changes with size of the theropod. This is one area of allometry the study of how different biological characteristics scale with size.

  13. 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.

  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. 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. PMID:24204552

  16. 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.

  17. A late-surviving basal theropod dinosaur from the latest Triassic of North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sues, Hans-Dieter; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Berman, David S; Henrici, Amy C

    2011-11-22

    The oldest theropod dinosaurs are known from the Carnian of Argentina and Brazil. However, the evolutionary diversification of this group after its initial radiation but prior to the Triassic-Jurassic boundary is still poorly understood because of a sparse fossil record near that boundary. Here, we report on a new basal theropod, Daemonosaurus chauliodus gen. et sp. nov., from the latest Triassic 'siltstone member' of the Chinle Formation of the Coelophysis Quarry at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. Based on a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis, Daemonosaurus is more closely related to coeval neotheropods (e.g. Coelophysis bauri) than to Herrerasauridae and Eoraptor. The skeletal structure of Daemonosaurus and the recently discovered Tawa bridge a morphological gap between Eoraptor and Herrerasauridae on one hand and neotheropods on the other, providing additional support for the theropod affinities of both Eoraptor and Herrerasauridae and demonstrating that lineages from the initial radiation of Dinosauria persisted until the end of the Triassic. Various features of the skull of Daemonosaurus, including the procumbent dentary and premaxillary teeth and greatly enlarged premaxillary and anterior maxillary teeth, clearly set this taxon apart from coeval neotheropods and demonstrate unexpected disparity in cranial shape among theropod dinosaurs just prior to the end of the Triassic.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. Body size and body volume distribution in two sauropods from the Upper Jurassic of Tendaguru (Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.-C. Gunga

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Allometric equations are often based on the body mass of an animal because body mass determines many physiological functions. This should also hold for Brachiosaurus brancai and Dicraeosaurus hansemanni, two sauropods from the Upper Jurassic of Tendaguru/Tanzania (East Africa. Widely divergent estimates of body mass for the same specimen can be found in the literature for these two sauropods. Therefore, in order to determine the exact body mass and volume distribution in these sauropods, classical three-dimensional stereophotogrammetry as well as a newly developed laser scanner technique were applied to the mounted skeletons of Brachiosaurus brancai and Dicraeosaurus hansemanni in the Museum für Naturkunde (Berlin, Germany. Thereafter, scaling equations were used to estimate the size of organ systems. In a second step it was tested whether the given data from photogrammetry could be brought in line with the results derived from the allometric equations. These findings are applied to possible ecological problems in the Upper Jurassic of Tendaguru/Tanzania. Der Körpermasse eines Organismus werden oft allometrische Funktionen zugrunde gelegt, da von ihr viele physiologische Funktionen entscheidend abhängen. Dies sollte auch für ausgestorbene Organismen wie Brachiosaurus brancai und Dicraeosaurus hansemanni, zwei Sauropoden aus dem oberen Jura von Tendaguru/Tanzania in Ostafrika gelten. Da zu beiden Sauropoden nur sehr unterschiedliche Massenabschätzungen vorliegen, wurden die Körpermassen und Volumina von Brachiosaurus brancai und Dicraeosaurus hansemanni mit Hilfe der klassischen Photogrammetrie sowie einem neuentwickelten Laserscannerverfahren neu bestimmt. Basierend auf den so gemessenen Körpermassendaten wurden anschließend einige wichtige funktionell-morphologische Größen für eine paläophysiologische Rekonstruktion dieser Sauropoden mit Hilfe der Allometrie berechnet. Die gewonnenen Ergebnisse sind u. a. wichtig für die

  5. 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.

  6. Wedel and Sanders (1999) SVP poster - sauropod and bird necks compared

    OpenAIRE

    Wedel, Mathew

    2013-01-01

    The poster R. Kent Sanders and I presented together at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting in 1999. The abstract appeared as: Wedel, M.J., and Sanders, R.K. 1999. Comparative anatomy and functional morphology of the cervical series in ratites and sauropods. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 19(3):83A. Most of the content of the poster was published in Wedel et al. (2000).  Wedel, M.J., Cifelli, R.L., and Sanders, R.K. 2000. Osteology, paleobiology, and relationship...

  7. 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.

  8. [Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs from different regions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qun; Wang, Yi-lin

    2007-12-01

    Raman microscopic spectra in the higher wave number region were obtained from 7 fossil dinosaurs specimens from different regions. The specimens of fossil dinosaurs are different parts of bone. The Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs indicate the high similarity among peak positions of different fossil dinosaurs; but important differences exist in the spectral peak figures. In the wave number region of 1000-1800 cm(-1) the Raman spectra of the same bone part fossils from different regions are very similar, example similarities between spectra of Lufeing backbone head and Yua nmou backbone head; Lufeng limb bone and Wuding limb bone. There are relations between the same bone part spectra of different fossil dinosaurs. The characteristic does not relate to regions. Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs cannot be used to distinguish fossil source, although the part of bone can be used as an indicator to narrow the range of possible geographical origins.

  9. 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.

  10. Imaging of skull base: Pictorial essay.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

    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.

  11. Skull base embryology: a multidisciplinary review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Ieva, Antonio; Bruner, Emiliano; Haider, Thomas; Rodella, Luigi F; Lee, John M; Cusimano, Michael D; Tschabitscher, Manfred

    2014-06-01

    The skull base represents a central and complex bone structure of the skull and forms the floor of the cranial cavity on which the brain lies. Anatomical knowledge of this particular region is important for understanding several pathologic conditions as well as for planning surgical procedures. Embryology of the cranial base is of great interest due to its pronounced impact on the development of adjacent regions including the brain, neck, and craniofacial skeleton. Information from human and comparative anatomy, anthropology, embryology, surgery, and computed modelling was integrated to provide a perspective to interpret skull base formation and variability within the cranial functional and structural system. The skull base undergoes an elaborate sequence of development stages and represents a key player in skull, face and brain development. Furthering our holistic understanding of the embryology of the skull base promises to expand our knowledge and enhance our ability to treat associated anomalies.

  12. 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.

  13. Carotid canal dehiscence in the human skull

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pastor Vazquez, J.F.; Gil Verona, J.A. [Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Valladolid, Ramon y Cajal, 7, E-47005 Valladolid (Spain); Garcia Porrero, M. [Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Valladolid (Spain)

    1999-06-01

    Abnormalities of the floor of the carotid canal have been studied in 538 skulls. These abnormalities range from a fissure to total absence of the floor. This variation may be caused by abnormalities of the internal carotid artery or deficiencies in ossification of the skull base. CT suggests that these changes should be taken into account by surgeons working on the skull base. (orig.) With 4 figs., 8 refs.

  14. 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.

  15. On the probability of dinosaur fleas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittmar, Katharina; Zhu, Qiyun; Hastriter, Michael W; Whiting, Michael F

    2016-01-11

    Recently, a set of publications described flea fossils from Jurassic and Early Cretaceous geological strata in northeastern China, which were suggested to have parasitized feathered dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and early birds or mammals. In support of these fossils being fleas, a recent publication in BMC Evolutionary Biology described the extended abdomen of a female fossil specimen as due to blood feeding.We here comment on these findings, and conclude that the current interpretation of the evolutionary trajectory and ecology of these putative dinosaur fleas is based on appeal to probability, rather than evidence. Hence, their taxonomic positioning as fleas, or stem fleas, as well as their ecological classification as ectoparasites and blood feeders is not supported by currently available data.

  16. 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.

  17. Forearm Posture and Mobility in Quadrupedal Dinosaurs

    OpenAIRE

    Dodson, Peter; 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 th...

  18. 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.

  19. Dinosaur Peptides Suggest Mechanisms of Protein Survival

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-16

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

  20. Revisiting the Estimation of Dinosaur Growth Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myhrvold, Nathan P.

    2013-01-01

    Previous growth-rate studies covering 14 dinosaur taxa, as represented by 31 data sets, are critically examined and reanalyzed by using improved statistical techniques. The examination reveals that some previously reported results cannot be replicated by using the methods originally reported; results from new methods are in many cases different, in both the quantitative rates and the qualitative nature of the growth, from results in the prior literature. Asymptotic growth curves, which have been hypothesized to be ubiquitous, are shown to provide best fits for only four of the 14 taxa. Possible reasons for non-asymptotic growth patterns are discussed; they include systematic errors in the age-estimation process and, more likely, a bias toward younger ages among the specimens analyzed. Analysis of the data sets finds that only three taxa include specimens that could be considered skeletally mature (i.e., having attained 90% of maximum body size predicted by asymptotic curve fits), and eleven taxa are quite immature, with the largest specimen having attained less than 62% of predicted asymptotic size. The three taxa that include skeletally mature specimens are included in the four taxa that are best fit by asymptotic curves. The totality of results presented here suggests that previous estimates of both maximum dinosaur growth rates and maximum dinosaur sizes have little statistical support. Suggestions for future research are presented. PMID:24358133

  1. 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.

  2. "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…

  3. QwaQwa community perceptions on the proposed dinosaur ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... while 40 percent prefer the museum to be located in QwaQwa's popular shopping center, Setsing. Interestingly, only eight percent want the proposed dinosaur museum to be located inside the park according to the proposed plan. Keywords: Community perception, Golden Gate, heritage conservation, dinosaur museum, ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Andrew

    2013-09-01

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

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

  6. 36 CFR 7.63 - Dinosaur National Monument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Dinosaur National Monument. 7.63 Section 7.63 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.63 Dinosaur National Monument. (a) Commercial...

  7. "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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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.)

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 76 FR 7232 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Dinosaur...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-09

    ... Service, Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur, CO AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur... culturally affiliated with the human remains may contact Dinosaur National Monument. Disposition of the human...

  13. 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...

  14. Broadband acoustic properties of a murine skull

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. Avian-like breathing mechanics in maniraptoran dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-22

    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.

  19. 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. PMID:26790003

  20. 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.

  1. The genetics of canine skull shape variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenebeck, Jeffrey J; Ostrander, Elaine A

    2013-02-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sencer, S.; Aydin, K.; Poyanli, A.; Minareci, O. [Dept. of Radiology, Istanbul School of Medicine, Istanbul Univ., Istanbul (Turkey); Sencer, A.; Hepguel, K. [Dept. of Neurological Surgery, Istanbul School of Medicine, Istanbul Univ., Istanbul (Turkey)

    2003-03-01

    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.)

  5. Fossilized excreta associated to dinosaurs in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souto, P. R. F.; Fernandes, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    This work provides an updated register of the main occurrences of fossilized excreta (coprolites and urolites) associated with dinosaurs found in the Brazil. The goal is to provide a relevant guide to the interpretation of the environment in the context of Gondwana. In four geographic areas, the excreta are recovered from Cretaceous sedimentary deposits in outcrops of the Bauru and São Luis basins and the Upper Jurassic aeolian deposits of the Parana Basin in the state of São Paulo. The coprolites were analyzed by X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence methods. The results of these analyses reveal compositions that differ from the surrounding matrix, indicating a partial substitution of the organic material due to the feeding habits of the producers. Additionally, we describe the urolite excavations in epirelief and hyporelief, the result of gravitational flow the impact from urine jets on sand. These are associated with ornithopod and theropod dinosaur footprints preserved in the aeolian flagstones of the Botucatu Formation, Parana Basin.

  6. Photoacoustic investigation of a neonatal skull phantom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volinski, Bridget; Hariri, Ali; Fatima, Afreen; Xu, Qiuyun; Nasiriavanaki, Mohammadreza

    2017-03-01

    There is a need for continued research into the diagnosis, prevention and cure of neonatal brain disease and disorders. These disorders lead to fatalities and developmental disorders in infants. Non-invasive imaging techniques are being researched for this purpose. However, the availability of neonatal skull samples for this work is very low. A phantom can be used to simulate the neonatal skull and brain to improve imaging techniques. This study selects a phantom of polyurethane and titanium dioxide and proves its value as a replacement for neonatal skull in research. The methods used for this proof are validation of choice against the literature, transmissivity and acoustic experimentation compared to existing literature, and finally photoacoustic evaluation of the final choice to show its usefulness as a neonatal skull phantom.

  7. A dinosaur missing-link?Chilesaurusand 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).

  8. 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.

  9. Ticks parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2017-01-01

    .... 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...

  10. Spatial Vegetation Data for Dinosaur National Monument Vegetation Mapping Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Park Service, Department of the Interior — This polygon feature class represents vegetation communities mapped at Dinosaur National Monument. The polygons were delineated following guidelines set by the...

  11. The first record of a Cretaceous dinosaur from southwestern Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Cretaceous dinosaurs are recorded for the first time from southwestern Alaska by a series of three tracks found in Aniakchak National Monument. This trackway is in...

  12. 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.

  13. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Dinosaur Fossils, Morphology, Ethology, and Energetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zipko, Stephen J.

    1981-01-01

    Describes an interdisciplinary minicourse on dinosaur fossils, morphology, ethology, and energetics. Suggests and provides examples of hands-on activities for junior high school- through college-level students. (DS)

  14. Fossil Footprints: How Fast Was That Dinosaur Moving?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caton, Randall; Otts, Charlotte

    1999-01-01

    Describes an activity in which students construct relationships between their leg lengths, stride lengths, and movements in order to estimate the speeds of the dinosaurs that made various fossilized tracks. (WRM)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Unbalanced food web in a Late Cretaceous dinosaur assemblage

    OpenAIRE

    Lang Emilie; Boudad Larbi; Maio Laszlo; Samankassou Elias; Tabouelle J; Tong H; Cavin L

    2013-01-01

    The rich assemblage of continental vertebrates from the Cenomanian Kem Kem Beds (Morocco) is one of the best known and most diversified for the mid Cretaceous period (Cenomanian). This assemblage however shows apparent ecological oddities in particular the overabundance of theropod dinosaurs versus plant eating dinosaurs. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this unbalanced ratio including a peculiar ecosystem non systematic collecting taphonomic factors stratigraphic uncertaintie...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    Spectacular fossil remains from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China have greatly expanded our knowledge of the diversity and palaeobiology of early birds and dinosaurs, and contributed to 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 no...

  1. Plentiful fossils of dinosaur contemporary allow population study

    OpenAIRE

    Trulove, Susan

    2004-01-01

    Dinosaurs ruled the earth for hundreds of millions of years, then disappeared so completely that to find even a partially complete skeleton of a single multi-ton animal is rare. Meanwhile, the Virginia Museum of Natural History has scores of fossils of Tanytrachelos ahynis, a 12- to 18-inch reptile that also lived millions of years ago at the same time as the earliest dinosaurs.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Review of the dinosaur record of Alaska with comments regarding Korean dinosaurs as comparable high-lattitude fossil faunas

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The record of dinosaurs from Alaska extends from the Late Jurassic through the Cretaceous. The record for the Late Jurassic is based on two photographed occurrences...

  6. Management Strategies for Skull Base Inverted Papilloma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayson, Jessica W; Khichi, Sunny S; Cho, Do-Yeon; Riley, Kristen O; Woodworth, Bradford A

    2016-07-01

    Inverted papilloma attached to the ventral skull base presents a surgical dilemma because surgical removal of the bony pedicle is critical to decrease risk of recurrence. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of endoscopic management of skull base inverted papilloma. Case series with planned data collection. Tertiary medical center. Patients with skull base inverted papilloma. Over 7 years, 49 patients with skull base inverted papilloma were referred for surgical resection. Demographics, operative technique, pathology, complications, recurrence, and postoperative follow-up were evaluated. Average age at presentation was 57 years. Twenty-six patients (53%) had prior attempts at resection elsewhere, and 5 had squamous cell carcinoma (SCCA) arising in an inverted papilloma. Six patients (12%) suffered major complications, including skull base osteomyelitis in 2 previously irradiated patients, cerebrospinal fluid leak with pneumocephalus (n = 1), meningitis (n = 1), invasive fungal sinusitis (n = 1), and cerebrovascular accident (n = 1). The mean disease-free interval was 29 months (range, 10-78 months). One patient with SCCA recurred in the nasopharynx (overall 2% recurrence rate). He is disease-free 3 years following endoscopic nasopharyngectomy. Three patients with SCCA had endoscopic resection of the skull base, while 1 subject with inverted papilloma pedicled on the superior orbital roof had an osteoplastic flap in conjunction with a Draf III procedure. All others received endoscopic resection. Removal of the bony pedicle resulted in excellent local control of skull base inverted papillomas. Our experience demonstrates that disease eradication with limited morbidity is attainable with this approach. © American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation 2016.

  7. The Temptations of the Dinosaur Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ola Larsmo

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Does the book have a future? Ola Larsmo firmly discards the common theory that a new medium makes its predecessor obsolete, terming it ‘the temptations of the dinosaur theory’. This has never happened, he argues. The radio did not replace the newspaper, the television did not replace the radio and the cinema, and so on. There always remains a form of coexistence when the new medium can do something in addition to the previous medium; he terms this ‘x plus 1’. Ola Larsmo concludes that the book in its present form will be with us for many years to come, despite of, and as well as, the tremendous growth of digital information.

  8. 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.

  9. Common Avian Infection Plagued the Tyrant Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Morphological convergence in 'river dolphin' skulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Charlotte E; Cooper, Natalie

    2017-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. A Ceratopsian Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Western North America, and the Biogeography of Neoceratopsia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew A Farke

    Full Text Available The fossil record for neoceratopsian (horned dinosaurs in the Lower Cretaceous of North America primarily comprises isolated teeth and postcrania of limited taxonomic resolution, hampering previous efforts to reconstruct the early evolution of this group in North America. An associated cranium and lower jaw from the Cloverly Formation (?middle-late Albian, between 104 and 109 million years old of southern Montana is designated as the holotype for Aquilops americanus gen. et sp. nov. Aquilops americanus is distinguished by several autapomorphies, including a strongly hooked rostral bone with a midline boss and an elongate and sharply pointed antorbital fossa. The skull in the only known specimen is comparatively small, measuring 84 mm between the tips of the rostral and jugal. The taxon is interpreted as a basal neoceratopsian closely related to Early Cretaceous Asian taxa, such as Liaoceratops and Auroraceratops. Biogeographically, A. americanus probably originated via a dispersal from Asia into North America; the exact route of this dispersal is ambiguous, although a Beringian rather than European route seems more likely in light of the absence of ceratopsians in the Early Cretaceous of Europe. Other amniote clades show similar biogeographic patterns, supporting an intercontinental migratory event between Asia and North America during the late Early Cretaceous. The temporal and geographic distribution of Upper Cretaceous neoceratopsians (leptoceratopsids and ceratopsoids suggests at least intermittent connections between North America and Asia through the early Late Cretaceous, likely followed by an interval of isolation and finally reconnection during the latest Cretaceous.

  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

    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

  15. 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…

  16. Cloverleaf skull associated with unusual skeletal anomalies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Say, B.; Poznanski, A.K.

    1987-02-01

    A male infant which cloverleaf skull and multiple other birth defects born to unrelated, healthy, young parents is presented. Radiologic findings in addition to the cloverleaf skull configuration included short, wide clavicles, winged scapulae, unusual shapes of ribs with abnormal spacing between them and with prominent costovertebral junctions, and widely separated ischia. Ulnae appeared angular with probable fusion to the midportion of the radial bones bilaterally. There was polydactyly of the hands and feet with grossly abnormal metacarpal and metatarsal bones. Skeletal maturation was normal. Computed tomography of the skull showed dilated lateral and third ventricles as well as agenesis of the corpus callosum. The mother denies any teratogenic exposure during the pregnancy. The findings in this infant do not seem to fit into any previously described syndrome.

  17. Cave crawling in zebra finch skulls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Salomon, Rasmus; Jensen, Kenneth Kragh

    Cave crawling in zebra finch skulls: what is the functional interaural canal? Ole Næsbye Larsen, Rasmus Salomon, Kenneth Kragh Jensen, and Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark The middle ears of birds are acoust......Cave crawling in zebra finch skulls: what is the functional interaural canal? Ole Næsbye Larsen, Rasmus Salomon, Kenneth Kragh Jensen, and Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark The middle ears of birds...

  18. Lymphocytic adenohypophysitis: skull radiographs and MRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saiwai, S.; Miyamoto, T. [Department of Radiology, Kobe Central Municipal Hospital, Hyogo (Japan); Inoue, Y.; Nemoto, Y.; Tashiro, T. [Department of Radiology, Osaka City University Medical School (Japan); Ishihara, T. [Department of Endocrinology, Kobe Central Municipal Hospital, Hyogo (Japan); Matsumoto, S. [Department of Neurosurgery, Kobe Central Municipal Hospital, Hyogo (Japan); Hakuba, A. [Department of Neurosurgery, Osaka City University Medical School, 1-5-7 Asahimachi, Abeno, Osaka, 545 (Japan)

    1998-02-01

    We report the skull radiograph, CT and MRI findings in three patients with lymphocytic adenohypophysitis mimicking pituitary adenoma. All cases were associated with pregnancy. CT demonstrated a pituitary mass but did not differentiate lymphocytic adenohypophysitis from pituitary adenoma. The skull radiographs showed either a normal sella turcica or minimal abnormalities; they did not show ballooning or destruction. The MRI appearances were distinctive: relatively low signal on T1-weighted images; preservation of the bright posterior pituitary lobe despite the presence of a relatively large pituitary mass, less common in macroadenomas; marked contrast enhancement compared with pituitary macroadenomas; and dural enhancement adjacent to a pituitary mass. (orig.) With 3 figs., 1 tab., 40 refs.

  19. 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

  20. A crested theropod dinosaur from antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, W R; Hickerson, W J

    1994-05-06

    Jurassic fossil vertebrates collected from the Falla Formation in the Central Transantarctic Mountains included a partial skull and postcranial elements of a crested theropod, Cryolophosaurus ellioti gen. nov. sp. nov. The theropod bears some resemblance to the large tetanurans of the Middle to Late Jurassic but also has primitive ceratosaurian features. Elements from a prosauropod, teeth from scavenging theropods, a pterosaur humerus, and a tritylodont molar were also recovered. The presence of this fauna suggests that a mild climate existed at high paleolatitude in this area of Gondwana during the Early Jurassic.

  1. The first Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian dinosaur footprints from Transylvania (Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matei Vremir

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available An Uppermost Cretaceous (Maastrichtian site exposing dinosaur footprints is reported from the Sebes̡ area (Transylvanian Depression. This is the first dinoturbated layer discovered in our country, containing also numerous bones belonging to various dinosaurs. The track-site is located near Lancrăm village and provides only two quite well preserved footprints (one track. The medium sized (FL = 23,3 cm; FW = 17,8 cm; pace = 103 cm; ST = 200 cm plantigrad-tridactyle footprints belong to Ornithopedoidei, according to their morphology. An assignment to the Iguanodontichnus CASAMIQUELA & FASOLA, 1968 group seems to be appropriate (tentatively, associated to the “Rhabdodon” iguanodontian dinosaur. The importance of this discovery lies in the stratigraphical significance, confirming the Uppermost Cretaceous age of these dinosaur-bearing continental deposits exposed between Sebes̡ and Alba-Iulia (as well as the autochthon/ paraautochon status of some vertebrate assemblages identified there, which previously were considered Oligocene or even Miocene. Additional data regarding size, speed and locomotion of the Transylvanian Iguanodontian ”Rhabdodon” dinosaurs are added.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Congenital skull defect and neurofibroma: without scalp and other abnormalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jie-Cong; Wei, Liu; Xu, Jia; Liu, Jian-Feng; Gui, Lai

    2012-07-01

    Congenital skull defect is a rare malformation that is usually associated with congenital anomalies of the scalp and comparable lesions in the brain, spinal cord, limbs, and skeletal muscle. Most previously reported cases have described skull defects with aplasia cutis congenita and other congenital abnormalities. Very few patients with skull defects present with an intact scalp or neurofibroma. The authors report an adult patient with a rare congenital skull defect and local neurofibroma.

  8. Cave crawling in zebra Finch skulls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Salomon, Rasmus; Jensen, Kenneth Kragh

    2014-01-01

    The middle ears of birds are acoustically coupled through an air-filled interaural canal, often illustrated and modelled as a simple tube. It allows sound to propagate through the skull from one ear to the other and considerably enhance the cues for directional hearing by interaction with the ext...

  9. Stature estimation using odontometry and skull anthropometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalia Shalini

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To investigate the possibility of estimating height from odontometry and anthropometric data of the skull for the positive identification of height in forensic investigations concerned with fragmentary human remains. Materials and Methods: The study was carried out on 100 Mysorean patients, 50 males, and 50 females. Measurements of mesiodistal widths of the six maxillary anterior teeth, circumference of the skull, and height were made directly on each patient. Anteroposterior diameter of the skull was obtained on the lateral cephalograph. The data collected were subjected to statistical methods. The known heights of the combined data, data for males, and females were regressed against the odontometric and anthropometric variables using linear regression analysis. Results: Significant sexual dimorphism was observed for the parameters studied ( P 0.05. Highly significant correlation was found between height and other parameters when combined data and data for males were regressed. The equation relating height to the combined mesiodistal width of maxillary anterior teeth was derived as height = 982.421 + 13.65 x combined mesiodistal width of maxillary anterior teeth ( P 0.0001. Similarly equations were obtained by regressing height to head circumference and skull diameter ( P 0.0001 for both. The above findings may hence provide reliable method of estimation of height from skeletal remains in the forensic setup.

  10. Skull development in the muscular dystrophic mouse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1989-01-01

    . Marked differences in shape were also noticed. Differences in angular values were primarily found between skull parts, whereas angles between adjacent bones were remarkably similar in the two groups. Only a few exceptions of this condition were observed, as angles between adjacent bones in the posterior...

  11. 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 ...

  12. Descriptions of anatomical differences between skulls and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The external anatomical differences between the skulls and mandibles of 10 mountain zebras Equus zebra and 10 plains zebras E. burchelli of both sexes were studied. The nomenclature used conforms to Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria (1983). Eleven structural differences are described for the first time and illustrated, viz., ...

  13. [Extended endoscopic endonasal approach to skull base].

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Arbolay, Omar; González-González, Justo; Rojas-Manresa, Jorge Luis

    2012-11-01

    Different approaches to the skull base have been developed through the sphenoidal sinus. Traditional boundaries of the trans-sphenoidal approach can be extended in antero-posterior and lateral plane. We review our experience with extended endoscopic endonasal approach in 127 cases. We used the extended endoscopic endonasal approach in 127 patients with different lesions of the skull base. This study specifically focuses on: type of lesions, surgical approach, outcome and surgical complications. Extended endoscopic endonasal approach was used in 127 patients with following lesions: 61 invasive adenomas to cavernous sinus, 10 clival chordomas, 21 craniopharyngiomas, 26 meningiomas, 4 cerebrospinal fluid leakages, one meningoencephalocele, 2 malignan lesions and 2 thyroid ophthalmopathy. In tumoral lesions gross total resection was achieved in 82.5%, with better results in craniopharyngiomas 90.5%, followed by invasive adenomas with 85.2%, and meningiomas with 84.6%. The most frequent complications were the insipid (8.6%) diabetes, meningoencefalitis (3.9%) and the hydrocephalic (3.9%). Mortality was 3.9%. The extended endoscopic endonasal approach is a promising minimally invasive alternative for selective cases with skull base lesions. As techniques and technology advance this approach may become the procedure of choice for most lesions and should be considered an option in the management of the patients with these complex pathologies by skull base surgeon. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurocirugía. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-03-01

    In the second paper1 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 locomotion. In this paper, our model calculation of Ref. 1 is extended to incorporate the fact that larger animals run with straighter legs. As in Ref. 1, students use geometric data for the femora of theropod dinosaurs to analyze their locomotion abilities. This can either be an in-class activity or given as a homework problem. Larger theropods are found to be less athletic in their movements than smaller theropods since the stresses in the femora of large theropods are closer to breaking their legs than smaller theropods.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Skull base tumors; Tumoren der Schaedelbasis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahlhelm, F.; Naumann, N.; Grunwald, I.; Reith, W. [Klinik fuer Diagnostische und Interventionelle Neuroradiologie des Universitaetsklinikums des Saarlandes, Homburg/Saar (Germany); Nabhan, A.; Shariat, K. [Neurochirurgische Klinik des Universitaetsklinikums des Saarlandes, Homburg/Saar (Germany)

    2005-09-01

    Modern imaging techniques have great importance in the diagnosis and therapy of skull-base pathologies. Many of these lesions, especially in relation to their specific location, can be evaluated using CT and MR imaging. Tumors commonly found in the anterior skull base include carcinoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, esthesioneuroblastoma and meningioma. In the central cranial fossa, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, metastases, meningioma, pituitary adenoma and neurinoma have to be considered. The most common neoplasms of the posterior skull base, including the CP angle, are neurinoma, meningioma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, chordoma and paraganglioma. One major task of imaging is the evaluation of the exact tumor extent as well as its relationship to the neighboring neurovascular structures. The purpose of this review is to recapitulate the most important anatomical landmarks of the skull base. The typical imaging findings of the most common tumors involving the skull base are also presented. (orig.) [German] Die moderne Bildgebung hat einen besonderen Stellenwert bei der Diagnostik und Therapie von Schaedelbasispathologien. Zahlreiche Laesionen koennen anhand ihrer CT- und MRT-Befunde, insbesondere unter Beruecksichtigung ihrer genauen Lokalisation, artdiagnostisch eingeordnet werden. Im Bereich der vorderen Schaedelbasis sind v. a. Karzinome, Rhabdomyosarkome, Aesthesioneuroblastome und Meningeome vorzufinden. Im Bereich der mittleren Schaedelbasis ist in erster Linie an nasopharyngeale Karzinome, Karzinommetastasen, Meningeome, Hypophysenadenome und Neurinome zu denken. Zu den haeufigsten Tumoren der hinteren Schaedelgrube, unter Einschluss des Kleinhirnbrueckenwinkels, gehoeren Neurinome, Meningeome, nasopharyngeale Karzinome, Karzinommetastasen, Chordome und Paragangliome. Eine wichtige Aufgabe der Schnittbildgebung liegt in der Bestimmung der exakten Tumorausdehnung und in der Beurteilung der Lagebeziehung des Tumors zu den komplexen anatomischen Strukturen wie Hirnnerven und

  1. Palaeoenvironmental controls on the distribution of Cretaceous herbivorous dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Richard J.; Barrett, Paul M.

    2008-11-01

    Previous attempts to determine palaeoenvironmental preferences in dinosaurs have generally been qualitative assessments based upon data from restricted geographical areas. Here, we use a global database of Cretaceous herbivorous dinosaurs to identify significant associations between clades and broad palaeoenvironmental categories (‘terrestrial’, ‘coastal’, ‘marine’). Nodosaurid ankylosaurs and hadrosaurids show significant positive associations with marine sediments, while marginocephalians (Ceratopsia, Pachycephalosauria), saurischians (herbivorous theropods, Sauropoda) and ankylosaurid ankylosaurs are significantly positively associated with terrestrial sediments. These results provide quantitative support for the hypothesis that some clades (Nodosauridae, Hadrosauridae) were more abundant in coastal and/or fluvial environments, while others (e.g. Marginocephalia, Ankylosauridae) preferentially inhabited more distal environments.

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. The internal cranial morphology of an armoured dinosaur Euoplocephalus corroborated by X-ray computed tomographic reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyashita, Tetsuto; Arbour, Victoria M; Witmer, Lawrence M; Currie, Philip J

    2011-01-01

    Internal cranial anatomy is a challenging area to study in fossilized skulls because of small sample sizes and varied post-mortem preservational alterations. This difficulty has led to the lack of correspondence between results obtained from direct osteological observation and from more indirect reconstruction methods. This paper presents corroborating evidence from direct osteological observation and from reconstruction based on computed X-ray tomography (CT) on the internal cranial anatomy of the ankylosaurid dinosaur Euoplocephalus tutus. A remarkable specimen of Euoplocephalus preserves rarely observed internal cranial structures such as vascular impressions in the nasal cavity, olfactory turbinates and possible impressions of conchae. Comparison with fossils and CT models of other taxa and other Euoplocephalus specimens adds osteological evidence for the previously reconstructed nasal cavity in this dinosaur and revises the previously described braincase morphology. A new interpretation of the ethmoidal homology identifies a mesethmoid, sphenethmoid and ectethmoid. These ethmoidal ossifications are continuous with the mineralized walls of the nasal cavity. The location of the olfactory fenestra provides further evidence that the olfactory regions of the nasal cavity are pushed to the sides of the main airway. This implies that the function of the vascular impressions in the nasal cavity and the looping of the cavity are not related to olfaction. A byproduct of the elongate, looping airway is a dramatic increase in surface area of the nasal respiratory mucosa, which in extant species has been linked to heat and water balance. A role in vocalization as a resonating chamber is another possible function of the looping and elongation of the nasal cavity. Olfaction remains as a possible function for the enlarged olfactory region, suggesting that multiple functions account for different parts of the ankylosaurid nasal cavity that underwent substantial modification

  6. 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

    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 (cranial and postcranial material. Fruitadens is hypothesized to represent one of the smallest known ornithischian dinosaurs. 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. 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.

  7. Anatomy and cranial functional morphology of the small-bodied dinosaur Fruitadens haagarorum from the Upper Jurassic of the USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Butler

    Full Text Available 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 (<1 metre total body length, <1 kg body mass individuals that include well-preserved but incomplete cranial and postcranial material. Fruitadens is hypothesized to represent one of the smallest known ornithischian 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Preserving the Dinosaurs or At Least Their Knowledge!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    bathtub-shaped age demographic: lots of Dinosaurs and lots of Young Millennials . The differences between 30 years ago and today include the fact that...future. This pilot also will employ a team-coaching concept in the workplace . DAU plans to coach 24 students in their work environments, applying this

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Fossils and Dinosaurs--A Fully Integrated Instructional Unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuehl, Matt; And Others

    This lesson plan for the second and third grades uses information on dinosaurs, their adaptations and survival, to provide science education for limited-English-proficient (LEP) students in San Diego, California. The primary text is "Los Dinosaurios Gigantes," a core literature book used in the school district. Lessons are based on the whole…

  16. Osteoradionecrosis of the maxilla and skull base

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Komisar, A.; Silver, C.; Kalnicki, S.

    1985-01-01

    Osteoradionecrosis of the maxilla and base of skull are rare phenomena, usually seen after combined therapy for malignancies of the maxillary sinus. While the mandible is most commonly affected by osteoradionecrosis, the maxilla and skull base may also be affected when preoperative or postoperative radiotherapy is combined with surgery. Contributing factors may be: high radiation dosage delivered to the treatment volume (greater than 6000 rads), loss of tissue protective effects due to surgery, decreased vascularity caused by surgery and radiation, and proximity of a contaminated field. Onset of symptoms may vary. One patient presented 25 years after postoperative radiotherapy. Major symptoms were pain, trismus, and purulent discharge. The best diagnostic modality remains the history and physical exam, as the area is readily accessible. CT scans may be helpful in diagnosis and treatment planning. Therapy should follow time honored principles of local wound care. Home irrigations and hyperbaric therapy have been helpful in encouraging early sequestration and rapid healing.

  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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewy, Zeev

    2016-12-01

    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

  20. Slower growth of skull base meningiomas compared with non-skull base meningiomas based on volumetric and biological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Naoya; Rabo, Carter S; Okita, Yoshiko; Kinoshita, Manabu; Kagawa, Naoki; Fujimoto, Yasunori; Morii, Eiichi; Kishima, Haruhiko; Maruno, Motohiko; Kato, Amami; Yoshimine, Toshiki

    2012-03-01

    The precise natural history of incidentally discovered meningiomas (IDMs) remains unknown. It has been reported that for symptomatic meningiomas, tumor location can be used to predict growth. As to whether the same is true for IDMs has not been reported. This study aims to answer this question and provide biological evidence for this assumption by extending the study to involve symptomatic cases. A total of 113 IDMs were analyzed by fine volumetry. A comparison of growth rates and patterns between skull base and non-skull base IDMs was made. Subsequently, materials obtained from 210 patients with symptomatic meningiomas who were treated in the authors' hospital during the same period were included for a biological comparison between skull base and non-skull base tumors using the MIB-1 index. The 110 patients with IDMs included 93 females and 17 males, with a mean follow-up period of 46.9 months. There were 38 skull base (34%) and 75 non-skull base (66%) meningiomas. Forty-two (37%) did not exhibit growth of more than 15% of the volume, whereas 71 (63%) showed growth. Only 15 (39.5%) of 38 skull base meningiomas showed growth, whereas 56 (74.7%) of 75 non-skull base meningiomas showed growth (p = 0.0004). In the 71 IDMs (15 skull base and 56 non-skull base), there was no statistical difference between the 2 groups in terms of mean age, sex, follow-up period, or initial tumor volume. However, the percentage of growth (p = 0.002) was significantly lower and the doubling time (p = 0.008) was significantly higher in the skull base than in the non-skull base tumor group. In subsequently analyzed materials from 94 skull base and 116 non-skull base symptomatic meningiomas, the mean MIB-1 index for skull base tumors was markedly low (2.09%), compared with that for non-skull base tumors (2.74%; p = 0.013). Skull base IDMs tend not to grow, which is different from non-skull base tumors. Even when IDMs grow, the rate of growth is significantly lower than that of non-skull base

  1. Skull shape evolution in durophagous carnivorans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueirido, Borja; Tseng, Zhijie Jack; Martín-Serra, Alberto

    2013-07-01

    In this article, we investigate convergent evolution toward durophagy in carnivoran skull shape using geometric morphometrics in a sample of living and extinct species. Principal components analysis indicate that, in spite of the different dietary resources consumed by durophages-that is, bone-crackers and bamboo-feeders-both groups of carnivorans share portions of skull phenotypic spaces. We identify by discriminant analyses a shared set of adaptations toward durophagy in the skull of carnivores. However, ancestral states indicate that although durophages reached similar phenotypes, the evolutionary pathways that they followed are different depending upon the family to which they belong. Furthermore, while the carnivoran cranium more closely reflects the nature of the resources consumed-that is, soft or hard and tough items-the mandible shows particular feeding adaptations-that is, bamboo or bone. This finding supports the interpretation that the mandible has more evolutionary plasticity than the cranium, which is more limited to evolve toward a particular feeding adaptation. However, we find that the shapes of the cranium and the mandible are highly integrated for the whole order Carnivora. Published studies of teratological cats and dogs indicate that the role of internal constraints in shaping this pattern of integration is absent or weak and malleable by selection. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. 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.

  3. Growth patterns in brooding dinosaurs reveals the timing of sexual maturity in non-avian dinosaurs and genesis of the avian condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Gregory M; Curry Rogers, Kristina; Varricchio, David J; Norell, Mark A; Xu, Xing

    2007-10-22

    The timing of sexual maturation in non-avian dinosaurs is not known. In extant squamates and crocodilians it occurs in conjunction with the initial slowing of growth rates as adult size is approached. In birds (living dinosaurs) on the other hand, reproductive activity begins well after somatic maturity. Here we used growth line counts and spacing in all of the known brooding non-avian dinosaurs to determine the stages of development when they perished. It was revealed that sexual maturation occurred well before full adult size was reached-the primitive reptilian condition. In this sense, the life history and physiology of non-avian dinosaurs was not like that of modern birds. Palaeobiological ramifications of these findings include the potential to deduce reproductive lifespan, fecundity and reproductive population sizes in non-avian dinosaurs, as well as aid in the identification of secondary sexual characteristics.

  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. Limb-bone scaling indicates diverse stance and gait in quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maidment, Susannah C R; Linton, Deborah H; Upchurch, Paul; Barrett, Paul M

    2012-01-01

    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. 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. 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 that may have affected the center of mass of the animal, and differences in locomotor

  6. [Modern skull base surgery from the perspective of neurosurgeons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spetzger, U

    2011-04-01

    At present, modern skull base surgery is a highly sophisticated interdisciplinary collaboration of various diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines. The overall goal is the treatment of complex tumorous, traumatic, vascular and inflammatory processes or developmental disorders of the skull base with preservation of function. The paper presents modern concepts, procedures and minimally invasive strategies in skull base surgery and also critically discusses the current trend to endoscopic and robot-assisted surgical techniques.

  7. Glottic and skull indices in canine brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Caccamo, R; Buracco, P.; La Rosa, G.; Cantatore, M; Romussi, S.

    2014-01-01

    Background Forty dogs presented for brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome with laryngeal collapse not over 1st degree (saccule eversion) underwent glottis endoscopic and radiographic skull measurements before surgery. Fifteen Pugs, fifteen French and ten English Bulldogs were included. The goals were prospectively to compare three common brachycephalic breeds for anatomical differences regarding glottis and skull measurements, and to assess if any correlation between glottis and skull me...

  8. 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

  9. The evolution of the feather: Sinosauropteryx, life, death and preservation of an alleged feathered dinosaur

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lingham-Soliar, Theagarten

    2012-01-01

    Among the spectacular dinosaur fossils reported from the Jehol Group of northeastern China is the most celebrated, Sinosauropteryx, which continues to excite interest in questions concerning feather...

  10. 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.

  11. Enigmatic teeth of small theropod dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous of Uzbekistan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sues, Hans-Dieter; Averianov, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Turonian) formations in the Kyzylkum Desert of Uzbekistan, especially the Bissekty Formation at Dzharakuduk, have yielded a great diversity of continental vertebrates, including dinosaurs...

  12. Paleopathological findings in radiographs of ancient and modern Greek skulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papagrigorakis, Manolis J; Karamesinis, Kostas G; Daliouris, Kostas P; Kousoulis, Antonis A; Synodinos, Philippos N; Hatziantoniou, Michail D

    2012-12-01

    The skull, when portrayed radiologically, can be a useful tool in detecting signs of systemic diseases and results of pathological growth mechanisms. The aim of this study was therefore to examine, compare, and classify findings in cranial configuration of pathological origin, in modern and ancient skulls. The material consists of 240 modern and 141 ancient dry skulls. Three radiographs for each skull (lateral, anteroposterior, basilar) provide enough evidence for differential diagnoses. Cases of osteoporosis are among the interesting pathological findings. A prevalence of female modern skulls in those determined as osteoporotic skulls is noted. Special interest is placed on the area of the sella turcica and many variations, regarding the shape and texture, are recognized both in ancient and modern skulls. Malignancies and important causes of cranial destruction are identified in both skull collections. Diploid thickening and osteolytic areas appear commonly among ancient remains. Moreover, from the ancient skull collection, one case possibly recognizable as fibrous dysplasia is noted while another case with an unusual exostosis gives rise to many questions. Interpreted with caution, the results of the present study, which can serve as an approach of paleopathology and paleoradiology, indicate similarity trends in cranial configuration of pathologic origin in modern and ancient people. Radiography and cephalometry were the main diagnostic tools used to gather evidence and are evaluated as a quite appropriate method to examine anthropological material and assess the internal structure of skeletal remains since they are non-destructive techniques.

  13. 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.

  14. Skull base training and education using an artificial skull model created by selective laser sintering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanibuchi, Masahiko; Ohtaki, Masafumi; Fukushima, Takanori; Friedman, Allan H; Houkin, Kiyohiro

    2010-06-01

    Practicing skull base approaches on cadavers affords the surgeon a chance to learn complex anatomical relationships and to practice surgical skills. However, there are ethical or legal problems in obtaining cadaver material in some countries. In addition, there is always risk of transmitting infections with cadaveric material. In order to get around these problems, we created a whole skull model which reproduces the detailed anatomy within the skull base using a selective laser sintering (SLS) technique. The first author's head was scanned using multidetector-row computed tomography. The data were reconstructed and converted into the standard triangulation language file system. Powdered material comprised of polyamide nylon and glass beads was laser-sintered in accord with the data derived from the head CT. The model was dissected under a surgical microscope using a high-speed drill, suction, and other surgical instruments. The appearance of both inner and outer cranial surfaces, including sutures, foramens, fissures, and protrusions, were clearly demonstrated. The artificial mastoid did not melt from the heat of the drill when a mastoidectomy was performed. The anatomical structures inside the mastoid and of paranasal sinuses were accurately reproduced in the model. The model created using SLS should be very useful for the teaching skull base approaches avoiding the ethical, legal, and infection problems inherent in cadavers.

  15. Extreme aplasia cutis congenita involving the skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrager, Sebastian; Voin, Vlad; Iwanaga, Joe; Tubbs, R Shane; Johnston, James

    2017-08-01

    Aplasia cutis congenita (ACC) is a rare congenital malformation of primarily the skin; it is most commonly seen on the scalp but can occur anywhere on the body. The exact etiology is still unclear but there are many suggested causes. Classification systems have been proposed to help categorize patients and assist with treatment. Treatment options are controversial and range from conservative to surgical interventions. We report an extreme case of ACC that included a significant part of the skull. We discuss this case and review salient literature. Although such cases of ACC with bony involvement are rare, this aspect of the pathology should be kept in mind when treating or imaging such patients.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: Encephalocele, Skull defects, Cranioplasty. Résumé L'encéphalite est un problème congénital très fréquent dans le cabinet de la neurochirurgie dans le monde entier, avec la grandeur diverse des défaults du crane. Cet étude a été effectuée afin de déterminer l'importance du problème, évaluer le niveau de la ...

  17. An Early Cretaceous heterodontosaurid dinosaur with filamentous integumentary structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xiao-Ting; You, Hai-Lu; Xu, Xing; Dong, Zhi-Ming

    2009-03-19

    Ornithischia is one of the two major groups of dinosaurs, with heterodontosauridae as one of its major clades. Heterodontosauridae is characterized by small, gracile bodies and a problematic phylogenetic position. Recent phylogenetic work indicates that it represents the most basal group of all well-known ornithischians. Previous heterodontosaurid records are mainly from the Early Jurassic period (205-190 million years ago) of Africa. Here we report a new heterodontosaurid, Tianyulong confuciusi gen. et sp. nov., from the Early Cretaceous period (144-99 million years ago) of western Liaoning Province, China. Tianyulong extends the geographical distribution of heterodontosaurids to Asia and confirms the clade's previously questionable temporal range extension into the Early Cretaceous period. More surprisingly, Tianyulong bears long, singular and unbranched filamentous integumentary (outer skin) structures. This represents the first confirmed report, to our knowledge, of filamentous integumentary structures in an ornithischian dinosaur.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 (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

  20. Bone Cancer Rates in Dinosaurs Compared with Modern Vertebrates

    CERN Document Server

    Natarajan, L C; Rothschild, B M; Martin, L D

    2007-01-01

    Data on the prevalence of bone cancer in dinosaurs is available from past radiological examination of preserved bones. We statistically test this data for consistency with rates extrapolated from information on bone cancer in modern vertebrates, and find that there is no evidence of a different rate. Thus, this test provides no support for a possible role of ionizing radiation in the K-T extinction event.

  1. New dinosaurs link southern landmasses in the Mid-Cretaceous.

    OpenAIRE

    Paul C Sereno; Wilson, Jeffrey A.; Conrad, Jack L.

    2004-01-01

    Abelisauroid predators have been recorded almost exclusively from South America, India and Madagascar, a distribution thought to document persistent land connections exclusive of Africa. Here, we report fossils from three stratigraphic levels in the Cretaceous of Niger that provide definitive evidence that abelisauroid dinosaurs and their immediate antecedents were also present on Africa. The fossils include an immediate abelisauroid antecedent of Early Cretaceous age (ca. 130-110 Myr ago), e...

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. Intrauterine skull depression and intracranial hemorrhage in a premature infant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batton, G.D.; DiCarmine, F.; Boal, D.K.

    1988-04-01

    The authors describe a case of a premature infant born with a parietal skull depression who suffered an intraventricular hemorrhage and an ipsilateral intracerebral injury. At 21 months of life the infant's gross motor milestones were delayed and he had moderate spastic hemiplegia. Although skull depressions at birth are usually benign, they may be associated with long-term neurologic sequelae.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2008-03-18

    Mar 18, 2008 ... 1981). MATERIALS AND METHODS. In order to determine the influence of the viscoelastic nature of the human skull and dura mater on their deformation, we made the finite-element analysis of cranial cavity with the ICP scope from 1.5 to 5 kPa respectively. By ignoring the viscoelasticity of human skull.

  9. Glottic and skull indices in canine brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caccamo, Roberta; Buracco, Paolo; La Rosa, Giuseppe; Cantatore, Matteo; Romussi, Stefano

    2014-01-11

    Forty dogs presented for brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome with laryngeal collapse not over 1st degree (saccule eversion) underwent glottis endoscopic and radiographic skull measurements before surgery. Fifteen Pugs, fifteen French and ten English Bulldogs were included. The goals were prospectively to compare three common brachycephalic breeds for anatomical differences regarding glottis and skull measurements, and to assess if any correlation between glottis and skull measurements was present. Linear measurements were used to obtain glottis and skull indices. Correlations between glottis and skull indices and glottic measurements were evaluated. Finally, glottis indices were compared among the three breeds. No correlation was found for glottis and skull indices. The glottic index differed among the three breeds (smaller in Pugs and higher in English Bulldogs), ultimately representing a morphologic indicator of the different larynx shape in the three breeds (more rounded in English Bulldogs, more elliptical in Pugs and in-between in French Bulldogs). The lack of correlation between skull/glottic indices does not support skull morphology as predictor of glottic morphology. As Pugs had the lowest glottic index, it may be speculated that Pugs' original narrow glottic width may predispose to further progressive respiratory deterioration more easily than in the other two breeds.

  10. Parents' decision for helmet therapy ion infants with skull deformation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, R.M. van; Til, J.A. van; Groothuis-Oudshoorn, C.G.M.; Hoir, M.P. L; Boere-Boonekamp, M.M.; IJzerman, M.J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Helmet therapy is regularly prescribed in infants with positional skull deformation. Evidence on the effectiveness is lacking, which complicates decision making. This study aims to assess the relation between parents’ decision for treatment of skull deformation in their infant and their

  11. Parents’ decision for helmet therapy in infants with skull deformation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wijk, Renske; van Til, Janine Astrid; Groothuis-Oudshoorn, Catharina Gerarda Maria; L'Hoir, Monique P.; Boere-Boonekamp, Magdalena M.; IJzerman, Maarten Joost

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Helmet therapy is regularly prescribed in infants with positional skull deformation. Evidence on the effectiveness is lacking, which complicates decision making. This study aims to assess the relation between parents’ decision for treatment of skull deformation in their infant and their

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the work, the dynamic characteristics of the human skull-dura mater system were studied. For the purpose of our analysis, we adopted a model consisted of a hollow sphere. By using the 'Patran and. Ansys' finite element processor, a simplified three-dimensional finite element model (FEM) of a human skull was ...

  13. Deformation of skull bone as intracranial pressure changing | Yue ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Raised intracranial pressure (ICP), a serious and often fatal condition, is often not preventable. In the present study, the relationship was determined between cranial deformation and ICP change. To record the deformation of skull bone, strain foil was placed on the exterior surface of parietal skull. Prior to construction of ...

  14. Paraperesis: a rare complication after depressed skull fracture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syed, Ali Asmat; Arshad, Anjum; Abida, Khatoon; Minakshi, Sardha

    2012-01-01

    Depressed skull fracture is an inward buckling of the skull bones, often because of direct blow to a small surface area of the skull with a blunt object. Monoparesis is often among its clinical presentations, but midline depressed skull fracture presenting as motor weakness of both lower limbs (Paraperesis) has not yet been reported. We report the case of 55 year old male admitted to emergency department with alleged history of hit on head by a wooden rod. He had pain, mild swelling and a small cut over scalp without any symptoms & signs of neurological deficit. On day two of admission patient developed weakness of both lower limbs. On CT scan patient had bilateral depressed skull fracture of high parietal bone on either side of midline. Patient was managed conservatively, made remarkable recovery and was discharged after 2 weeks. PMID:23133706

  15. CRETACEOUS CLIMATE SENSITIVITY STUDY USING DINOSAUR & PLANT PALEOBIOGEOGRAPHY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, A.; Main, D. J.; Noto, C. R.; Moore, T. L.; Scotese, C.

    2009-12-01

    The Early Cretaceous was characterized by cool poles and moderate global temperatures (~16° C). During the mid and late Cretaceous, long-term global warming (~20° - 22° C) was driven by increasing levels of CO2, rising sea level (lowering albedo) and the continuing breakup of Pangea. Paleoclimatic reconstructions for four time intervals during the Cretaceous: Middle Campanian (80 Ma), Cenomanian/Turonian (90 Ma), Early Albian (110 Ma) and Barremian-Hauterivian (130Ma) are presented here. These paleoclimate simulations were prepared using the Fast Ocean and Atmosphere Model (FOAM). The simulated results show the pattern of the pole-to-Equator temperature gradients, rainfall, surface run-off, the location of major rivers and deltas. In order to investigate the effect of potential dispersal routes on paleobiogeographic patterns, a time-slice series of maps from Early - Late Cretaceous were produced showing plots of dinosaur and plant fossil distributions. These Maps were created utilizing: 1) plant fossil localities from the GEON and Paleobiology (PBDB) databases; and 2) dinosaur fossil localities from an updated version of the Dinosauria (Weishampel, 2004) database. These results are compared to two different types of datasets, 1) Paleotemperature database for the Cretaceous and 2) locality data obtained from GEON, PBDB and Dinosauria database. Global latitudinal mean temperatures from both the model and the paelotemperature database were plotted on a series of latitudinal graphs along with the distributions of fossil plants and dinosaurs. It was found that most dinosaur localities through the Cretaceous tend to cluster within specific climate belts, or envelopes. Also, these Cretaceous maps show variance in biogeographic zonation of both plants and dinosaurs that is commensurate with reconstructed climate patterns and geography. These data are particularly useful for understanding the response of late Mesozoic ecosystems to geographic and climatic conditions that

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. Growing skull fracture stages and treatment strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xue-Song; You, Chao; Lu, Ma; Liu, Jia-Gang

    2012-06-01

    A growing skull fracture (GSF) is a rare but significant late complication of skull fractures, usually occurring during infancy and early childhood. Delayed diagnosis and improper treatment could exacerbate this disease. The aim of this study was to introduce a new hypothesis about, describe the stages of, and discuss the treatment strategy for GSF. The authors performed a retrospective review of 27 patients with GSF, who were grouped according to 3 different GSF stages. Over a period of 20 years, 27 patients with GSF (16 males and 11 females) were treated in the authors' department. The mean follow-up period was 26.5 months. Six patients were in the prephase of GSF (Stage 1), 10 patients in the early phase (Stage 2), and 11 in the late phase (Stage 3). All patients underwent duraplasty. All 6 patients at Stage 1 and 5 patients at Stage 2 underwent craniotomy without cranioplasty. Five patients at Stage 2 and all of the patients at Stage 3 underwent cranioplasty with autologous bone and alloplastic materials, respectively. Among all patients, 5 underwent ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. Symptoms in all patients at Stages 1 and 2 were alleviated or disappeared, and the cranial bones developed without deformity during follow-up. Among patients with Stage 3 GSF, no obvious improvement in neurological deficits was observed. Three patients underwent additional operations because of cranial deformation or infection. The authors identify the stages of GSF according to a new hypothesis. They conclude that accurately diagnosing and treating GSF during Stages 1 and 2 leads to a better prognosis.

  19. Advances in Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Skull Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirsch, Claudia F.E.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Over the past 20 years, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has advanced due to new techniques involving increased magnetic field strength and developments in coils and pulse sequences. These advances allow increased opportunity to delineate the complex skull base anatomy and may guide the diagnosis and treatment of the myriad of pathologies that can affect the skull base. Objectives The objective of this article is to provide a brief background of the development of MRI and illustrate advances in skull base imaging, including techniques that allow improved conspicuity, characterization, and correlative physiologic assessment of skull base pathologies. Data Synthesis Specific radiographic illustrations of increased skull base conspicuity including the lower cranial nerves, vessels, foramina, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks, and effacement of endolymph are provided. In addition, MRIs demonstrating characterization of skull base lesions, such as recurrent cholesteatoma versus granulation tissue or abscess versus tumor, are also provided as well as correlative clinical findings in CSF flow studies in a patient pre- and post-suboccipital decompression for a Chiari I malformation. Conclusions This article illustrates MRI radiographic advances over the past 20 years, which have improved clinicians' ability to diagnose, define, and hopefully improve the treatment and outcomes of patients with underlying skull base pathologies. PMID:25992137

  20. 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 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Skull x-ray in the evaluation of endocrine diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macaron, C; Li, Y P; Hindo, W

    1978-06-01

    The skull x-ray remains invaluable as a first step in the diagnosis of many endocrine disorders. Pituitary tumors commonly cause enlargement or distortion of the sella turcica, which can be seen on skull x-ray. Pinealomas and craniopharyngiomas may also be detected. Hyperparathyroidism can cause granular decalcification in the skull. Hypoparathyroidism produces calcification of the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Lesions due due to metastatic malignancies or eosinophilic granulomas may be noted in cases of diabetes insipidus. Sellar enlargement may be due to the "empty sella" syndrome. Twenty-five percent of all cases of enlarged sella may be accounted for by this syndrome.

  4. Skull base chondrosarcoma: evidence-based treatment paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloch, Orin; Parsa, Andrew T

    2013-01-01

    Chondrosarcomas are indolent but invasive chondroid malignancies that can form in the skull base. Standard management of chondrosarcoma involves surgical resection and adjuvant radiation therapy. This review evaluates evidence from the literature to assess the importance of the surgical approach and extent of resection on outcomes for patients with skull base chondrosarcoma. Also evaluated is the ability of the multiple modalities of radiation therapy, such as conventional fractionated radiotherapy, proton beam, and stereotactic radiosurgery, to control tumor growth. Finally, emerging therapies for the treatment of skull-base chondrosarcoma are discussed. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Dinosaur Tail Sign: A Useful Spinal MRI Finding Indicative of Cerebrospinal Fluid Leakage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Keita; Kanoto, Masafumi; Nakagawa, Motoo; Shimohira, Masashi; Tokumaru, Aya M; Kameyama, Masashi; Shimoji, Keigo; Morimoto, Satoru; Matsukawa, Noriyuki; Nishio, Minoru; Shibamoto, Yuta

    2017-06-01

    To evaluate the imaging characteristics and diagnostic utility of the "Dinosaur tail sign" in the diagnosis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage. The authors propose the "Dinosaur tail sign," defined as a combination of the dorsal epidural hyperintensities, fat tissue, spinal cord, and cauda equine on lumbosacral sagittal fat-suppressed T2-weighted image (FST2WI), as a sensitive indicator for diagnosing CSF leakage. Imaging characteristics of the "Dinosaur tail sign" was evaluated in seven spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) and 23 iatrogenic CSF leakage (ICSFL) patients. Additionally, the diagnostic index was compared between the "Dinosaur tail sign" and other previously reported useful magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance myelography (MRM) findings. In contrast to other imaging findings including the epidural expansion, floating dural sac sign, and distension of the spinal epidural veins on MRI, and paraspinal fluid collections (PFC) on MRM, the "Dinosaur tail sign" was found equally in both SIH and ICSFL patients (6 SIH and 19 ICSFL; 83% of all patients with CSF leakage). The "Dinosaur tail sign" showed sufficient diagnostic utility (sensitivity 83%, specificity 94%, accuracy 89%) that was comparable to that of PFC. The "Dinosaur tail sign" is a useful imaging finding suggestive of CSF leakage. Evaluation of subtle interspinous arched hyperintensities on spinal MRI is mandatory for the diagnosis of SIH and ICSFL. © 2017 American Headache Society.

  11. Dinosaur eggshell geochemistry as an indicator of Central Asian Cretaceous paleoenvironments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montanari, S.; Higgins, P.; Norell, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Late Cretaceous fossiliferous beds of Mongolia's Gobi Desert have yielded spectacular articulated remains of an extraordinary diversity of fossil mammals, reptiles, birds, and dinosaurs. Paleoenvironmental interpretations of the deposits at these localities have ranged from arid wind-blown dune fields to more mesic, moist environments. Among the diversity of fossils, dinosaur eggshells are commonly found at these localities and dinosaur embryos, although rare, are also encountered. Dinosaur (including modern bird) eggs are constructed of calcite (CaCO3) allowing carbon and oxygen stable isotopes to be quantified to provide information about the environment the egg-laying animals were living in. Here we show that dinosaur eggshell from the Djadokhta Formation at one locality has not been significantly altered and reflects an environment that of dry-climate adapted C3 plants and isolated, ephemeral water sources during the egg-laying season. Carbonate nodules from the same eggshell-bearing layers also independently reflects a similar environmental signal. This study represents the first geochemical analysis of dinosaur remains from the Cretaceous of Mongolia and illustrates the potential of utilizing dinosaur eggshell geochemistry to reconstruct Mesozoic environments.Mean, n, standard deviation, and range for both carbon and oxygen isotope values for all materials sampled

  12. Pseudotumoral allergic fungal sinusitis with skull base involvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Braun, J J; Dupret, A; Veillon, F; Riehm, S

    2014-01-01

    Here we report a case of pseudotumoral recurrence of allergic fungal sinusitis with involvement of the skull base that was successfully treated with systemic corticosteroids and itraconazole without surgery...

  13. Solitary skull metastasis as initial manifestation of hepatocellular carcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cho Jun

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A solitary skull metastasis from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC prior to diagnosis of the primary tumor without liver dysfunction is a very rare event. Case presentation A 71-year-old male, without known liver disease, presented to our institution with a palpable occipital scalp mass. On brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, a highly enhanced and osteolytic skull tumor was observed. The histological diagnosis obtained from the percutaneous needle biopsy was a cranial metastasis from HCC. The metastatic tumor was removed via occipital craniectomy, and the two primary liver mass lesions were subsequently treated by transarterial chemoembolization. Conclusion An isolated skull metastasis may be the sole initial presentation of HCC. Early diagnosis is essential in order to treat the primary disease. A skull metastasis from HCC should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients with subcutaneous scalp mass and osteolytic defects on X-ray.

  14. Eosinophilic granuloma - x-ray of the skull (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... x-ray of the skull shows an eosinophilic granuloma (a lesion made-up of a type of ... This condition can range from a single eosinophilic granuloma to massive infiltration of skin, bone, and body ...

  15. 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.

  16. Skull osteometry of the adult alpaca (Vicugna pacos)

    OpenAIRE

    Castañeda C., Henry; Laboratorio de Anatomía Animal y Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima; Navarrete Z., Miluska; Laboratorio de Anatomía Animal y Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima; Sato S., Alberto; Laboratorio de Anatomía Animal y Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima; Chávez R., Alexander; Laboratorio de Anatomía Animal y Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the skull osteometry and to calculate the craniometric indexes of adult alpacas (Vicugna pacos). The study was carried out using 30 heads of adult Huacaya alpacas (15 males and 15 females), from the district of Sicuani, Cusco, Peru. The skulls were obtained by the maceration technique. The anatomical description was applied using the recommended terminology by the Veterinary Anatomical Nomenclature 2012. A digital vernier was used in the measurement and calculatio...

  17. Dural Tears In Patients With Depressed Skull Fractures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhammad, Gul; Aurangzeb, Ahsan; Khan, Shahbaz Ali; Hussain, Iqbal; Alam, Sudhair; Khan Afridi, Ehtisham Ahmed; Khan, Baynazir; Bhatti, Sajid Nazir

    2017-01-01

    The presence of skull fracture in patients sustaining traumatic brain injury is an important risk factor for intracranial lesions. Assessment of integrity of dura in depressed skull fracture is of paramount importance because if dura is torn, lacerated brain matter may be present in the wound which needs proper debridement followed by water tight dural closure to prevent meningitis, cerebral abscess, and pseudomeningocoele formation. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of dural tear in patients with depressed skull fractures. This cross-sectional study was conducted at Department of Neurosurgery Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad. All the patients of either patients above 1 year of age with depressed skull fracture were included in this study in consecutive manner. Patients were operated for skull fractures and per-operatively dura in the region of depressed skull fracture was closely observed for any dural tear. The data were collected on a predesigned pro forma. A total of 83 patients were included in this study out of which 57 (68.7%) were males and 26 (31.3%) were females. The age of the patients ranged from 1-50 (mean 15.71±13.49 years). Most common site of depressed skull fracture was parietal 32 (38.6%), followed by Frontal in 24 (28.9%), 21(25.3%) in temporal region, 5(6.0%) were in occipital region and only 1 (1.2%) in posterior fossa. Dural tear was present in 28 (33.7%) patients and it was absent in 55 (66.3%) of patients. In depressed skull fractures, there are high chances of associated traumatic dural tears which should be vigilantly managed.

  18. 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.

  19. [Human skull development and voice disorders].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piron, A; Roch, J B

    2006-01-01

    The hominisation of the skull comes with the bipedic posture, due to a network of muscular and aponevrotic forces applied to the cranio-facial skeleton. A brief sight of the morphogenetic origine and issues of these forces help to understand more clearly the postural statement of the larynx, his functions, and his many extrinsic biomechanical bounds; then further his most frequently dysfunctions. The larynx is surrounded by several effective systems of protection: active, activo-passive, passive. The architectural features of the components of the laryngeal system allows us to consider the laryngeal function as an auto-balanced system. All the forces engaged are auto-balanced in a continuum of tension. This lead us to the concept of tensegrity system, neologism coming from tensional integrity described by Buckminster Fuller. The laryngeal employement by extrinsic system is pathological in case of chronicity. Any osteopathic treatment, which aims to restore the losses of laryngeal mobility, has to release first the peripherical structures involved in the laryngeal defense, before normalising the larynx itself Finally, the larynx recovers his functions in a tensegrity system.

  20. Pervasive genetic integration directs the evolution of human skull shape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Abadías, Neus; Esparza, Mireia; Sjøvold, Torstein; González-José, Rolando; Santos, Mauro; Hernández, Miquel; Klingenberg, Christian Peter

    2012-04-01

    It has long been unclear whether the different derived cranial traits of modern humans evolved independently in response to separate selection pressures or whether they resulted from the inherent morphological integration throughout the skull. In a novel approach to this issue, we combine evolutionary quantitative genetics and geometric morphometrics to analyze genetic and phenotypic integration in human skull shape. We measured human skulls in the ossuary of Hallstatt (Austria), which offer a unique opportunity because they are associated with genealogical data. Our results indicate pronounced covariation of traits throughout the skull. Separate simulations of selection for localized shape changes corresponding to some of the principal derived characters of modern human skulls produced outcomes that were similar to each other and involved a joint response in all of these traits. The data for both genetic and phenotypic shape variation were not consistent with the hypothesis that the face, cranial base, and cranial vault are completely independent modules but relatively strongly integrated structures. These results indicate pervasive integration in the human skull and suggest a reinterpretation of the selective scenario for human evolution where the origin of any one of the derived characters may have facilitated the evolution of the others. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. Photogrammetric 3D skull/photo superimposition: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Valeria; Lubelli, Sergio; De Donno, Antonio; Inchingolo, Alessio; Lavecchia, Fulvio; Introna, Francesco

    2017-04-01

    The identification of bodies through the examination of skeletal remains holds a prominent place in the field of forensic investigations. Technological advancements in 3D facial acquisition techniques have led to the proposal of a new body identification technique that involves a combination of craniofacial superimposition and photogrammetry. The aim of this study was to test the method by superimposing various computerized 3D images of skulls onto various photographs of missing people taken while they were still alive in cases when there was a suspicion that the skulls in question belonged to them. The technique is divided into four phases: preparatory phase, 3d acquisition phase, superimposition phase, and metric image analysis 3d. The actual superimposition of the images was carried out in the fourth step. and was done so by comparing the skull images with the selected photos. Using a specific software, the two images (i.e. the 3D avatar and the photo of the missing person) were superimposed. Cross-comparisons of 5 skulls discovered in a mass grave, and of 2 skulls retrieved in the crawlspace of a house were performed. The morphologyc phase reveals a full overlap between skulls and photos of disappeared persons. Metric phase reveals that correlation coefficients of this values, higher than 0.998-0,997 allow to confirm identification hypothesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27538759

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria M. Arbour

    2016-02-01

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

  13. The public perception of palaeontology in Scotland:\\ud "archaeologists dig dinosaurs"

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, N.D.L.

    2008-01-01

    There is very little written about how palaeontology is perceived by the public. Perhaps the reason is that very few professional palaeontologists have concerned themselves with public opinion, so engrossed they are with their own speciality and not realising that someone else out there may be interested in their findings. Dinosaur palaeontologists are, perhaps, the exception due to the public popularity of these great beasts. Dinosaurs have captured the public's imagination since they were f...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-07

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  16. 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.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:20926435

  17. 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.

  18. Morphological convergence in ‘river dolphin’ skulls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Natalie

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:29177120

  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. Nocturnality in dinosaurs inferred from scleral ring and orbit morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Lars; Motani, Ryosuke

    2011-05-06

    Variation in daily activity patterns facilitates temporal partitioning of habitat and resources among species. Knowledge of temporal niche partitioning in paleobiological systems has been limited by the difficulty of obtaining reliable information about activity patterns from fossils. On the basis of an analysis of scleral ring and orbit morphology in 33 archosaurs, including dinosaurs and pterosaurs, we show that the eyes of Mesozoic archosaurs were adapted to all major types of diel activity (that is, nocturnal, diurnal, and cathemeral) and provide concrete evidence of temporal niche partitioning in the Mesozoic. Similar to extant amniotes, flyers were predominantly diurnal; terrestrial predators, at least partially, nocturnal; and large herbivores, cathemeral. These similarities suggest that ecology drives the evolution of diel activity patterns.

  1. 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

  2. Geometric morphometrics of the skull of Tinamidae (Aves, Palaeognathae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degrange, Federico J; Picasso, Mariana B J

    2010-12-01

    The Tinamidae comprise exclusively Neotropical palaegnathous birds, with homogeneous body morphology and no sexual dimorphism. The goal of this work was to explore the variation in skull morphology between taxa and its possible correspondence with features such as diet or gender using geometric morphometric tools. Eleven landmarks were analyzed in 53 skulls of 4 genera that inhabit grasslands: Nothoprocta, Eudromia, Nothura and Rhynchotus. Intrageneric and intergeneric variability was analyzed. The genera studied here can be distinguished based on the geometric shape of their skull, with prenarial region length and neurocranium shape as the most outstanding features. In the genus Eudromia, males and females could be differentiated, while in the genus Nothoprocta, the species differentiated according to their trophic habits. This study allows establishing that genera and, in some cases, the gender of the Tinamidae can be differentiated based on cranial shape. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Damle, Nishikant Avinash; Kumar, Rakesh; Kumar, Praveen; Jaganthan, Sriram; Patnecha, Manish; Bal, Chandrasekhar; Bandopadhyaya, Gurupad; Malhotra, Arun [All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (India)

    2011-09-15

    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 {sup 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuknecht, Bernhard [University Hospital of Zurich, Institute of Neuroradiology, Zurich (Switzerland); MRI-Medizinisch Radiodiagnostisches Institut, Zurich (Switzerland); Graetz, Klaus [University Hospital of Zurich, Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, Zurich (Switzerland)

    2005-03-01

    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.)

  8. An Aneurysmal Bone Cyst in the Skull Base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sangjun; Jung, Dong Won; Pak, Min Gyoung; Song, Young Jin; Bae, Woo Yong

    2017-10-01

    An aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) is believed to be attributable to intraosseous circulatory disturbance. An ABC is a vascular tumor of the bone caused by bony expansion after partial vascular occlusion and congestion. Most ABCs are found in adolescents (approximately 75% of ABCs are observed in patients under 20 years of age). The most common ABC sites are the long bones of the limbs, the vertebrae, and the cranial bone. Aneurysmal bone cysts in the skull base or ethmoid sinus have been but rarely reported worldwide. The authors report on a patient with a very large ABC in the skull base and the ethmoid sinus; this was successfully managed by a neurosurgeon.

  9. 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...... of a control group of 72 children with unilateral incomplete cleft lip (UICL). A standardised radiocephalometric technique was used to obtain the images. A modification of a method developed by Kreiborg was used to analyse the radiocephalograms, which included the digitisation of 88 landmarks in the calvaria...

  10. 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.

  11. Anatomical Study of the Variations of the Facial bones in Skull of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The morphological features of facial region of the camel skull were investigated. A total of 42 camel skulls (30 mature and 12 immature) from three geographical locations (Maiduguri, Kano and Sokoto) in Nigeria were used in this study. The morphological features of the nasal region of the camel skulls were observed to be ...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Evaluating Chamberlain's, Mcgregor's, and Mcrae's skull-base lines ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Traditionally the cranio-cervical junction is assessed by lateral cervical spine and base of skull radiographs which however have diagnostic challenges due to the complexity of the anatomy. Modern day Computed Tomography (CT) offers excellent bony detail and its ability to reconstruct the acquired CT data ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2008-03-18

    Mar 18, 2008 ... Key words: Viscoelasticity, finite-element analysis (FEA), strain, human skull, dura mater, intracranial pressure. INTRODUCTION. Intracranial pressure (ICP) is the ... We presented the development and validation of a 3D finite-element model intended to better understand the deformation mechanisms of ...

  16. A Quantitative Analysis of Published Skull Base Endoscopy Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardesty, Douglas A.; Ponce, Francisco A.; Little, Andrew S.; Nakaji, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Skull base endoscopy allows for minimal access approaches to the sinonasal contents and cranial base. Advances in endoscopic technique and applications have been published rapidly in recent decades. Setting We utilized an Internet-based scholarly database (Web of Science, Thomson Reuters) to query broad-based phrases regarding skull base endoscopy literature. Participants All skull base endoscopy publications. Main Outcome Measures Standard bibliometrics outcomes. Results We identified 4,082 relevant skull base endoscopy English-language articles published between 1973 and 2014. The 50 top-cited publications (n = 51, due to articles with equal citation counts) ranged in citation count from 397 to 88. Most of the articles were clinical case series or technique descriptions. Most (96% [49/51])were published in journals specific to either neurosurgery or otolaryngology. Conclusions A relatively small number of institutions and individuals have published a large amount of the literature. Most of the publications consisted of case series and technical advances, with a lack of randomized trials. PMID:26949585

  17. Anatomic study of the pterion in Nigerian dry human skulls

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2012-04-14

    Apr 14, 2012 ... The sphenoparietal type is where the greater wing of the sphenoid articulates with parietal bone to form letter. H,[5] the frontotemporal is the type where the squamous part of the temporal bone articulates with the frontal, the. Anatomic study of the pterion in Nigerian dry human skulls. U Ukoha, CK Oranusi, ...

  18. Dynamic photophysical processes in laser irradiated human cortical skull bone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandelis, Andreas; Kwan, Chi-Hang; Matvienko, Anna

    2009-02-01

    Modulated luminescence (LUM) technique was applied to analyze photophysical processes in the cortical layer of human skull bones. The theoretical interpretation of the results was based on the optical excitation and decay rate equations of the fluorophore and on the molecular interaction parameter with the photon field density in the matrix of the bone. Using comparisons of the theory with the frequency response of dental LUM it was concluded that the optically active molecular species (fluorophore) in the bones is hydroxyapatite. An effective relaxation lifetime of skull cortical bone was derived theoretically and was found to depend on the intrinsic fluorophore decay lifetime, on the photon field density, and on the thickness of the bone. The experimentally measured dependencies were in excellent agreement with the theoretical model. The theory was able to yield measurements of the optical scattering coefficient, optical absorption coefficient, and mean coupling coefficient. These results show that the quantitative LUM can be used as a sensitive method to measure optical properties of the active fluorophore in cortical skull bones and the optical-field-induced molecular interaction parameter. When calibrated vs. laser intensity, the modulated luminescence can also be used to measure human skull thickness. These traits can be applied to monitor the bone mineral density (BMD) and, ultimately can be used as potential markers of bone health or disease, such as osteoporosis or bone cancer.

  19. [Chordoma of the base of the skull. A case report].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sicilia, E; Pedra, J; Cánovas, E; Encina, L; Torrent, J; Abdalla, I; Castro, E N

    1990-01-01

    Chordomas of the skull base are neoplasms derived from persistent embryologic remnants. In spite of its histologic classification as benign tumors, the site and the adverse possibilities of the management its behaviour is malignant like. The case here referred to was localized in the basioccipital region and protruded in the rhinopharynx. Perusal of the bibliography and prognostic assessment of these type of patients.

  20. Skull morphometrics of male Subantarctic fur seals ( Arctocephalus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Skull morphometrics of two populations of Subantarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus tropicalis) were compared in order to identify possible geographic variation as an indicator of gene flow between the populations, as well as a potential tool to identify the source of vagrant seals. Nineteen metric variables were recorded from ...

  1. Deformation of skull bone as intracranial pressure changing

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-03-06

    Mar 6, 2009 ... present study, the relationship was determined between cranial deformation and ICP change. To record the deformation of .... knowledge of cranial cavity importantly composed of skull and dura mater (Figure 2), a thin-walled ..... Observations on the structure and function of the nervous system. Edinburgh ...

  2. Intraosseous cystic cavernous angioma with occipital skull osteolysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakyo Hirai, MD

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Intraosseous cavernous angiomas (CAs of the skull are rare, and those cases that appear are commonly localized in the frontal bone. Computed tomography (CT and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI typically show a well-defined intradiploic lytic mass with homogeneous enhancement. We describe an intraosseous cystic CA of the occipital skull in a 46-year-old man who presented with transient right-sided deafness and posterior cervical pain. MRI revealed a large (3.7 cm × 3.2 cm × 4.1 cm extra-axial tumor, compressing the right cerebellar hemisphere, with heterogeneous peripheral enhancement. A CT scan showed osteolytic change of the occipital skull. The tumor was totally resected via a suboccipital approach. Intraoperatively, we found a mainly cystic tumor containing xanthochromic fluid. Histologically, the tumor was diagnosed as a cavernous angioma. This is the first reported case of an intraosseous CA of the skull with cyst formation. The characteristic radiological imaging of the presented case mimicked a malignant tumor with peripheral enhancement and prominent osteolytic change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varriale, Frank J

    2016-01-01

    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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Micrometeorite Impacts in Beringian Mammoth Tusks and a Bison Skull

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hagstrum, Jonathon T.; Firestone, Richard B; West, Allen; Stefanka, Zsolt; Revay, Zsolt

    2010-02-03

    We have discovered what appear to be micrometeorites imbedded in seven late Pleistocene Alaskan mammoth tusks and a Siberian bison skull. The micrometeorites apparently shattered on impact leaving 2 to 5 mm hemispherical debris patterns surrounded by carbonized rings. Multiple impacts are observed on only one side of the tusks and skull consistent with the micrometeorites having come from a single direction. The impact sites are strongly magnetic indicating significant iron content. We analyzed several imbedded micrometeorite fragments from both tusks and skull with laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). These analyses confirm the high iron content and indicate compositions highly enriched in nickel and depleted in titanium, unlike any natural terrestrial sources. In addition, electron microprobe (EMP) analyses of a Fe-Ni sulfide grain (tusk 2) show it contains between 3 and 20 weight percent Ni. Prompt gamma-ray activation analysis (PGAA) of a particle extracted from the bison skull indicates ~;;0.4 mg of iron, in agreement with a micrometeorite ~;;1 mm in diameter. In addition, scanning electron microscope (SEM) images and XRF analyses of the skull show possible entry channels containing Fe-rich material. The majority of tusks (5/7) have a calibrated weighted mean 14C age of 32.9 +- 1.8 ka BP, which coincides with the onset of significant declines<36 ka ago in Beringian bison, horse, brown bear, and mammoth populations, as well as in mammoth genetic diversity. It appears likely that the impacts and population declines are related events, although their precise nature remains to be determined.

  7. Advanced neuronavigation in skull base tumors and vascular lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohde, V; Spangenberg, P; Mayfrank, L; Reinges, M; Gilsbach, J M; Coenen, V A

    2005-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe the usefulness of recent advances of neuronavigational technology in the management of skull base tumors and of vascular lesions, treated via a skull base approach. In 16 patients (skull base meningioma n = 9, petrous apex epidermoid n = l, craniopharyngeoma n = 1, giant internal carotid artery aneurysm n = 1, basilar/vertebral artery aneurysm n = 2, brain stem cavernoma n = 2), "advanced" neuronavigation was used. In contrast to "conventional" neuronavigation, the information for the neurosurgeon was enhanced by the intraoperative screen display of 3-dimensional reconstructions of the lesion, vessels, nerves and fiber tracts at risk. The 3-dimensional reconstructions were obtained by preoperative manual or automated segmentation processes. In addition, different imaging modalities (computed tomography [CT] with magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], CT with CT angiography, T (l)- with diffusion-weighted MRI) were fused and shown on the screen. In the cases of tumors, "advanced" neuronavigation facilitated the approach (n = 4), contributed to tailor the approach (n = 2) and helped to identify hidden neurovascular structures (n = 9). In the cases of aneurysms, "advanced" neuronavigation allowed us to reduce the skull base approach to the needs of safe aneurysm clipping (n = 3). In both cases of brain stem cavernoma, "advanced" neuronavigation was deemed useful for definition of the best surgical approach in relation to the pyramidal tract and brain stem nuclei. The authors' experiences suggest that neuronavigation, which displays 3-dimensional reconstructions of lesion, vessels, nerves and fiber tracts during surgery and makes use of image fusion techniques, is an important tool in the neurosurgical management of skull base lesions.

  8. Extensive Allergic Fungal Rhinosinusitis: Ophthalmic and Skull Base Complications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vashishth, Ashish

    2015-09-01

    To review the clinical features, ophthalmic and skull base complications, radiologic correlates, surgical methods and outcomes in cases of extensive allergic fungal rhinosinusitis (AFRS). The retrospective review was carried out at a tertiary referral center and included 11 patients with extensive AFRS. Inclusion criteria were confirmed cases of AFRS with intracranial extension, gross erosion of the skull base or medial orbital wall and/or ophthalmic complications of AFRS, including visual loss. Acute bacterial or invasive fungal sinusitis and other non-AFRS sinus pathologies with orbital or skull base complications were excluded from the study. The mean age of patients was 22.7 years. Proptosis was the most common presenting feature followed by diplopia and visual loss. Four patients exhibited unilateral visual loss with one case of sudden acute onset. Intracranial extradural spread to the middle cranial fossa was observed in two cases with cavernous sinus involvement, destruction of the entire cranial base and extension to the petrous temporal bone. Ten patients exhibited co-existing orbital and skull base erosion whereas gross erosion of the lamina papyracea alone was seen in one patient. All patients underwent endoscopic sinus surgery with complete disease clearance. The minimum and maximum follow-up periods were 1 and 3 years, respectively with one documented recurrence 18 months after surgery. Visual recovery was complete after sudden vision loss whereas it was only partial or absent in patients with prolonged vision loss. Cases of extensive AFRS with ophthalmic and skull base complications pose diagnostic and therapeutic challenges and merit early intervention with long-term follow-up.

  9. 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.

  10. The oldest North American pachycephalosaurid and the hidden diversity of small-bodied ornithischian dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, David C; Schott, Ryan K; Larson, Derek W; Brown, Caleb M; Ryan, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Taphonomic biases dictate how organisms are represented in the fossil record, but their effect on studies of vertebrate diversity dynamics is poorly studied. In contrast to the high diversity and abundance of small-bodied animals in extant ecosystems, small-bodied dinosaurs are less common than their large-bodied counterparts, but it is unclear whether this reflects unique properties of dinosaurian ecosystems or relates to taphonomic biases. A new, fully domed pachycephalosaurid dinosaur, Acrotholus audeti, from the Santonian of Alberta predates incompletely domed taxa, and provides important new information on pachycephalosaur evolution and the completeness of the ornithischian fossil record. Here we provide the first empirical evidence that the diversity of small-bodied ornithischian dinosaurs is strongly underestimated based on ghost lineages and the high proportion of robust and diagnostic frontoparietal domes compared with other pachycephalosaur fossils. This suggests preservational biases have a confounding role in attempts to decipher vertebrate palaeoecology and diversity dynamics through the Mesozoic.

  11. A complete skeleton of a Late Triassic saurischian and the early evolution of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbitt, Sterling J; Smith, Nathan D; Irmis, Randall B; Turner, Alan H; Downs, Alex; Norell, Mark A

    2009-12-11

    Characterizing the evolutionary history of early dinosaurs is central to understanding their rise and diversification in the Late Triassic. However, fossils from basal lineages are rare. A new theropod dinosaur from New Mexico is a representative of the early North American diversification. Known from several nearly complete skeletons, it reveals a mosaic of plesiomorphic and derived features that clarify early saurischian dinosaur evolution and provide evidence for the antiquity of novel avian character systems including skeletal pneumaticity. The taxon further reveals latitudinal differences among saurischian assemblages during the Late Triassic, demonstrates that the theropod fauna from the Late Triassic of North America was not endemic, and suggests that intercontinental dispersal was prevalent during this time.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Imbriaco

    2017-02-01

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

  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. First diagnosis of septic arthritis in a dinosaur

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. High Resolution Three-Dimensional MR Imaging of the Skull Base: Compartments, Boundaries, and Critical Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blitz, Ari Meir; Aygun, Nafi; Herzka, Daniel A; Ishii, Masaru; Gallia, Gary L

    2017-01-01

    High-resolution 3D MRI of the skull base allows for a more detailed and accurate assessment of normal anatomic structures as well as the location and extent of skull base pathologies than has previously been possible. This article describes the techniques employed for high-resolution skull base MRI including pre- and post-contrast constructive interference in the steady state (CISS) imaging and their utility for evaluation of the many small structures of the skull base, focusing on those regions and concepts most pertinent to localization of cranial nerve palsies and in providing pre-operative guidance and post-operative assessment. The concept of skull base compartments as a means of conceptualizing the various layers of the skull base and their importance in assessment of masses of the skull base is discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Skull base, orbits, temporal bone, and cranial nerves: anatomy on MR imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morani, Ajaykumar C; Ramani, Nisha S; Wesolowski, Jeffrey R

    2011-08-01

    Accurate delineation, diagnosis, and treatment planning of skull base lesions require knowledge of the complex anatomy of the skull base. Because the skull base cannot be directly evaluated, imaging is critical for the diagnosis and management of skull base diseases. Although computed tomography (CT) is excellent for outlining the bony detail, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging provides better soft tissue detail and is helpful for evaluating the adjacent meninges, brain parenchyma, and bone marrow of the skull base. Thus, CT and MR imaging are often used together for evaluating skull base lesions. This article focuses on the radiologic anatomy of the skull base pertinent to MR imaging evaluation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. A ceratopsian dinosaur from China and the early evolution of Ceratopsia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xing; Makovicky, Peter J; Wang Xl, Xiao-lin; Norell, Mark A; You Hl, Hai-lu

    2002-03-21

    Ceratopsians (horned dinosaurs) represent one of the last and the most diverse radiations of non-avian dinosaurs. Although recent systematic work unanimously supports a basal division of Ceratopsia into parrot-like psittacosaurids and frilled neoceratopsians, the early evolution of the group remains poorly understood, mainly owing to its incomplete early fossil record. Here we describe a primitive ceratopsian from China. Cladistic analysis posits this new species as the most basal neoceratopsian. This new taxon demonstrates that some neoceratopsian characters evolved in a more incremental fashion than previously known and also implies mosaic evolution of characters early in ceratopsian history.

  7. A novel skull registration based on global and local deformations for craniofacial reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Qingqiong; Zhou, Mingquan; Shui, Wuyang; Wu, Zhongke; Ji, Yuan; Bai, Ruyi

    2011-05-20

    Craniofacial reconstruction is important in forensic identification. It aims to estimate a facial appearance for human skeletal remains using the relationship between the soft tissue and the underlying bone structure. Various computerized methods have been developed in recent decades. An effective way is to deform a reference skull to the discovered skull, and then apply the same deformation to the skin associated with the reference skull to provide an approximate face for the discovered skull. For this method, the better the two skulls match each other, the more face-like the reconstructed skin surface will be. In this paper, we present a novel skull registration method that can match the two skulls closely, so as to improve the accuracy of the reconstruction. It combines both global and local deformations. A generic thin-plate spline (TPS)-based deformation, which is global, is applied first to roughly align the two skulls based on two groups of manually defined landmarks. Afterwards, the two skulls are largely matched, except some regions, on which some new landmarks are automatically marked. A compact support radial basis functions (CSRBF)-based deformation, which is local, will then be performed on these regions to adjust the initial alignment of the two skulls. Such adjustment can be repeatedly implemented until the two skulls have optimal alignment. In addition, all the skulls and face involved in the registration are represented by their single outer surfaces to facilitate the reconstruction procedure. The experiments demonstrate that our method can create a plausible face even when the reference skull is very different from the discovered skull. As a result, we can make full use of our database to provide multiple estimates for a principle components analysis (PCA) for the final reconstruction. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Proton therapy for tumors of the skull base

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munzenrider, J.E.; Liebsch, N.J. [Dept. of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Univ. Medical School, Boston, MA (United States)

    1999-06-01

    Charged particle beams are ideal for treating skull base and cervical spine tumors: dose can be focused in the target, while achieving significant sparing of the brain, brain stem, cervical cord, and optic nerves and chiasm. For skull base tumors, 10-year local control rates with combined proton-photon therapy are highest for chondrosarcomas, intermediate for male chordomas, and lowest for female chordomas (94%, 65%, and 42%, respectively). For cervical spine tumors, 10-year local control rates are not significantly different for chordomas and chondrosarcomas (54% and 48%, respectively), nor is there any difference in local control between males and females. Observed treatment-related morbidity has been judged acceptable, in view of the major morbidity and mortality which accompany uncontrolled tumor growth. (orig.)

  9. MASTICATORY MUSCLES AND THE SKULL: A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

    Science.gov (United States)

    HERRING, SUSAN W.

    2007-01-01

    Masticatory muscles are anatomically and functionally complex in all mammals, but relative sizes, orientation of action lines, and fascial subdivisions vary greatly among different species in association with their particular patterns of occlusion and jaw movement. The most common contraction pattern for moving the jaw laterally involves a force couple of protrusor muscles on one side and retrusors on the other. Such asymmetrical muscle usage sets up torques on the skull and combines with occlusal loads to produce bony deformations not only in the tooth-bearing jaw bones, but also in more distant elements such as the braincase. Maintenance of bone in the jaw joint, and probably elsewhere in the skull, is dependent on these loads. PMID:17084804

  10. Variation of BMP3 contributes to dog breed skull diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey J Schoenebeck

    Full Text Available Since the beginnings of domestication, the craniofacial architecture of the domestic dog has morphed and radiated to human whims. By beginning to define the genetic underpinnings of breed skull shapes, we can elucidate mechanisms of morphological diversification while presenting a framework for understanding human cephalic disorders. Using intrabreed association mapping with museum specimen measurements, we show that skull shape is regulated by at least five quantitative trait loci (QTLs. Our detailed analysis using whole-genome sequencing uncovers a missense mutation in BMP3. Validation studies in zebrafish show that Bmp3 function in cranial development is ancient. Our study reveals the causal variant for a canine QTL contributing to a major morphologic trait.

  11. Skull Base Osteomyelitis in the Emergency Department: A Case Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa Burak Sayhan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Skull base osteomyelitis (SBO is a rare clinical presentation and usually occurs as a complication of trauma or sinusitis. A 5-year-old child presented to the emergency department with a three-week history of fever associated with drowsiness and left parietal headache, and a week's history of swelling on the left frontoparietal soft tissue. He had suffered a penetrating scalp injury four month ago. On physical examination, there was a tender swelling with purulent stream on the lateral half of his scalp. His vital signs are within normal limits. Plain X-ray of the skull showed a lytic lesion on the left frontoparietal bone. A cranial computed tomography (CT scan demonstrated a large subgaleal abscess at the left frontoparietal region. SBO possesses a high morbidity and mortality; therefore, prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are mandatory to prevent further complications and to reduce morbidity and mortality significantly.

  12. Penetrating anterior skull base fracture inflicted by a cow's horn

    OpenAIRE

    Adomas Bunevicius; Karolis Bareikis; Laimutis Kalasauskas; Arimantas Tamasauskas

    2016-01-01

    Farm workers are at increased risk for animal-inflicted head injuries that are associated with significant morbidity and occasionally may be fatal. These injuries may cause permanent eye damage with or without concomitant skull base fracture. Here, we present a male farmer who suffered a cow attack that resulted in perforating orbital injury with comminuted frontobasal cranial fracture caused by a cow's horn. The next day, the patient developed nasal and orbital cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak...

  13. Streamlined, Inexpensive 3D Printing of the Brain and Skull.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason S Naftulin

    Full Text Available Neuroimaging technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI and Computed Tomography (CT collect three-dimensional data (3D that is typically viewed on two-dimensional (2D screens. Actual 3D models, however, allow interaction with real objects such as implantable electrode grids, potentially improving patient specific neurosurgical planning and personalized clinical education. Desktop 3D printers can now produce relatively inexpensive, good quality prints. We describe our process for reliably generating life-sized 3D brain prints from MRIs and 3D skull prints from CTs. We have integrated a standardized, primarily open-source process for 3D printing brains and skulls. We describe how to convert clinical neuroimaging Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM images to stereolithography (STL files, a common 3D object file format that can be sent to 3D printing services. We additionally share how to convert these STL files to machine instruction gcode files, for reliable in-house printing on desktop, open-source 3D printers. We have successfully printed over 19 patient brain hemispheres from 7 patients on two different open-source desktop 3D printers. Each brain hemisphere costs approximately $3-4 in consumable plastic filament as described, and the total process takes 14-17 hours, almost all of which is unsupervised (preprocessing = 4-6 hr; printing = 9-11 hr, post-processing = <30 min. Printing a matching portion of a skull costs $1-5 in consumable plastic filament and takes less than 14 hr, in total. We have developed a streamlined, cost-effective process for 3D printing brain and skull models. We surveyed healthcare providers and patients who confirmed that rapid-prototype patient specific 3D models may help interdisciplinary surgical planning and patient education. The methods we describe can be applied for other clinical, research, and educational purposes.

  14. Intracranial hypertension secondary to a skull lesion without mass effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serlin, Yonatan; Benifla, Mony; Kesler, Anat; Cohen, Avi; Shelef, Ilan

    2016-09-01

    We report and discuss five patients with intracranial hypertension due to a skull lesion reducing cerebral sinus patency with a compressive, non-thrombotic mechanism. We illustrate the importance of a high level of suspicion for this condition in patients presenting with headache, papilledema and increased intracranial pressure in the absence of focal signs or radiological evidence of mass effect. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Mastoid pneumocoele with skull base and cervical spine pneumatisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Ian A; Greig, Sam R; Bird, Philip A

    2013-10-01

    Very uncommonly, Eustachian tube dysfunction can lead to symptomatic chronic elevation of middle ear pressure with aeration of bone and adjacent structures in the skull base and upper cervical spine, and an increased risk of fracture. We present a case demonstrating the natural history of this condition over 11 years before treatment and 10 months after treatment. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology © 2013 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

  16. Streamlined, Inexpensive 3D Printing of the Brain and Skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naftulin, Jason S; Kimchi, Eyal Y; Cash, Sydney S

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) collect three-dimensional data (3D) that is typically viewed on two-dimensional (2D) screens. Actual 3D models, however, allow interaction with real objects such as implantable electrode grids, potentially improving patient specific neurosurgical planning and personalized clinical education. Desktop 3D printers can now produce relatively inexpensive, good quality prints. We describe our process for reliably generating life-sized 3D brain prints from MRIs and 3D skull prints from CTs. We have integrated a standardized, primarily open-source process for 3D printing brains and skulls. We describe how to convert clinical neuroimaging Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) images to stereolithography (STL) files, a common 3D object file format that can be sent to 3D printing services. We additionally share how to convert these STL files to machine instruction gcode files, for reliable in-house printing on desktop, open-source 3D printers. We have successfully printed over 19 patient brain hemispheres from 7 patients on two different open-source desktop 3D printers. Each brain hemisphere costs approximately $3-4 in consumable plastic filament as described, and the total process takes 14-17 hours, almost all of which is unsupervised (preprocessing = 4-6 hr; printing = 9-11 hr, post-processing = Printing a matching portion of a skull costs $1-5 in consumable plastic filament and takes less than 14 hr, in total. We have developed a streamlined, cost-effective process for 3D printing brain and skull models. We surveyed healthcare providers and patients who confirmed that rapid-prototype patient specific 3D models may help interdisciplinary surgical planning and patient education. The methods we describe can be applied for other clinical, research, and educational purposes.

  17. Hydrologic reconnaissance of Skull Valley, Tooele County, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, James W.; Waddell, K.M.

    1968-01-01

    This report is the second in a series by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Rights, which describes the water resources of the western basins of Utah. Its purpose is to present available hydrologic data on Skull Valley, to provide an evaluation of the potential water-resource development of the valley, and to identify needed studies that would help provide an understandingof the valley's water supply.

  18. Fungal Infection of the Sinus and Anterior Skull Base

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morteza Javadi

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available   Abstract   Background: Invasive fungal infection is an opportunistic infection caused commonly   by mucoraccae and aspergillus. It mostly occurs in patients with underlying disease.   Since it has a high mortality and morbidity rate, considering a treatment strategy seems   necessary.   Objective: Since there has not been a clear protocol for treating these patients, we decided   to establish a protocol for fungal infection of sinus and anterior skull base management.   Methods: This retrospective and descriptive case study series included 30 patients.   After confirming the pathogen, the authors came to a proper protocol for treatment which   is mentioned later.   Results: The site involvement included nose and orbital cavity (53.3%, anterior skull   base and brain in conjunction with sinonasal (36.6% and simple nasal cavity involvement   (10%. 86.6% of the patients had underlying diseases. 56.6% of patients had diabetes   as a single underlying disease, while 13.3% had both diabetes and renal failure in   combination. Acute lymphocytic leukemia was present in 6.6%, renal failure in 3.3%, lupus   in 3.3% and chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 3.3% of patients. Mortality rate was   40%. We categorized the patients into 3 groups: only sinonasal, sinonasal and orbit, and   associated anterior skull base and brain involvement.   Conclusion: Early diagnosis is an important factor in improving survival. Anterior   skull base and brain involvement has a very poor prognosis.  

  19. Morphometry of the Greater Palatal Canal in Adult Skulls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Reinaldo A; Cáceres, Felipe; Vera, Cristóbal

    2015-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate in dry skulls the length and angle between the greater palatine foramen and the foramen rotundum in both the frontal and sagittal planes. In 50 human skulls from the department of morphology, the distance and angulation required to reach the foramen rotundum through the greater palatine canal were measured in the frontal and sagittal planes. A stylet was introduced up to the foramen rotundum in each greater palatine canal and fixed. The skulls were then photographed from a front and lateral view (both right and left). Finally, the stylets were photographed on graph paper. These images were analyzed with Photoshop software. In the frontal plane, mean angulations of 5.32 degrees on the right side and 6.15 degrees on the left side were obtained. In the sagittal plane, mean angulations of 61.66 degrees on the right side and 61.81 degrees on the left side were obtained. Finally, the mean length required to reach the foramen rotundum was 31.95  mm on the right side and 32.49  mm on the left side. Some of these results differ from those stated in the foreign literature (10 degrees front, 70 degrees sagittal). These differences should be considered for both clinical practice and teaching in Chile.

  20. Ground truth data generation for skull-face overlay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez, O; Cavalli, F; Campomanes-Álvarez, B R; Campomanes-Álvarez, C; Valsecchi, A; Huete, M I

    2015-05-01

    Objective and unbiased validation studies over a significant number of cases are required to get a more solid picture on craniofacial superimposition reliability. It will not be possible to compare the performance of existing and upcoming methods for craniofacial superimposition without a common forensic database available for the research community. Skull-face overlay is a key task within craniofacial superimposition that has a direct influence on the subsequent task devoted to evaluate the skull-face relationships. In this work, we present the procedure to create for the first time such a dataset. We have also created a database with 19 skull-face overlay cases for which we are trying to overcome legal issues that allow us to make it public. The quantitative analysis made in the segmentation and registration stages, together with the visual assessment of the 19 face-to-face overlays, allows us to conclude that the results can be considered as a gold standard. With such a ground truth dataset, a new horizon is opened for the development of new automatic methods whose performance could be now objectively measured and compared against previous and future proposals. Additionally, other uses are expected to be explored to better understand the visual evaluation process of craniofacial relationships in craniofacial identification. It could be very useful also as a starting point for further studies on the prediction of the resulting facial morphology after corrective or reconstructive interventionism in maxillofacial surgery.