WorldWideScience

Sample records for triassic dinosaur illuminates

  1. Biomechanical comments about Triassic dinosaurs from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Delcourt

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Contreras, V.; Bracco, A.

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Unappreciated diversification of stem archosaurs during the Middle Triassic predated the dominance of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foth, Christian; Ezcurra, Martín D; Sookias, Roland B; Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J

    2016-09-15

    Archosauromorpha originated in the middle-late Permian, radiated during the Triassic, and gave rise to the crown group Archosauria, a highly successful clade of reptiles in terrestrial ecosystems over the last 250 million years. However, scientific attention has mainly focused on the diversification of archosaurs, while their stem lineage (i.e. non-archosaurian archosauromorphs) has often been overlooked in discussions of the evolutionary success of Archosauria. Here, we analyse the cranial disparity of late Permian to Early Jurassic archosauromorphs and make comparisons between non-archosaurian archosauromorphs and archosaurs (including Pseudosuchia and Ornithodira) on the basis of two-dimensional geometric morphometrics. Our analysis recovers previously unappreciated high morphological disparity for non-archosaurian archosauromorphs, especially during the Middle Triassic, which abruptly declined during the early Late Triassic (Carnian). By contrast, cranial disparity of archosaurs increased from the Middle Triassic into the Late Triassic, declined during the end-Triassic extinction, but re-expanded towards the end of the Early Jurassic. Our study indicates that non-archosaurian archosauromorphs were highly diverse components of terrestrial ecosystems prior to the major radiation of archosaurs, including dinosaurs, while disparity patterns of the Ladinian and Carnian indicate a gradual faunal replacement of stem archosaurs by the crown group, including a short interval of partial overlap in morphospace during the Ladinian.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. A new theropod dinosaur from India with remarks on the Gondwana-Laurasia connection in the Late Triassic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, S.

    Walkeria maleriensis (n. g., n. sp.) from the Late Triassic Maleri Formation of the Godavari Valley of India is the earliest known dinosaur from Asia. It is a small podokesaurid theropod, very similar to Procompsognathus of Germany, Coelophysis of North America, and Syntarsus from Zimbabwe and North America. The podokesaurs are of particular interest to students of organic evolution because they are the earliest known theropods from which Archaeopteryx, the oldest known fossil bird, was probably evolved. Traditionally, India has been regarded as a part of Gondwana. It is generally believed that Gondwana remained an integral geographic unit throughout the Triassic. If this is so, a strong faunal correlation between India and other Gondwana continents should be expected in Late Triassic time. Contrary to this, the Maleri fauna is overwhelmingly "northern". Walkeria occurs in association with metoposaurs, parasuchids, protorosaurs, aetosaurs, rhynchosaurs, and traversodonts. Most of these taxa have been identified in the Dockum fauna of North America, indicating a close paleontologic link between India and Laurasia. Possibly the route of faunal migration between India and North America during the Late Triassic was via northern Africa.

  9. Theropoda dinosaurs tracks from Triassic basin nd Ischigualasto - Villa Union, western Argentina; Huellas de dinosaurios teropodos de la cuencas triasica de Ischigualasto-Villa Union, oeste de Argentina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Contreras, V; Bracco, A [Instituto de Geologia Emiliano P. Aparicio, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas Fisicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de San Juan (Argentina)

    2004-09-01

    The Anchisauripus isp. and Theropoda indet. dinosaurs tracks from the Triassic Los Rastros and Ischigualasto formations, at the Ischigualasto-Villa Union Basin, Western Argentina, are described in this paper. This record completes the paleontological data provided by rest of bones and increases the stratigraphic range of some taxa in which bones are either missing or scarse. On the other hand, this report also allows us to enlarge the faunistic assemblage of some vertebrate assemblages. [Spanish] Se describen huellas de dinosaurios teropodos asignados a Anchisauripus isp. y Theropoda indet. para las formaciones triasicas de Los Rastros e Ischigualasto en el Oeste de Argentina. Los sitios con huellas en la cuenca triasica de Ischigualasto - Villa Union complementan los datos paleontologicos ofrecidos por los restos oseos, ampliando el rango estratigrafico de algunos taxa donde sus huesos estan ausentes o son relativamente escasos e incluso permiten ampliar el cortejo faunistico de algunas asociaciones de vertebrados.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-03

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

  11. A hyper-robust sauropodomorph dinosaur ilium from the Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation of South Africa: Implications for the functional diversity of basal Sauropodomorpha

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPhee, Blair W.; Choiniere, Jonah N.

    2016-11-01

    It has generally been held that the locomotory habits of sauropodomorph dinosaurs moved in a relatively linear evolutionary progression from bipedal through "semi-bipedal" to the fully quadrupedal gait of Sauropoda. However, there is now a growing appreciation of the range of locomotory strategies practiced amongst contemporaneous taxa of the latest Triassic and earliest Jurassic. Here we present on the anatomy of a hyper-robust basal sauropodomorph ilium from the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic Elliot Formation of South Africa. This element, in addition to highlighting the unexpected range of bauplan diversity throughout basal Sauropodomorpha, also has implications for our understanding of the relevance of "robusticity" to sauropodomorph evolution beyond generalized limb scaling relationships. Possibly representing a unique form of hindlimb stabilization during phases of bipedal locomotion, the autapomorphic morphology of this newly rediscovered ilium provides additional insight into the myriad ways in which basal Sauropodomorpha managed the inherited behavioural and biomechanical challenges of increasing body-size, hyper-herbivory, and a forelimb primarily adapted for use in a bipedal context.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M Rensberger

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

  13. 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.

  14. The evolution of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sereno, P C

    1999-06-25

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

  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

    2016-01-19

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

  16. 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…

  17. A theropod tooth from the Late Triassic of southern Africa

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    An isolated, large recurved and finely serrated tooth found associated with the prosauropod Euskelosaurus from the Late Triassic part of the Elliot Formation is described here. It is compared to the Triassic thecodonts and carnivorous dinosaurs and its possible affinity is discussed. The tooth possibly belongs to a basal ...

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-14

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

  20. 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.

  1. Spondarthritis in the triassic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos Cisneros

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The evidence of several forms of arthritis has been well documented in the fossil record. However, for pre-Cenozoic vertebrates, especially regarding reptiles, this record is rather scarce. In this work we present a case report of spondarthritis found in a vertebral series that belonged to a carnivorous archosaurian reptile from the Lower Triassic (∼245 million years old of the South African Karoo. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Neutron tomography confirmed macroscopic data, revealing the ossification of the entire intervertebral disc space (both annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus, which supports the diagnosis of spondarthritis. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The presence of spondarthritis in the new specimen represents by far the earliest evidence of any form of arthritis in the fossil record. The present find is nearly 100 million years older than the previous oldest report of this pathology, based on a Late Jurassic dinosaur. Spondarthritis may have indirectly contributed to the death of the animal under study.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Dinosaur Impressions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taquet, Philippe

    1998-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. The origin and early evolution of dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Dinosaur biomechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, R. McNeill

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Middle-Upper Triassic and Middle Jurassic tetrapod track assemblages of southern Tunisia, Sahara Platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedźwiedzki, Grzegorz; Soussi, Mohamed; Boukhalfa, Kamel; Gierliński, Gerard D.

    2017-05-01

    Three tetrapod track assemblages from the early-middle Mesozoic of southern Tunisia are reported. The strata exposed at the Tejra 2 clay-pit near the Medenine and Rehach site, located in the vicinity of Kirchaou, contain the first tetrapod tracks found in the Triassic of Tunisia. The Middle Jurassic (early Aalenian) dinosaur tracks are reported from the Mestaoua plain near Tataouine. In the Middle Triassic outcrop of the Tejra 2 clay-pit, tridactyl tracks of small and medium-sized dinosauromorphs, were discovered. These tracks represent the oldest evidence of dinosaur-lineage elements in the Triassic deposits of Tunisia. Similar tracks have been described from the Middle Triassic of Argentina, France and Morocco. An isolated set of the manus and pes of a quadrupedal tetrapod discovered in Late Triassic Rehach tracksite is referred to a therapsid tracemaker. The Middle Jurassic deposits of the Mestaoua plain reveal small and large tridactyl theropod dinosaur tracks (Theropoda track indet. A-C). Based on comparison with the abundant record of Triassic tetrapod ichnofossils from Europe and North America, the ichnofauna described here indicates the presence of a therapsid-dinosauromorph ichnoassociation (without typical Chirotheriidae tracks) in the Middle and Late Triassic, which sheds light on the dispersal of the Middle-Upper Triassic tetrapod ichnofaunas in this part of Gondwana. The reported Middle Jurassic ichnofauna show close similarities to dinosaur track assemblages from the Lower and Middle Jurassic of northwestern Africa, North America, Europe and also southeastern Asia. Sedimentological and lithostratigraphic data of each new tracksite have been defined on published data and new observations. Taken together, these discoveries present a tantalizing window into the evolutionary history of tetrapods from the Triassic and Jurassic of southern Tunisia. Given the limited early Mesozoic tetrapod record from the region, these discoveries are of both temporal and

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-10

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

  14. 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)

  15. 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)

  16. Mesozoic plants and dinosaur herbivory

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Dinosaur Extinction, Early Childhood Style

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Mary; Valentine-Anand, Lesley

    2008-01-01

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

  19. The 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. Cardiovascular Physiology of Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Roger S

    2016-11-01

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

  4. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Christopher T.; Nesbitt, Sterling J.

    2016-12-01

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

  6. Tracking dinosaurs in Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil D.L. Clark

    2015-12-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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?

  13. 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.…

  14. 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…

  15. Deep faunistic turnovers preceded the rise of dinosaurs in southwestern Pangaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezcurra, Martín D; Fiorelli, Lucas E; Martinelli, Agustín G; Rocher, Sebastián; von Baczko, M Belén; Ezpeleta, Miguel; Taborda, Jeremías R A; Hechenleitner, E Martín; Trotteyn, M Jimena; Desojo, Julia B

    2017-10-01

    The Triassic period documents the origin and diversification of modern amniote lineages and the Late Triassic fossil record of South America has been crucial to shed light on these early evolutionary histories. However, the faunistic changes that led to the establishment of Late Triassic ecosystems are largely ignored because of the global scarcity of fossils from assemblages a few million years older. Here we contribute to fill this gap with the description of a new tetrapod assemblage from the lowermost levels of the Chañares Formation (uppermost Middle-lower Late Triassic epochs) of Argentina, which is older than the other vertebrate assemblages of the same basin. The new assemblage is composed of therapsids, rhynchosaurids and archosaurs, and clearly differs from that of the immediately overlying and well-known historical Chañares vertebrate assemblage. The new tetrapod association is part of a phase of relatively rapidly changing vertebrate assemblage compositions, in a time span shorter than 6 million years, before the diversification of dinosaurs and other common Late Triassic tetrapods in southwestern Pangaea.

  16. 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....

  17. Counting dinosaurs: how many kinds were there?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodson, P

    1990-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Evolution: When Dinosaurs Bested Their Early Rivals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L

    2016-11-21

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. The Development of a Virtual Dinosaur Museum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarng, Wernhuar; Liou, Hsin-Hun

    2007-01-01

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

  5. 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,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. American Illuminations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nye, David

    Illuminated fêtes and civic celebrations began in Renaissance Italy and spread through the courts of Europe. Their fireworks, torches, lamps, and special effects glorified the monarch, marked the birth of a prince, or celebrated military victory. Nineteenth-century Americans rejected such monarch...

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger B J Benson

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Understanding Late Triassic low latitude terrestrial ecosystems: new insights from the Colorado Plateau Coring Project (CPCP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irmis, R. B.; Olsen, P. E.; Parker, W.; Rasmussen, C.; Mundil, R.; Whiteside, J. H.

    2017-12-01

    The Chinle Formation of southwestern North America is a key paleontological archive of low paleolatitude non-marine ecosystems that existed during the Late Triassic hothouse world. These strata were deposited at 5-15°N latitude, and preserve extensive plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate fossil assemblages, including early dinosaurs; these organisms lived in an unpredictably fluctuating semi-arid to arid environment with very high atmospheric pCO2. Despite this well-studied fossil record, a full understanding of these ecosystems and their integration with other fossil assemblages globally has been hindered by a poor understanding of the Chinle Formation's age, duration, and sedimentation rates. Recently, the CPCP recovered a 520m continuous core through this formation from the northern portion of Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO) in northern Arizona, USA. This core has provided a plethora of new radioisotopic and magnetostratigraphic data from fresh, unweathered samples in unambiguous stratigraphic superposition. These constraints confirm that virtually all fossil-bearing horizons in Chinle outcrops in the vicinity of PEFO are Norian in age. Furthermore, they indicate that the palynomorph zone II and Adamanian vertebrate biozone are at least six million years long, whereas the overlying palynomorph zone III and Revueltian vertebrate biozone persisted for at least five million years, with the boundary between 216-214 Ma. This confirms that the rich late Adamanian-early Revueltian vertebrate fossil assemblages, where dinosaurs are exclusively rare, small-bodied carnivorous theropods, are contemporaneous with higher latitude assemblages in Europe, South America, and Africa where large-bodied herbivorous sauropodomorph dinosaurs are common. The age constraints also confirm that several palynomorph biostratigraphic ranges in the Chinle Formation differ from those of the same taxa in eastern North American (Newark Supergroup) and Europe. These data are consistent

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America until the Early Jurassic, reframing the temporal context of their arrival. We describe a new taxon from the Kayenta Formation of Arizona that comprises the third diagnosable sauropodomorph from the Early Jurassic of North America. We analysed its relationships to test whether sauropodomorphs reached North America in a single sweepstakes event or in separate dispersals. Our finding of separate arrivals by all three taxa suggests dispersal as a chief factor in dinosaurian diversification during at least the early Mesozoic. It questions whether a ‘cosmopolitan’ dinosaur fauna ever existed, and corroborates that vicariance, extinction and dispersal did not operate uniformly in time or under uniform conditions during the Mesozoic. Their relative importance is best measured in narrow time slices and circumscribed geographical regions. PMID:20926438

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-07

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America until the Early Jurassic, reframing the temporal context of their arrival. We describe a new taxon from the Kayenta Formation of Arizona that comprises the third diagnosable sauropodomorph from the Early Jurassic of North America. We analysed its relationships to test whether sauropodomorphs reached North America in a single sweepstakes event or in separate dispersals. Our finding of separate arrivals by all three taxa suggests dispersal as a chief factor in dinosaurian diversification during at least the early Mesozoic. It questions whether a 'cosmopolitan' dinosaur fauna ever existed, and corroborates that vicariance, extinction and dispersal did not operate uniformly in time or under uniform conditions during the Mesozoic. Their relative importance is best measured in narrow time slices and circumscribed geographical regions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-27

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

  20. Hotsphere illumination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razavi, Bahar S.; Hoang, Duyen; Liu, Shibin; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2017-04-01

    Soils are the most heterogeneous parts of the biosphere, with an extremely high differentiation of properties and processes at all spatial and temporal scales. Importance of hotspheres- environment with abundant high microbial activity- i.e.: rhizosphere, detritusphere, biopores, spermosphere and hyphasphere calls for spatially explicit methods to illuminate distribution of microbial activities (Kuzyakov and Blagodatskaya, 2015). Zymography technique has previously been adapted to visualize the spatial dynamics of enzyme activities in rhizosphere. Here, we further developed soil zymography to obtain a higher resolution of enzyme activities by enabling direct contact of substrate-saturated membranes with soil. For the first time, we aimed at quantitative imaging of enzyme activities in various hotspheres. We calculated and compared percentage of enzymatic hotspots of four hotspheres: Spermosphere, rhizosphere, detritusphere and biopores. Spatial distribution of activities of two enzymes: β-glucosidase and phosphatase were analyzed in the spermosphere and rhizosphere of maize and lentil. Zymography has been done 3 days (spermosphere), 14 days (rhizosphere) after sowing. Further, manure was placed on surface of rhizoboxes to visualize spatio-temporal distribution of the enzyme activities in detritusphere after 25 days. Biopores were produced by earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.) in transparent boxes for 2 weeks and enzyme distribution were measured by zymography thereafter. The developed in situ direct soil zymography visualized the heterogeneity of enzyme activities along and across the roots. Spatial patterns of enzyme activities as a function of distance along the root demonstrated plant specific patterns of enzyme distribution: it was uniform and homogenous along the lentil roots, whereas the enzyme activities in maize rhizosphere were higher at the apical or proximal root parts. For the first time were applied "spatial point pattern analysis" to determine

  1. THE LATE TRIASSIC ARCHOSAUROMORPH TRILOPHOSAURUS AS AN ARBOREAL CLIMBER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JUSTIN A. SPIELMANN

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Two species of the unusual archosauromorph Trilophosaurus, T. buettneri Case and T. jacobsi Murry, are known from diverse localities in the Upper Triassic Chinle Group in the southwestern USA. Both species likely occupied similar ecological niches, based on morphological similarities in the postcrania, which are essentially identical. Trilophosaurus occurrences in the Chinle Group are relatively rare, but individual sites are exceptionally rich, suggesting that Trilophosaurus lived in a different paleoenvironment than more typical Chinle vertebrates, which lived in or near streams (phytosaurs, metoposaurs or on floodplains (aetosaurs, rauisuchians, and dinosaurs. Two potential interpretations are that Trilophosaurus was either an arboreal climber or a fossorial digger. However, the gross skeletal features of Trilophosaurus are not compatible with a fossorial mode of life: the limbs are too long and gracile, proximal limb elements are longer than distal ones, and the claws are laterally compressed, not transversely broadened. The intermittent study of Trilophosaurus has caused the theory of it being arboreal, originally proposed by Gregory, to receive little mention in subsequent studies. We reexamined the functional morphology of Trilophosaurus using a qualitative functional morphological analysis of the skeleton, a quantitative examination of claw curvature, and a quantitative examination of manus/trunk and pes/trunk ratios. Claw morphology of Trilophosaurus shows similarities to the arboreal drepanosaurs Drepanosaurus and Megalancosaurus. Our analysis provides ample evidence to suggest that Trilophosaurus was arboreal. 

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Francisco Botelho

    2014-09-01

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

  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. Body size distribution of the dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eoin J O'Gorman

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Astronomical tuning and magnetostratigraphy of the Upper Triassic Xujiahe Formation of South China and Newark Supergroup of North America: Implications for the Late Triassic time scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Mingsong; Zhang, Yang; Huang, Chunju; Ogg, James; Hinnov, Linda; Wang, Yongdong; Zou, Zhuoyan; Li, Liqin

    2017-10-01

    The time scale of the Late Triassic Epoch has a divergence of age models, especially for the durations of competing definitions for its Rhaetian Stage (uppermost Triassic). The astrochronology derived from relative depth of lacustrine-bearing clastic successions and astronomically tuned geomagnetic polarity time scale (APTS) of the Newark Supergroup of eastern North America provides a basis for the Late Triassic time scale. However, the Newark APTS has been challenged regarding its age scale and completeness; therefore an independent astronomical-tuned magnetic polarity zonation is required to verify the upper Newark APTS reference scale. We compiled a 6.5 million year (myr) APTS with magnetic stratigraphy from four sections of the lacustrine-fluvial, dinosaur-track-bearing Xujiahe Formation in the Sichuan Basin of South China that also has dating from detrital zircons and regional biostratigraphy. Variations in natural gamma-ray and magnetic susceptibility that reflect variable continental weathering in the source regions of the Xujiahe Formation are paced by Milankovitch cycles, especially the 100-kyr short eccentricity and 405-kyr long eccentricity. The cycle-tuned magnetostratigraphy of the Xujiahe Formation is compared directly via the magnetic-polarity zones to the depth ranks of the Newark Supergroup that are indicative of relative depths of lacustrine facies. The Sichuan APTS indicates that there is no significant hiatus between the sedimentary succession and the basalt flows at the top of the Newark Supergroup. The Sichuan APTS is compatible with the magnetostratigraphy from the candidate Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Norian-Rhaetian boundary interval at the Pignola-Abriola of South Italy, but does not extend downward to the proposed GSSP in Austria associated with the longer Rhaetian option. The earliest dinosaur tracks in China are from the middle of this Xujiahe Formation, therefore are implied to be middle Rhaetian in age

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Palaeogeographic evolution of the marine Middle Triassic marine Germanic Basin changements - With emphasis on the carbonate tidal flat and shallow marine habitats of reptiles in Central Pangaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2009-01-01

    , possibly Euparkeria, probably made the Brachychirotherium trackways that have been found across much of Central Europe. Large lepidosaurs such as Tanystrophaeus probably hunted in the tidal ponds and channels, where they locally produced Synaptichnium tracks. Recently discovered tracks made by a basal prosauropod are the world's oldest record of this group of dinosaurs, occurring in beds that have an age of about 243.5 Ma. (Pelsonian substage). This shows that very large prosauropods existed much earlier than was previously believed. These prosauropod tracks, along with tracks of small bipedal dinosaurs found in the Alps and Eastern France, show that by the middle part of the Middle Triassic the radiation and diversification of dinosaurs was already in progress. In the Germanic Basin, aquatic-adapted paraxial swimming sauropterygians are not known to have left tracks, except for occasional subaquatic swimming scratch-mark "trackways" within the coastal tidal flat zone. Marine-adapted aquatic reptiles migrated into the Germanic Basin with increasing frequency in the upper part of the Middle Triassic, when the bathymetry of the Germanic Basin was at its deepest following a strong regression that occurred due to basin uplift in the middle part of the Middle Triassic. These large marine reptiles included Pistosaurus, the ichthyosaurs Cymbospondylus or Mixosaurus, and many placodonts such as Cyamodus, Placodus and Paraplacodus, which fed on macroalgae and seem to have been the Triassic sea cows of their day. The distribution of these reptiles was mainly controlled by tectonics, but eustatic changes in sea level also were important and produced widespread environmental changes across the tidal flats up until their disappearance in the Germanic Basin in the late Middle Triassic. The initial break-up of Pangaea already had started in Middle Triassic time, and this event had begun to drastically change environments all over Central Europe. It is very interesting that dinosaurs

  11. Volatile earliest Triassic sulfur cycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schobben, Martin; Stebbins, Alan; Algeo, Thomas J.

    2017-01-01

    model experiment. Exposure of evaporite deposits having a high δ 34S may account for the source change, with a possible role for the Siberian Traps volcanism by magmatic remobilization of Cambrian rock salt. A high sulfur cycle turnover rate would have left the ocean system vulnerable to development......Marine biodiversity decreases and ecosystem destruction during the end-Permian mass extinction (EPME) have been linked to widespread marine euxinic conditions. Changes in the biogeochemical sulfur cycle, microbial sulfate reduction (MSR), and marine dissolved sulfate concentrations during...... fractionation and point to a more universal control, i.e., contemporaneous seawater sulfate concentration.The MSR-trend transfer function yielded estimates of seawater sulfate of 0.6-2.8mM for the latest Permian to earliest Triassic, suggesting a balanced oceanic S-cycle with equal S inputs and outputs...

  12. Presence of the dinosaur Scelidosaurus indicates Jurassic age for the Kayenta Formation (Glen Canyon Group, northern Arizona)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padian, Kevin

    1989-05-01

    The Glen Canyon Group (Moenave, Wingate, Kayenta and Navajo Formations) of northern Arizona represents an extensive outcrop of early Mesozoic age terrestrial sediments. The age of these formations has long been disputed because independent stratigraphic data from marine tie-ins, paleobotanical and palynological evidence, and radiometric calibrations have been scanty or absent. The fauna of the Kayenta Formation in particular has been problematic because it has appeared to contain both typical Late Triassic and Early Jurassic taxa Here I report that the principal evidence for Late Triassic taxa, dermal scutes previously assigned to an aetosaur, in fact belongs to the thyreophoran ornithischian dinosaur Scelidosaurus, previously known only as a washed-in form found in marine sediments in the Early Jurassic of England. The presence of this dinosaur represents the first vertebrate biostratigraphic tie-in of the Glen Canyon Group horizons with reliably dated marine deposits in Europe. Together with revised systematic assessments of other vertebrates and independent evidence from fossil pollen, it supports an Early Jurassic age for the Kayenta Formation and most or all of the Glen Canyon Group.

  13. Did You Know? New Data on Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverberg, Robert

    1981-01-01

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

  14. EARLIEST TRIASSIC CONODONTS FROM CHITRAL, NORTHERNMOST PAKISTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARIA CRISTINA PERRI

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Extensive tracts of very shallow water carbonates in the valleys of the Yarkhun and Mastuj rivers of Chitral (northernmost Pakistan previously though to be Permian (or Cretaceous are shown by conodonts from two horizons in sequences 110 km apart—near Torman Gol (Mastuj valley and near Sakirmul (upper Yarkhun valley—to include earliest Triassic (Scythian—Induan horizons. Both faunas have Isarcicella staeschei Dai & Zhang, Is. lobata Perri, Is. turgida (Kozur et al. and Hindeodus parvus (Kozur & Pjatakova, whereas Is. Isarcica (Huckriede has been recognised only in the Torman Gol occurrence. The presence, respectively, of Is. staeschei in the Sakirmul and Is. isarcica in the Torman Gol occurrences, allows discrimination of the staeschei and isarcica zones respectively the third and the fourth conodont biozones of the Early Triassic conodont biozonation of Perri (in Perri & Farabegoli 2003. Such faunas, consisting mainly of isarcicellids and hindeodids but lacking gondolellids, are characteristic of restricted sea environments across the Permian–Triassic boundary and in the earliest Triassic in other Tethyan areas. The conodont faunas from these two occurrences are remarkably similar, nearly contemporaneous, and indicate shallow water biofacies. They are inferred to equate with the Ailak Dolomite, a sequence of Late Permian–?Late Triassic dolostones discriminated farther up the Yarkhun valley and extending eastwards into the upper Hunza region of northernmost Pakistan. The Zait Limestone and Sakirmul carbonate sequence are consistent with extension of the previously inferred Triassic carbonate platform at least 110 km farther to the SW than previously supposed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Body Size Distribution of the Dinosaurs

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. The evolution of the manus of early theropod dinosaurs is characterized by high inter- and intraspecific variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel E; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Norell, Mark A

    2018-01-01

    The origin of the avian hand, with its reduced and fused carpals and digits, from the five-fingered hands and complex wrists of early dinosaurs represents one of the major transformations of manus morphology among tetrapods. Much attention has been directed to the later part of this transition, from four- to three-fingered taxa. However, earlier anatomical changes may have influenced these later modifications, possibly paving the way for a later frameshift in digit identities. We investigate the five- to four-fingered transition among early dinosaurs, along with changes in carpus morphology. New three-dimensional reconstructions from computed tomography data of the manus of the Triassic and Early Jurassic theropod dinosaurs Coelophysis bauri and Megapnosaurus rhodesiensis are described and compared intra- and interspecifically. Several novel findings emerge from these reconstructions and comparisons, including the first evidence of an ossified centrale and a free intermedium in some C. bauri specimens, as well as confirmation of the presence of a vestigial fifth metacarpal in this taxon. Additionally, a specimen of C. bauri and an unnamed coelophysoid from the Upper Triassic Hayden Quarry, New Mexico, are to our knowledge the only theropods (other than alvarezsaurs and birds) in which all of the distal carpals are completely fused together into a single unit. Several differences between the manus of C. bauri and M. rhodesiensis are also identified. We review the evolution of the archosauromorph manus more broadly in light of these new data, and caution against incorporating carpal characters in phylogenetic analyses of fine-scale relationships of Archosauromorpha, in light of the high degree of observed polymorphism in taxa for which large sample sizes are available, such as the theropod Coelophysis and the sauropodomorph Plateosaurus. We also find that the reduction of the carpus and ultimate loss of the fourth and fifth digits among early dinosaurs did not

  1. 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.

  2. Fibre illumination system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

    Source: EP2426402A The invention relates to a fibre illumination module and system for the collection and delivery of daylight for illumination purposes. The fibre illumination module comprises a plurality of collector elements, each collector element comprising an input fibre having a first end......-directional arrangement. The fibre illumination system comprises a fibre illumination module of the above-mentioned type. By the invention, daylight may be exploited for the illumination of remote interior spaces of buildings in order to save energy, and improve the well-being of users in both housing and working...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Clarke, Andrew

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kubo, Tai; Kubo, Mugino O.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. The Sail-Backed Reptile Ctenosauriscus from the Latest Early Triassic of Germany and the Timing and Biogeography of the Early Archosaur Radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Richard J.; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Reich, Mike; Nesbitt, Sterling J.; Schoch, Rainer R.; Hornung, Jahn J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Archosaurs (birds, crocodilians and their extinct relatives including dinosaurs) dominated Mesozoic continental ecosystems from the Late Triassic onwards, and still form a major component of modern ecosystems (>10,000 species). The earliest diverse archosaur faunal assemblages are known from the Middle Triassic (c. 244 Ma), implying that the archosaur radiation began in the Early Triassic (252.3–247.2 Ma). Understanding of this radiation is currently limited by the poor early fossil record of the group in terms of skeletal remains. Methodology/Principal Findings We redescribe the anatomy and stratigraphic position of the type specimen of Ctenosauriscus koeneni (Huene), a sail-backed reptile from the Early Triassic (late Olenekian) Solling Formation of northern Germany that potentially represents the oldest known archosaur. We critically discuss previous biomechanical work on the ‘sail’ of Ctenosauriscus, which is formed by a series of elongated neural spines. In addition, we describe Ctenosauriscus-like postcranial material from the earliest Middle Triassic (early Anisian) Röt Formation of Waldhaus, southwestern Germany. Finally, we review the spatial and temporal distribution of the earliest archosaur fossils and their implications for understanding the dynamics of the archosaur radiation. Conclusions/Significance Comprehensive numerical phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that both Ctenosauriscus and the Waldhaus taxon are members of a monophyletic grouping of poposauroid archosaurs, Ctenosauriscidae, characterised by greatly elongated neural spines in the posterior cervical to anterior caudal vertebrae. The earliest archosaurs, including Ctenosauriscus, appear in the body fossil record just prior to the Olenekian/Anisian boundary (c. 248 Ma), less than 5 million years after the Permian–Triassic mass extinction. These earliest archosaur assemblages are dominated by ctenosauriscids, which were broadly distributed across northern Pangea and which

  7. The sail-backed reptile Ctenosauriscus from the latest Early Triassic of Germany and the timing and biogeography of the early archosaur radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Richard J; Brusatte, Stephen L; Reich, Mike; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Schoch, Rainer R; Hornung, Jahn J

    2011-01-01

    Archosaurs (birds, crocodilians and their extinct relatives including dinosaurs) dominated Mesozoic continental ecosystems from the Late Triassic onwards, and still form a major component of modern ecosystems (>10,000 species). The earliest diverse archosaur faunal assemblages are known from the Middle Triassic (c. 244 Ma), implying that the archosaur radiation began in the Early Triassic (252.3-247.2 Ma). Understanding of this radiation is currently limited by the poor early fossil record of the group in terms of skeletal remains. We redescribe the anatomy and stratigraphic position of the type specimen of Ctenosauriscus koeneni (Huene), a sail-backed reptile from the Early Triassic (late Olenekian) Solling Formation of northern Germany that potentially represents the oldest known archosaur. We critically discuss previous biomechanical work on the 'sail' of Ctenosauriscus, which is formed by a series of elongated neural spines. In addition, we describe Ctenosauriscus-like postcranial material from the earliest Middle Triassic (early Anisian) Röt Formation of Waldhaus, southwestern Germany. Finally, we review the spatial and temporal distribution of the earliest archosaur fossils and their implications for understanding the dynamics of the archosaur radiation. Comprehensive numerical phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that both Ctenosauriscus and the Waldhaus taxon are members of a monophyletic grouping of poposauroid archosaurs, Ctenosauriscidae, characterised by greatly elongated neural spines in the posterior cervical to anterior caudal vertebrae. The earliest archosaurs, including Ctenosauriscus, appear in the body fossil record just prior to the Olenekian/Anisian boundary (c. 248 Ma), less than 5 million years after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction. These earliest archosaur assemblages are dominated by ctenosauriscids, which were broadly distributed across northern Pangea and which appear to have been the first global radiation of archosaurs.

  8. The sail-backed reptile Ctenosauriscus from the latest Early Triassic of Germany and the timing and biogeography of the early archosaur radiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Butler

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Archosaurs (birds, crocodilians and their extinct relatives including dinosaurs dominated Mesozoic continental ecosystems from the Late Triassic onwards, and still form a major component of modern ecosystems (>10,000 species. The earliest diverse archosaur faunal assemblages are known from the Middle Triassic (c. 244 Ma, implying that the archosaur radiation began in the Early Triassic (252.3-247.2 Ma. Understanding of this radiation is currently limited by the poor early fossil record of the group in terms of skeletal remains. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We redescribe the anatomy and stratigraphic position of the type specimen of Ctenosauriscus koeneni (Huene, a sail-backed reptile from the Early Triassic (late Olenekian Solling Formation of northern Germany that potentially represents the oldest known archosaur. We critically discuss previous biomechanical work on the 'sail' of Ctenosauriscus, which is formed by a series of elongated neural spines. In addition, we describe Ctenosauriscus-like postcranial material from the earliest Middle Triassic (early Anisian Röt Formation of Waldhaus, southwestern Germany. Finally, we review the spatial and temporal distribution of the earliest archosaur fossils and their implications for understanding the dynamics of the archosaur radiation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Comprehensive numerical phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that both Ctenosauriscus and the Waldhaus taxon are members of a monophyletic grouping of poposauroid archosaurs, Ctenosauriscidae, characterised by greatly elongated neural spines in the posterior cervical to anterior caudal vertebrae. The earliest archosaurs, including Ctenosauriscus, appear in the body fossil record just prior to the Olenekian/Anisian boundary (c. 248 Ma, less than 5 million years after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction. These earliest archosaur assemblages are dominated by ctenosauriscids, which were broadly distributed across northern Pangea and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Depositional setting and vertebrate biostratigraphy of the Triassic ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The Dockum tetrapod diversity is reviewed in a hierarchical phylogeny with remarks on the history of ...... Triassic ecosystem. A review of ... form of fish from the Triassic beds of Texas, with remarks ..... ships and functional implications; J. Vert.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Randall, Lisa

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Growth dynamics of Australia's polar dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly N Woodward

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

  19. Gideon Mantell and the Discovery of Dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Dennis R.

    1999-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott D Sampson

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

  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. A basal sauropodomorph (Dinosauria: Saurischia from the Ischigualasto Formation (Triassic, Carnian and the early evolution of Sauropodomorpha.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo N Martinez

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The earliest dinosaurs are from the early Late Triassic (Carnian of South America. By the Carnian the main clades Saurischia and Ornithischia were already established, and the presence of the most primitive known sauropodomorph Saturnalia suggests also that Saurischia had already diverged into Theropoda and Sauropodomorpha. Knowledge of Carnian sauropodomorphs has been restricted to this single species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We describe a new small sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Ischigualsto Formation (Carnian in northwest Argentina, Panphagia protos gen. et sp. nov., on the basis of a partial skeleton. The genus and species are characterized by an anteroposteriorly elongated fossa on the base of the anteroventral process of the nasal; wide lateral flange on the quadrate with a large foramen; deep groove on the lateral surface of the lower jaw surrounded by prominent dorsal and ventral ridges; bifurcated posteroventral process of the dentary; long retroarticular process transversally wider than the articular area for the quadrate; oval scars on the lateral surface of the posterior border of the centra of cervical vertebrae; distinct prominences on the neural arc of the anterior cervical vertebra; distal end of the scapular blade nearly three times wider than the neck; scapular blade with an expanded posterodistal corner; and medial lamina of brevis fossa twice as wide as the iliac spine. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We regard Panphagia as the most basal sauropodomorph, which shares the following apomorphies with Saturnalia and more derived sauropodomorphs: basally constricted crowns; lanceolate crowns; teeth of the anterior quarter of the dentary higher than the others; and short posterolateral flange of distal tibia. The presence of Panphagia at the base of the early Carnian Ischigualasto Formation suggests an earlier origin of Sauropodomorpha during the Middle Triassic.

  6. A gigantic nothosaur (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Middle Triassic of SW China and its implication for the Triassic biotic recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jun; Hu, Shi-Xue; Rieppel, Olivier; Jiang, Da-Yong; Benton, Michael J.; Kelley, Neil P.; Aitchison, Jonathan C.; Zhou, Chang-Yong; Wen, Wen; Huang, Jin-Yuan; Xie, Tao; Lv, Tao

    2014-11-01

    The presence of gigantic apex predators in the eastern Panthalassic and western Tethyan oceans suggests that complex ecosystems in the sea had become re-established in these regions at least by the early Middle Triassic, after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction (PTME). However, it is not clear whether oceanic ecosystem recovery from the PTME was globally synchronous because of the apparent lack of such predators in the eastern Tethyan/western Panthalassic region prior to the Late Triassic. Here we report a gigantic nothosaur from the lower Middle Triassic of Luoping in southwest China (eastern Tethyan ocean), which possesses the largest known lower jaw among Triassic sauropterygians. Phylogenetic analysis suggests parallel evolution of gigantism in Triassic sauropterygians. Discovery of this gigantic apex predator, together with associated diverse marine reptiles and the complex food web, indicates global recovery of shallow marine ecosystems from PTME by the early Middle Triassic.

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. End-Triassic nonmarine biotic events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spencer G. Lucas

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Late Triassic was a prolonged interval of elevated extinction rates and low origination rates that manifested themselves in a series of extinctions during Carnian, Norian and Rhaetian time. Most of these extinctions took place in the marine realm, particularly affecting radiolarians, conodonts, bivalves, ammonoids and reef-building organisms. On land, the case for a Late Triassic mass extinction is much more tenuous and has largely focused on tetrapod vertebrates (amphibians and reptiles, though some workers advocate a sudden end-Triassic (TJB extinction of land plants. Nevertheless, an extensive literature does not identify a major extinction of land plants at the TJB, and a comprehensive review of palynological records concluded that TJB vegetation changes were non-uniform (different changes in different places, not synchronous and not indicative of a mass extinction of land plants. Claims of a substantial perturbation of plant ecology and diversity at the TJB in East Greenland are indicative of a local change in the paleoflora largely driven by lithofacies changes resulting in changing taphonomic filters. Plant extinctions at the TJB were palaeogeographically localized events, not global in extent. With new and more detailed stratigraphic data, the perceived TJB tetrapod extinction is mostly an artifact of coarse temporal resolution, the compiled correlation effect. The amphibian, archosaur and synapsid extinctions of the Late Triassic are not concentrated at the TJB, but instead occur stepwise, beginning in the Norian and extending into the Hettangian. There was a disruption of the terrestrial ecosystem across the TJB, but it was more modest than generally claimed. The ecological severity of the end-Triassic nonmarine biotic events are relatively low on the global scale. Biotic turnover at the end of the Triassic was likely driven by the CAMP (Central Atlantic Magmatic Province eruptions, which caused significant environmental

  10. Reassessment of the evidence for postcranial skeletal pneumaticity in Triassic archosaurs, and the early evolution of the avian respiratory system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Butler

    Full Text Available Uniquely among extant vertebrates, birds possess complex respiratory systems characterised by the combination of small, rigid lungs, extensive pulmonary air sacs that possess diverticula that invade (pneumatise the postcranial skeleton, unidirectional ventilation of the lungs, and efficient crosscurrent gas exchange. Crocodilians, the only other living archosaurs, also possess unidirectional lung ventilation, but lack true air sacs and postcranial skeletal pneumaticity (PSP. PSP can be used to infer the presence of avian-like pulmonary air sacs in several extinct archosaur clades (non-avian theropod dinosaurs, sauropod dinosaurs and pterosaurs. However, the evolution of respiratory systems in other archosaurs, especially in the lineage leading to crocodilians, is poorly documented. Here, we use µCT-scanning to investigate the vertebral anatomy of Triassic archosaur taxa, from both the avian and crocodilian lineages as well as non-archosaurian diapsid outgroups. Our results confirm previous suggestions that unambiguous evidence of PSP (presence of internal pneumatic cavities linked to the exterior by foramina is found only in bird-line (ornithodiran archosaurs. We propose that pulmonary air sacs were present in the common ancestor of Ornithodira and may have been subsequently lost or reduced in some members of the clade (notably in ornithischian dinosaurs. The development of these avian-like respiratory features might have been linked to inferred increases in activity levels among ornithodirans. By contrast, no crocodile-line archosaur (pseudosuchian exhibits evidence for unambiguous PSP, but many of these taxa possess the complex array of vertebral laminae and fossae that always accompany the presence of air sacs in ornithodirans. These laminae and fossae are likely homologous with those in ornithodirans, which suggests the need for further investigation of the hypothesis that a reduced, or non-invasive, system of pulmonary air sacs may be have

  11. 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.

  12. Math and Fossils Resolve a Debate on Dinosaur Metabolism

    OpenAIRE

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Analysis of radiation level on dinosaur fossil in Zigong

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Changshu; Liang Shuzhi; Fan Zhengnian.

    1995-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Wood's lamp illumination (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    A Wood's lamp emits ultraviolet light and can be a diagnostic aid in determining if someone has a fungal ... is an infection on the area where the Wood's lamp is illuminating, the area will fluoresce. Normally ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, Michael J

    2016-10-10

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

  17. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta formation, Venezuelan Andes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, Max C; Rincón, Ascanio D; Ramezani, Jahandar; Solórzano, Andrés; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2014-10-01

    Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along the western border of Venezuela, where strata of the La Quinta Formation have yielded the ornithischian Laquintasaura venezuelae and other dinosaur remains. Here, we report isolated bones (ischium and tibia) of a small new theropod, Tachiraptor admirabilis gen. et sp. nov., which differs from all previously known members of the group by an unique suite of features of its tibial articulations. Comparative/phylogenetic studies place the new form as the sister taxon to Averostra, a theropod group that is known primarily from the Middle Jurassic onwards. A new U-Pb zircon date (isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry; ID-TIMS method) from the bone bed matrix suggests an earliest Jurassic maximum age for the La Quinta Formation. A dispersal-vicariance analysis suggests that such a stratigraphic gap is more likely to be filled by new records from north and central Pangaea than from southern areas. Indeed, our data show that the sampled summer-wet equatorial belt, which yielded the new taxon, played a pivotal role in theropod evolution across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Avian paternal care had dinosaur origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-19

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

  1. Hanford: The evolution of a dinosaur

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fulton, J.

    1995-01-01

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

  2. Was it the CO2 or the sulfur that did it? The mechanism of mass extinction of continental vertebrates at the end-Triassic extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, P. E.; Schaller, M. F.; Kent, D. V.; Et-Touhami, M.

    2012-04-01

    Eruption of the giant Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) is temporally linked to the end-Triassic extinction (ETE) event (1,2,3,4,5). Proposed killing mechanisms for plants and marine biota have included both CO2 (4) and sulfur aerosols (3,6). Here we examine the kill mechanisms of the CAMP for land animals where we seek to explain the selectivity of the extinctions. One striking aspect of Late Triassic continental communities is the prominent latitudinal provinciality with diverse crurotarsians (crocodile-relatives) and other non-dinosaurs in the tropics and much higher dinosaur diversity in the higher latitudes (7). Only a very few crurotarsian lineages survived the ETE, and a near-homogenization of continental vertebrate assemblages ensued. Background high CO2 concentration in the Late Triassic resulted in lack of polar ice and probably very high-temperature tropical continental interiors. While a doubling of CO2 associated with CAMP eruptions produced a few degree increase in average temperatures (depending on the sensitivity), plausibly leading to some tropical lethality, how this produced a mass extinction in higher, cooler latitudes is harder to explain. While successive CAMP eruptions contributed to CO2 doublings over hundreds to thousands of years, taking two orders of magnitude longer to return to background, EACH major CAMP eruption produced an abrupt sulfur aerosol cooling lasting several years or decades, depending eruption duration. But there were many of these coolings as opposed to the few super-greenhouse warmings suggested by the CO2 proxy data (4,5). The scale of these sulfur injections would have been orders of magnitude larger than anything seen historically (8) possibly leading to freezing tropical temperatures. Both cruotarsians and dinosaurs as well as most other "reptiles", with their presumably uricotelic nitrogen waste systems (9) were been relatively resistant to heat induced water stress, but the former lack insolation, while the

  3. Cockroaches probably cleaned up after dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Vršanský

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

  4. Dinosaur peptides suggest mechanisms of protein survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-11-04

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

  9. "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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. "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…

  13. 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…

  14. Natural light illumination system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whang, Allen Jong-Woei; Chen, Yi-Yung; Yang, Shu-Hua; Pan, Po-Hsuan; Chou, Kao-Hsu; Lee, Yu-Chi; Lee, Zong-Yi; Chen, Chi-An; Chen, Cheng-Nan

    2010-12-10

    In recent years, green energy has undergone a lot of development and has been the subject of many applications. Many research studies have focused on illumination with sunlight as a means of saving energy and creating healthy lighting. Natural light illumination systems have collecting, transmitting, and lighting elements. Today, most daylight collectors use dynamic concentrators; these include Sun tracking systems. However, this design is too expensive to be cost effective. To create a low-cost collector that can be easily installed on a large building, we have designed a static concentrator, which is prismatic and cascadable, to collect sunlight for indoor illumination. The transmission component uses a large number of optical fibers. Because optical fibers are expensive, this means that most of the cost for the system will be related to transmission. In this paper, we also use a prismatic structure to design an optical coupler for coupling n to 1. With the n-to-1 coupler, the number of optical fibers necessary can be greatly reduced. Although this new natural light illumination system can effectively guide collected sunlight and send it to the basement or to other indoor places for healthy lighting, previously there has been no way to manage the collected sunlight when lighting was not desired. To solve this problem, we have designed an optical switch and a beam splitter to control and separate the transmitted light. When replacing traditional sources, the lighting should have similar characteristics, such as intensity distribution and geometric parameters, to those of traditional artificial sources. We have designed, simulated, and optimized an illumination lightpipe with a dot pattern to redistribute the collected sunlight from the natural light illumination system such that it equals the qualities of a traditional lighting system. We also provide an active lighting module that provides lighting from the natural light illumination system or LED auxiliary

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  16. 76 FR 7232 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Dinosaur...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-09

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

  17. A new Lower Triassic ichthyopterygian assemblage from Fossil Hill, Nevada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil P. Kelley

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We report a new ichthyopterygian assemblage from Lower Triassic horizons of the Prida Formation at Fossil Hill in central Nevada. Although fragmentary, the specimens collected so far document a diverse fauna. One partial jaw exhibits isodont dentition with blunt tipped, mesiodistally compressed crowns and striated enamel. These features are shared with the Early Triassic genus Utatsusaurus known from coeval deposits in Japan and British Columbia. An additional specimen exhibits a different dentition characterized by relatively small, rounded posterior teeth resembling other Early Triassic ichthyopterygians, particularly Grippia. This Nevada assemblage marks a southward latitudinal extension for Early Triassic ichthyopterygians along the eastern margin of Panthalassa and indicates repeated trans-hemispheric dispersal events in Early Triassic ichthyopterygians.

  18. Nonimaging optical illumination system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Winston, R.; Ries, H.

    2000-02-01

    A nonimaging illumination optical device for producing a selected far field illuminance over an angular range. The optical device includes a light source, a light reflecting surface, and a family of light edge rays defined along a reference line with the reflecting surface defined in terms of the reference line 104 as a parametric function R(t) where t is a scalar parameter position and R(t) = k(t) + Du(t) where k(t) is a parameterization of the reference line 104, and D is a distance from a point on the reference line 104 to the reflection surface 108 along the desired edge ray through the point.

  19. Tailored reflectors for illumination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, D; Winston, R

    1996-04-01

    We report on tailored reflector design methods that allow the placement of general illumination patterns onto a target plane. The use of a new integral design method based on the edge-ray principle of nonimaging optics gives much more compact reflector shapes by eliminating the need for a gap between the source and the reflector profile. In addition, the reflectivity of the reflector is incorporated as a design parameter. We show the performance of design for constant irradiance on a distant plane, and we show how a leading-edge-ray method may be used to achieve general illumination patterns on nearby targets.

  20. High-precision U-Pb zircon geochronological constraints on the End-Triassic Mass Extinction, the late Triassic Astronomical Time Scale and geochemical evolution of CAMP magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, T. J.; Olsen, P. E.; Bowring, S. A.; McLean, N. M.; Kent, D. V.; Puffer, J. H.; McHone, G.; Rasbury, T.

    2012-12-01

    Mass extinction events that punctuate Earth's history have had a large influence on the evolution, diversity and composition of our planet's biosphere. The approximate temporal coincidence between the five major extinction events over the last 542 million years and the eruption of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) has led to the speculation that climate and environmental perturbations generated by the emplacement of a large volume of magma in a short period of time triggered each global biologic crisis. Establishing a causal link between extinction and the onset and tempo of LIP eruption has proved difficult because of the geographic separation between LIP volcanic deposits and stratigraphic sequences preserving evidence of the extinction. In most cases, the uncertainties on available radioisotopic dates used to correlate between geographically separated study areas often exceed the duration of both the extinction interval and LIP volcanism by an order of magnitude. The "end-Triassic extinction" (ETE) is one of the "big five" and is characterized by the disappearance of several terrestrial and marine species and dominance of Dinosaurs for the next 134 million years. Speculation on the cause has centered on massive climate perturbations thought to accompany the eruption of flood basalts related to the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), the most aerially extensive and volumetrically one of the largest LIPs on Earth. Despite an approximate temporal coincidence between extinction and volcanism, there lacks evidence placing the eruption of CAMP prior to or at the initiation of the extinction. Estimates of the timing and/or duration of CAMP volcanism provided by astrochronology and Ar-Ar geochronology differ by an order of magnitude, precluding high-precision tests of the relationship between LIP volcanism and the mass extinction, the causes of which are dependent upon the rate of magma eruption. Here we present high precision zircon U-Pb ID-TIMS geochronologic data

  1. 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...

  2. Predicting Ground Illuminance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesniak, Michael V.; Tregoning, Brett D.; Hitchens, Alexandra E.

    2015-01-01

    Our Sun outputs 3.85 x 1026 W of radiation, of which roughly 37% is in the visible band. It is directly responsible for nearly all natural illuminance experienced on Earth's surface, either in the form of direct/refracted sunlight or in reflected light bouncing off the surfaces and/or atmospheres of our Moon and the visible planets. Ground illuminance, defined as the amount of visible light intercepting a unit area of surface (from all incident angles), varies over 7 orders of magnitude from day to night. It is highly dependent on well-modeled factors such as the relative positions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon. It is also dependent on less predictable factors such as local atmospheric conditions and weather.Several models have been proposed to predict ground illuminance, including Brown (1952) and Shapiro (1982, 1987). The Brown model is a set of empirical data collected from observation points around the world that has been reduced to a smooth fit of illuminance against a single variable, solar altitude. It provides limited applicability to the Moon and for cloudy conditions via multiplicative reduction factors. The Shapiro model is a theoretical model that treats the atmosphere as a three layer system of light reflectance and transmittance. It has different sets of reflectance and transmittance coefficients for various cloud types.In this paper we compare the models' predictions to ground illuminance data from an observing run at the White Sands missile range (data was obtained from the United Kingdom's Meteorology Office). Continuous illuminance readings were recorded under various cloud conditions, during both daytime and nighttime hours. We find that under clear skies, the Shapiro model tends to better fit the observations during daytime hours with typical discrepancies under 10%. Under cloudy skies, both models tend to poorly predict ground illuminance. However, the Shapiro model, with typical average daytime discrepancies of 25% or less in many cases

  3. Avian-like breathing mechanics in maniraptoran dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Triassic-Jurassic pteridosperms of Australasia: speciation, diversity and decline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pattemore, G. A.; Rigby, J. F.; Playford, G.

    2015-07-01

    Pteridosperms are preserved abundantly in the Gondwanan Triassic, with many species exhibiting consider- able morphological variation that has been attributed to a hybridization model of speciation. This is an improbable explanation given that hybridization is very rare in gymnosperms. Allopatric speciation resulting from geographic and climatic provincialism is a more likely explanation for the morphological diversity which is well represented in Anisian Norian (Middle and Upper Triassic) floras of Australasia and elsewhere in Gondwana. Most specimens are distributed among three families: Umkomasiaceae, Peltaspermaceae and Matatiellaceae. These families, together with other possibly pteridospermous genera, are reviewed herein. Diversity in these families apparently declined by the Rhaetian and they did not persist into the Gondwanan post-Triassic. Australasian post-Triassic strata contain remarkably different floral assemblages to those of the Triassic. No fructifications are clearly pteridospermous and no remains show any obvious relationship with pteridosperms of the Gondwanan Triassic. Caytonialean fructifications are not known in Australasian strata; however, associated foliage has been reported from the Eastern Gondwanan Upper Triassic through Middle Jurassic including Australia. Much fern-like foliage, claimed to be pteridospermous from the Lower Jurassic through Eocene of Eastern Gondwana, lacks supporting evidence of such affiliation. (Author)

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Nonimaging optical illumination system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winston, Roland; Ries, Harald

    1996-01-01

    A nonimaging illumination optical device for producing a selected far field illuminance over an angular range. The optical device includes a light source 102, a light reflecting surface 108, and a family of light edge rays defined along a reference line 104 with the reflecting surface 108 defined in terms of the reference line 104 as a parametric function R(t) where t is a scalar parameter position and R(t)=k(t)+Du(t) where k(t) is a parameterization of the reference line 104, and D is a distance from a point on the reference line 104 to the reflection surface 108 along the desired edge ray through the point.

  10. Illuminance: Computerized simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barlow, A

    1991-03-01

    One of the main objectives of a graphics work-station is to create images that are as realistic as possible. This paper reviews and assesses the state-of-the-art in the field of illuminance simulation. The techniques examined are: ray tracing, in which illuminance in a given ambient is calculated in an approximate way by tracing individual rays of light; the 'radiosity' (a term combining surface radiancy and reflectivity) method, based on the calculation of the ambient's thermodynamics and which considers the effects of different surface colours; progressive improvement, in which 'radiosity' is calculated step by step with increasing levels of detail. The Gouraud and Phong methods of representing the effects of shade are also compared.

  11. The Triassic upwelling system of Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurchenko, I.; Graham, S. A.

    2017-12-01

    The Middle to Upper Triassic Shublik Formation of Arctic Alaska is a laterally and vertically heterogeneous rock unit that has been analyzed both in outcrop and in the subsurface. The Shublik Formation sediments are distinguished by a characteristic set of lithologies that include glauconitic, phosphatic, organic-rich, and cherty facies consistent with a coastal upwelling zone deposition interpretation. It is often recognized by abundance of impressions and shells of distinctive Triassic bivalves. To understand main controls on lithofacies distributions, this study reviews and refines lithologic and paleoenvironmental interpretations of the Shublik Formation, and incorporates the newly acquired detailed geochemical analyses of two complete Shublik cores. This work focuses on organic geochemistry (analyses of biomarkers and diamondoids), chemostratigraphy (hand-held XRF), and iron speciation analysis to reconstruct paleoproductivity and redox conditions. Based on the available evidence, during Shublik deposition, an upwelling-influenced open shelf resulted in high nutrient supply that stimulated algal blooms leading to high net organic productivity, reduced water transparency, oxygen deficiency, and water column stratification. Evidence of such eutrophic conditions is indicated by the lack of photic benthic organisms, bioturbation and trace fossils, and dominance of the monospecific light-independent epibenthic bivalves. The flat, subcircular, thin shells of these carbonate-secreting organisms allowed them to adapt to dysoxic conditions, and float on soft, soupy, muddy substrate. The distinctive clay- and organic-rich facies with abundant bivalves occurred on the mid to outer stable broad shelf, and were deposited when organic productivity at times overlapped with periods of increased siliciclastic input controlled by sea level and changes in local sediment dispersal systems, and therefore are more spatially and temporally localized than the widespread clay

  12. Lighting system with illuminance control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2013-01-01

    The present invention relates to an illumination control system comprising a plurality of outdoor luminaries and a motorized service vehicle. Each luminaire comprises a controllable light source producing a light illuminance. The motorized service vehicle comprises a light sensor configured...... to detect the light illuminance generated by the controllable light source at the motorized service vehicle. The motorized service vehicle computes light illuminance data based on the detected light illuminance and transmits these to the outdoor luminaire through a wireless communication link or stores...... the light illuminance data on a data recording device of the motorized service vehicle. The outdoor luminaire receives may use the light illuminance data to set or adjust a light illuminance of the controllable light source....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Matthew G; Barrett, Paul M

    2017-08-01

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

  14. Incubation times of dinosaur eggs via embryonic metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Vision in dinosaurs: Scaling effects in sclerotic rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott

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

  16. Studies of C60 in fossil of dinosaur egg shell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L

    2016-05-23

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noto, Christopher R; Grossman, Ari

    2010-09-03

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Illumination and radiative cooling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fan, Shanhui; Raman, Aaswath Pattabhi; Zhu, Linxiao; Rephaeli, Eden

    2018-03-20

    Aspects of the present disclosure are directed to providing and/or controlling electromagnetic radiation. As may be implemented in accordance with one or more embodiments, an apparatus includes a first structure that contains an object, and a second structure that is transparent at solar wavelengths and emissive in the atmospheric electromagnetic radiation transparency window. The second structure operates with the first structure to pass light into the first structure for illuminating the object, and to radiatively cool the object while preserving the object's color.

  3. Parallel hierarchical global illumination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Snell, Quinn O. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)

    1997-10-08

    Solving the global illumination problem is equivalent to determining the intensity of every wavelength of light in all directions at every point in a given scene. The complexity of the problem has led researchers to use approximation methods for solving the problem on serial computers. Rather than using an approximation method, such as backward ray tracing or radiosity, the authors have chosen to solve the Rendering Equation by direct simulation of light transport from the light sources. This paper presents an algorithm that solves the Rendering Equation to any desired accuracy, and can be run in parallel on distributed memory or shared memory computer systems with excellent scaling properties. It appears superior in both speed and physical correctness to recent published methods involving bidirectional ray tracing or hybrid treatments of diffuse and specular surfaces. Like progressive radiosity methods, it dynamically refines the geometry decomposition where required, but does so without the excessive storage requirements for ray histories. The algorithm, called Photon, produces a scene which converges to the global illumination solution. This amounts to a huge task for a 1997-vintage serial computer, but using the power of a parallel supercomputer significantly reduces the time required to generate a solution. Currently, Photon can be run on most parallel environments from a shared memory multiprocessor to a parallel supercomputer, as well as on clusters of heterogeneous workstations.

  4. Early cretaceous dinosaurs from the sahara.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-10-14

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Air-filled postcranial bones in theropod dinosaurs: physiological implications and the 'reptile'-bird transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Butler, Richard J; Carrano, Matthew T; O'Connor, Patrick M

    2012-02-01

    Pneumatic (air-filled) postcranial bones are unique to birds among extant tetrapods. Unambiguous skeletal correlates of postcranial pneumaticity first appeared in the Late Triassic (approximately 210 million years ago), when they evolved independently in several groups of bird-line archosaurs (ornithodirans). These include the theropod dinosaurs (of which birds are extant representatives), the pterosaurs, and sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Postulated functions of skeletal pneumatisation include weight reduction in large-bodied or flying taxa, and density reduction resulting in energetic savings during foraging and locomotion. However, the influence of these hypotheses on the early evolution of pneumaticity has not been studied in detail previously. We review recent work on the significance of pneumaticity for understanding the biology of extinct ornithodirans, and present detailed new data on the proportion of the skeleton that was pneumatised in 131 non-avian theropods and Archaeopteryx. This includes all taxa known from significant postcranial remains. Pneumaticity of the cervical and anterior dorsal vertebrae occurred early in theropod evolution. This 'common pattern' was conserved on the line leading to birds, and is likely present in Archaeopteryx. Increases in skeletal pneumaticity occurred independently in as many as 12 lineages, highlighting a remarkably high number of parallel acquisitions of a bird-like feature among non-avian theropods. Using a quantitative comparative framework, we show that evolutionary increases in skeletal pneumaticity are significantly concentrated in lineages with large body size, suggesting that mass reduction in response to gravitational constraints at large body sizes influenced the early evolution of pneumaticity. However, the body size threshold for extensive pneumatisation is lower in theropod lineages more closely related to birds (maniraptorans). Thus, relaxation of the relationship between body size and pneumatisation preceded

  8. 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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Permo-Triassic vertebrate extinctions: A program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, E. C.

    1988-01-01

    Since the time of the Authors' study on this subject, a great deal of new information has become available. Concepts of the nature of extinctions have changed materially. The Authors' conclusion that a catastrophic event was not responsible for the extinction of vertebrates has modified to the extent that hypotheses involving either the impact of a massive extra-terrestrial body or volcanism provide plausible but not currently fully testable hypotheses. Stated changes resulted in a rapid decrease in organic diversity, as the ratio of origins of taxa to extinctions shifted from strongly positive to negative, with momentary equilibrium being reached at about the Permo-Triassic boundary. The proximate causes of the changes in the terrestrial biota appear to lie in two primary factors: (1) strong climatic changes (global mean temperatures, temperature ranges, humidity) and (2) susceptibility of the dominant vertebrates (large dicynodonts) and the glossopteris flora to disruption of the equlibrium of the world ecosystem. The following proximate causes have been proposed: (1) rhythmic fluctuations in solar radiation, (2) tectonic events as Pangea assembled, altering land-ocean relationships, patterns of wind and water circulation and continental physiography, (3) volcanism, and (4) changes subsequent to impacts of one or more massive extra terrestrial objects, bodies or comets. These hypotheses are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. Split-illumination electron holography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tanigaki, Toshiaki; Aizawa, Shinji; Suzuki, Takahiro; Park, Hyun Soon [Advanced Science Institute, RIKEN, Hirosawa 2-1, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Inada, Yoshikatsu [Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University, Katahira 2-1-1, Sendai 980-8577 (Japan); Matsuda, Tsuyoshi [Japan Science and Technology Agency, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012 (Japan); Taniyama, Akira [Corporate Research and Development Laboratories, Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd., Amagasaki, Hyogo 660-0891 (Japan); Shindo, Daisuke [Advanced Science Institute, RIKEN, Hirosawa 2-1, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University, Katahira 2-1-1, Sendai 980-8577 (Japan); Tonomura, Akira [Advanced Science Institute, RIKEN, Hirosawa 2-1, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Graduate University, Onna-son, Okinawa 904-0495 (Japan); Central Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ltd., Hatoyama, Saitama 350-0395 (Japan)

    2012-07-23

    We developed a split-illumination electron holography that uses an electron biprism in the illuminating system and two biprisms (applicable to one biprism) in the imaging system, enabling holographic interference micrographs of regions far from the sample edge to be obtained. Using a condenser biprism, we split an electron wave into two coherent electron waves: one wave is to illuminate an observation area far from the sample edge in the sample plane and the other wave to pass through a vacuum space outside the sample. The split-illumination holography has the potential to greatly expand the breadth of applications of electron holography.

  15. Split-illumination electron holography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanigaki, Toshiaki; Aizawa, Shinji; Suzuki, Takahiro; Park, Hyun Soon; Inada, Yoshikatsu; Matsuda, Tsuyoshi; Taniyama, Akira; Shindo, Daisuke; Tonomura, Akira

    2012-01-01

    We developed a split-illumination electron holography that uses an electron biprism in the illuminating system and two biprisms (applicable to one biprism) in the imaging system, enabling holographic interference micrographs of regions far from the sample edge to be obtained. Using a condenser biprism, we split an electron wave into two coherent electron waves: one wave is to illuminate an observation area far from the sample edge in the sample plane and the other wave to pass through a vacuum space outside the sample. The split-illumination holography has the potential to greatly expand the breadth of applications of electron holography.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek W Larson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Derek W.; Currie, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Atmospheric carbon injection linked to end-Triassic mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhl, Micha; Bonis, Nina R; Reichart, Gert-Jan; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Kürschner, Wolfram M

    2011-07-22

    The end-Triassic mass extinction (~201.4 million years ago), marked by terrestrial ecosystem turnover and up to ~50% loss in marine biodiversity, has been attributed to intensified volcanic activity during the break-up of Pangaea. Here, we present compound-specific carbon-isotope data of long-chain n-alkanes derived from waxes of land plants, showing a ~8.5 per mil negative excursion, coincident with the extinction interval. These data indicate strong carbon-13 depletion of the end-Triassic atmosphere, within only 10,000 to 20,000 years. The magnitude and rate of this carbon-cycle disruption can be explained by the injection of at least ~12 × 10(3) gigatons of isotopically depleted carbon as methane into the atmosphere. Concurrent vegetation changes reflect strong warming and an enhanced hydrological cycle. Hence, end-Triassic events are robustly linked to methane-derived massive carbon release and associated climate change.

  4. Assessing the record and causes of Late Triassic extinctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanner, L.H.; Lucas, S.G.; Chapman, M.G.

    2004-01-01

    Accelerated biotic turnover during the Late Triassic has led to the perception of an end-Triassic mass extinction event, now regarded as one of the "big five" extinctions. Close examination of the fossil record reveals that many groups thought to be affected severely by this event, such as ammonoids, bivalves and conodonts, instead were in decline throughout the Late Triassic, and that other groups were relatively unaffected or subject to only regional effects. Explanations for the biotic turnover have included both gradualistic and catastrophic mechanisms. Regression during the Rhaetian, with consequent habitat loss, is compatible with the disappearance of some marine faunal groups, but may be regional, not global in scale, and cannot explain apparent synchronous decline in the terrestrial realm. Gradual, widespread aridification of the Pangaean supercontinent could explain a decline in terrestrial diversity during the Late Triassic. Although evidence for an impact precisely at the boundary is lacking, the presence of impact structures with Late Triassic ages suggests the possibility of bolide impact-induced environmental degradation prior to the end-Triassic. Widespread eruptions of flood basalts of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) were synchronous with or slightly postdate the system boundary; emissions of CO2 and SO2 during these eruptions were substantial, but the contradictory evidence for the environmental effects of outgassing of these lavas remains to be resolved. A substantial excursion in the marine carbon-isotope record of both carbonate and organic matter suggests a significant disturbance of the global carbon cycle at the system boundary. Release of methane hydrates from seafloor sediments is a possible cause for this isotope excursion, although the triggering mechanism and climatic effects of such a release remain uncertain. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Preservation of the bone protein osteocalcin in dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon R Peecook

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

  9. 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.

  10. Lethally Hot Temperatures During the Early Triassic Greenhouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yadong; Joachimski, Michael M.; Wignall, Paul B.; Yan, Chunbo; Chen, Yanlong; Jiang, Haishui; Wang, Lina; Lai, Xulong

    2012-10-01

    Global warming is widely regarded to have played a contributing role in numerous past biotic crises. Here, we show that the end-Permian mass extinction coincided with a rapid temperature rise to exceptionally high values in the Early Triassic that were inimical to life in equatorial latitudes and suppressed ecosystem recovery. This was manifested in the loss of calcareous algae, the near-absence of fish in equatorial Tethys, and the dominance of small taxa of invertebrates during the thermal maxima. High temperatures drove most Early Triassic plants and animals out of equatorial terrestrial ecosystems and probably were a major cause of the end-Smithian crisis.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Estimating cranial musculoskeletal constraints in theropod dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2015-11-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Using step width to compare locomotor biomechanics between extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs and modern obligate bipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, P J; Clemente, C J; Weems, R E; Graham, D F; Lamas, L P; Hutchinson, J R; Rubenson, J; Wilson, R S; Hocknull, S A; Barrett, R S; Lloyd, D G

    2017-07-01

    How extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs locomoted is a subject of considerable interest, as is the manner in which it evolved on the line leading to birds. Fossil footprints provide the most direct evidence for answering these questions. In this study, step width-the mediolateral (transverse) distance between successive footfalls-was investigated with respect to speed (stride length) in non-avian theropod trackways of Late Triassic age. Comparable kinematic data were also collected for humans and 11 species of ground-dwelling birds. Permutation tests of the slope on a plot of step width against stride length showed that step width decreased continuously with increasing speed in the extinct theropods ( p < 0.001), as well as the five tallest bird species studied ( p < 0.01). Humans, by contrast, showed an abrupt decrease in step width at the walk-run transition. In the modern bipeds, these patterns reflect the use of either a discontinuous locomotor repertoire, characterized by distinct gaits (humans), or a continuous locomotor repertoire, where walking smoothly transitions into running (birds). The non-avian theropods are consequently inferred to have had a continuous locomotor repertoire, possibly including grounded running. Thus, features that characterize avian terrestrial locomotion had begun to evolve early in theropod history. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. Biological Effects Of Artificial Illumination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corth, Richard

    1980-10-01

    We are increasingly being warned of the possible effects of so called "polluted" light, that is light that differs in spectral content from that of sunlight. We should be concerned, we are told, because all animals and plants have evolved under this natural daylight and therefore any difference between that illuminant and the artificial illuminants that are on the market today, is suspect. The usual presentation of the differences between the sunlight and the artificial illuminants are as shown in Figure 1. Here we are shown the spectral power distribution of sunlight and Cool White fluorescent light. The spectral power distributions of each have been normalized to some convenient wavelength so that each can be seen and easily compared on the same figure. But this presentation is misleading for one does not experience artificial illuminants at the same intensity as one experiences sunlight. Sunlight intensities are ordinarily found to be in the 8000 to 10,000 footcandle range whereas artificial illuminants are rarely experienced at intensity levels greater than 100 footcandles. Therefore a representative difference between the two types of illumination conditions is more accurately represented as in Figure 2. Thus if evolutionary adaptations require that humans and other animals be exposed to sunlight to ensure wellbeing, it is clear that one must be exposed to sunlight intensities. It is not feasible to expect that artificially illuminated environments will be lit to the same intensity as sunlight

  18. 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

  19. Atmospheric Carbon Injection Linked to End-Triassic Mass Extinction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruhl, M.; Bonis, N.R.; Reichart, G.J.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Kürschner, W.M.

    2011-01-01

    The end-Triassic mass extinction (similar to 201.4 million years ago), marked by terrestrial ecosystem turnover and up to similar to 50% loss in marine biodiversity, has been attributed to intensified volcanic activity during the break-up of Pangaea. Here, we present compound-specific carbon-isotope

  20. Carbon cycle changes during the Triassic-Jurassic transition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruhl, M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304838357

    2010-01-01

    The end-Triassic is regarded as one of the five major mass extinction events of the Phanerozoic. This time interval is marked by up to 50% of marine biodiversity loss and major changes in terrestrial ecosystems. Mass extinction events are often marked by changes in the global carbon cycle. The

  1. Triassic volcanic units in coastal region of Antofagasta, northern Chile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basso, M.; Cortes, J.A.; Marinovic, N

    2001-01-01

    U-Pb geochronological evidence of a Middle to Late Triassic volcanic event was found in the coastal region of Antofagasta, northern Chile (23 o -23 o 30 ). Two new ages were obtained from rhyolitic tuffs and an associated dome, which have classically been attributed to the Jurassic La Negra Formation (au)

  2. Laser sources for object illumination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albrecht, G.F. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)

    1994-11-15

    The considerations which formulate the specifications for a laser illuminator are explained, using the example of an underwater object. Depending on the parameters which define the scenario, widely varying laser requirements result.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. The Triassic dicynodont Kombuisia (Synapsida, Anomodontia) from Antarctica, a refuge from the terrestrial Permian-Triassic mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröbisch, Jörg; Angielczyk, Kenneth D; Sidor, Christian A

    2010-02-01

    Fossils from the central Transantarctic Mountains in Antarctica are referred to a new species of the Triassic genus Kombuisia, one of four dicynodont lineages known to survive the end-Permian mass extinction. The specimens show a unique combination of characters only present in this genus, but the new species can be distinguished from the type species of the genus, Kombuisia frerensis, by the presence of a reduced but slit-like pineal foramen and the lack of contact between the postorbitals. Although incomplete, the Antarctic specimens are significant because Kombuisia was previously known only from the South African Karoo Basin and the new specimens extend the taxon's biogeographic range to a wider portion of southern Pangaea. In addition, the new finds extend the known stratigraphic range of Kombuisia from the Middle Triassic subzone B of the Cynognathus Assemblage Zone into rocks that are equivalent in age to the Lower Triassic Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone, shortening the proposed ghost lineage of this taxon. Most importantly, the occurrence of Kombuisia and Lystrosaurus mccaigi in the Lower Triassic of Antarctica suggests that this area served as a refuge from some of the effects of the end-Permian extinction. The composition of the lower Fremouw Formation fauna implies a community structure similar to that of the ecologically anomalous Lystrosaurus Assemblage Zone of South Africa, providing additional evidence for widespread ecological disturbance in the extinction's aftermath.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-04

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sander, P. Martin

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Conodont zonation of Lower Triassic strata in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tea Kolar-Jurkovšek

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of a conodont study carried out in the Triassic strata in the area of the Slovenian part of the Southern Alps, External Dinarides and the Transition region between the External and Internal Dinarides. The following conodont zones have been distinguished: Hindeodus praeparvus Z., H. parvus Z., Isarcicella lobata Z., I. staeschei – I. isarcica Z., H. postparvus Z., Hadrodontina aequabilis Z., Ha. anceps Z., Eurygnathodus costatus Z., Neospathodus planus Z., N. robustus Z., Platyvillosus corniger Z., Pl. regularis Z., Pachycladina obliqua Z., Foliella gardenae Z., Triassospathodus hungaricus Z., T. symmetricus Z., N. robustispinus - T. homeri Z. and T. triangularis Z. The introduced conodont zonation spans from the Induan, including the Permian-Triassic boundary interval to the late Olenekian and is valid for the shallow shelf environments of western Tethys.

  17. Early Triassic marine biotic recovery: the predators' perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Romano, Carlo; Jenks, Jim; Bucher, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian) in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles) to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates) for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became apparent.

  18. Early Triassic marine biotic recovery: the predators' perspective.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten M Scheyer

    Full Text Available Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became

  19. NEW TRIASSIC ASTEROIDEA (ECHINODERMATA SPECIMENS AND THEIR EVOLUTIONARY SIGNIFICANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DANIEL B. BLAKE

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The Paleozoic-Mesozoic transition saw the disappearance of asteroid stem groups and the ascent of the crown group, but late Paleozoic and Triassic asteroids are rare and transition events are poorly documented. Three new Middle and Late Triassic specimens augment existing data; included are a specimen of Trichasteropsis weissmanni from Germany, a specimen of Trichasteropsis? sp. indet. from Italy, and a possible member of the extant Poraniidae from Slovenia. Presence of a small ossicle at the interbrachial midline and adjacent to the marginal series of the new T. weissmanni specimen is consistent with similar expressions not only of other trichasteropsids but also occurrence of two interbrachial ossicles in Paleozoic, stem-group asterozoans; presence is in turn consistent with a hypothesis of derivation of the axillary/odontophore coupling from two ossicles rather than direct derivation of the crown-group odontophore from a single stem-group axillary. Morphology of Trichasteropsis? sp. indet., including, for example, the evenly-tapering arms are reminiscent of those of diverse crown-group asteroids whereas the enlarged distal arms of T. weissmanni are unique, the morphology of T? sp. indet. thereby potentially indicative of a plesiomorphic, stemward positioning within the Trichasteropsiidae. The range of the Poraniidae is tentatively extended to the Carnian. Similarities shared by the Poraniidae and the Trichasteropsiidae suggest stemward positioning within crown-group diversification; however, known Triassic fossils do not appear closely related to extant taxa identified in recent molecular studies as basal within the crown-group. A temperate climate is suggested as preferred by the Triassic asteroids rather than a tropical, warmer one.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-12

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

  1. 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

  2. Dinosaur Metabolism and the Allometry of Maximum Growth Rate

    OpenAIRE

    Myhrvold, Nathan P.

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Low beta diversity of Maastrichtian dinosaurs of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. Testing the effect of the rock record on diversity: a multidisciplinary approach to elucidating the generic richness of sauropodomorph dinosaurs through time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannion, Philip D; Upchurch, Paul; Carrano, Matthew T; Barrett, Paul M

    2011-02-01

    The accurate reconstruction of palaeobiodiversity patterns is central to a detailed understanding of the macroevolutionary history of a group of organisms. However, there is increasing evidence that diversity patterns observed directly from the fossil record are strongly influenced by fluctuations in the quality of our sampling of the rock record; thus, any patterns we see may reflect sampling biases, rather than genuine biological signals. Previous dinosaur diversity studies have suggested that fluctuations in sauropodomorph palaeobiodiversity reflect genuine biological signals, in comparison to theropods and ornithischians whose diversity seems to be largely controlled by the rock record. Most previous diversity analyses that have attempted to take into account the effects of sampling biases have used only a single method or proxy: here we use a number of techniques in order to elucidate diversity. A global database of all known sauropodomorph body fossil occurrences (2024) was constructed. A taxic diversity curve for all valid sauropodomorph genera was extracted from this database and compared statistically with several sampling proxies (rock outcrop area and dinosaur-bearing formations and collections), each of which captures a different aspect of fossil record sampling. Phylogenetic diversity estimates, residuals and sample-based rarefaction (including the first attempt to capture 'cryptic' diversity in dinosaurs) were implemented to investigate further the effects of sampling. After 'removal' of biases, sauropodomorph diversity appears to be genuinely high in the Norian, Pliensbachian-Toarcian, Bathonian-Callovian and Kimmeridgian-Tithonian (with a small peak in the Aptian), whereas low diversity levels are recorded for the Oxfordian and Berriasian-Barremian, with the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary seemingly representing a real diversity trough. Observed diversity in the remaining Triassic-Jurassic stages appears to be largely driven by sampling effort. Late

  14. 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

    A new ichnospecies of a large theropod dinosaur, Megalosauripus transjuranicus, is described from the Reuchenette Formation (Early-Late Kimmeridgian, Late Jurassic) of NW Switzerland. It is based on very well-preserved and morphologically-distinct tracks (impressions) and several trackways, including different preservational types from different tracksites and horizons. All trackways were excavated along federal Highway A16 near Courtedoux (Canton Jura) and systematically documented in the field including orthophotos and laserscans. The best-preserved tracks were recovered and additional tracks were casted. Megalosauripus transjuranicus is characterized by tridactyl tracks with clear claw and digital pad impressions, and notably an exceptionally large and round first phalangeal pad on the fourth digit (PIV1) that is connected to digit IV and forms the round heel area. Due to this combination of features, M. transjuranicus clearly is of theropod (and not ornithopod) origin. M. transjuranicus is compared to other Megalosauripus tracks and similar ichnotaxa and other unassigned tracks from the Early Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. It is clearly different from other ichnogenera assigned to large theropods such as Eubrontes-Grallator from the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic or Megalosauripus-Megalosauropus-Bueckeburgichnus and Therangospodus tracks from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. A second tridactyl morphotype (called Morphotype II) is different from Megalosauripus transjuranicus in being subsymmetric, longer than wide (sometimes almost as wide as long), with blunt toe impressions and no evidence for discrete phalangeal pad and claw marks. Some Morphotype II tracks are found in trackways that are assigned to M. transjuranicus, to M.? transjuranicus or M. cf. transjuranicus indicating that some Morphotype II tracks are intra-trackway preservational variants of a morphological continuum of Megalosauripus transjuranicus. On the other hand, several up to 40 steps

  15. Laser illuminated flat panel display

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Veligdan, J.T.

    1995-12-31

    A 10 inch laser illuminated flat panel Planar Optic Display (POD) screen has been constructed and tested. This POD screen technology is an entirely new concept in display technology. Although the initial display is flat and made of glass, this technology lends itself to applications where a plastic display might be wrapped around the viewer. The display screen is comprised of hundreds of planar optical waveguides where each glass waveguide represents a vertical line of resolution. A black cladding layer, having a lower index of refraction, is placed between each waveguide layer. Since the cladding makes the screen surface black, the contrast is high. The prototype display is 9 inches wide by 5 inches high and approximately I inch thick. A 3 milliwatt HeNe laser is used as the illumination source and a vector scanning technique is employed.

  16. Tolerancing a lens for LED uniform illumination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Jieun; Sasian, Jose

    2017-08-01

    A method to evaluate tolerance sensitivities for lenses used to produce uniform illumination is presented. Closed form surfaces are used to define optical surfaces and relative illumination is calculated from light etendue considerations.

  17. Vegetation history across the Permian-Triassic boundary in Pakistan (Amb section, Salt Range)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schneebeli-Hermann, E.; Kurschner, W.M.; Kerp, H.; Bomfleur, B.; Hochuli, P.A.; Bucher, H.; Ware, D.; Roohi, G.

    2015-01-01

    Hypotheses about the Permian–Triassic floral turnover range from a catastrophic extinction of terrestrial plant communities to a gradual change in floral composition punctuated by intervals indicating dramatic changes in the plant communities. The shallow marine Permian–Triassic succession in the

  18. Triassic arc-derived detritus in the Triassic Karakaya accretionary complex was not derived from either the S Eurasian margin (Istanbul terrane) or the N Gondwana margin (Taurides)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustaömer, Timur; Ayda Ustaömer, Petek; Robertson, Alastair H. F.; Gerdes, Axel; Zulauf, Gernold

    2014-05-01

    We present new U-Pb zircon source age data for Upper Triassic sandstones of the Istanbul Terrane (S Eurasian margin) and also for Triassic sandstones of the Taurides (N Gondwana margin). The main aim is to detect and quantify the contribution of Triassic magmatism as detritus to either of these crustal blocks. This follows the recent discovery of a Triassic magmatic arc source for the Triassic sandstones of the Palaeotethyan Karakaya subduction-accretion complex (Ustaömer et al. 2013; this meeting). Carboniferous (Variscan) zircon grains also form a significant detrital population, plus several more minor populations. Six sandstone samples were studied, two from the İstanbul Terrane (Bakırlıkıran Formation of the Kocaeli Triassic Basin) and four from the Tauride Autochthon (latest Triassic Üzümdere Formation and Mid-Triassic Kasımlar Formations; Beyşehir region). Detrital zircon grains were dated by the laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS) U-Pb method at Goethe University, Frankfurt. Our results do not reveal Triassic detritus in the Üzümdere Formation. The U-Pb age of the analysed zircon grains ranges from 267 Ma to 3.2 Ga. A small fraction of Palaeozoic zircons are Permian (267 to 296 Ma), whereas the remainder are Early Palaeozoic. Ordovician grains (4%) form two age clusters, one at ca. 450 Ma and the other at ca. 474 Ma. Cambrian-aged grains dominate the zircon population, while the second largest population is Ediacaran (576 to 642 Ma). Smaller populations occur at 909-997 Ma, 827-839 Ma, 1.8-2.0 Ga and 2.4-2.6 Ga. The sandstones of the Kasımlar Formation have similar zircon age cluster to those of the somewhat younger Üzümdere Formation, ranging from 239 Ma to 2.9 Ga. A few grains gave Anisian ages. Cambrian zircon grains are less pronounced than in the Kasımlar Formation compared to the Üzümdere Formation. The detrital zircon record of Tauride sandstones, therefore, not indicates significant contribution

  19. Paleomagnetism and magnetic fabric of the Triassic rocks from Spitsbergen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudzisz, K.; Szaniawski, R.; Michalski, K.; Manby, G.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the origin and directions of the natural remanent magnetization and the tectonic deformation pattern reflected in magnetic fabric is of importance for investigation of the West Spitsbergen Fold and Thrust Belt (WSFTB) and its foreland. Previous research carried out on Triassic rocks from the study area concluded that these rocks record a composite magnetization of both, normal and reverse polarity, consisting of a primary Triassic remanence that is overlapped by a secondary post-folding component. Standard paleomagnetic procedures were conducted in order to determine the remanence components and a low-field AMS was applied to assess the degree and pattern of deformation. The AMS results from the WSFTB reveal a magnetic foliation that parallels the bedding planes and a dominantly NNW-SSE oriented magnetic lineation that is sub-parallel to the regional fold axial trend. These results imply a low to moderate degree of deformation and a maximum strain orientation parallel to that of the fold belt. These data are consistent with an orthogonal convergence model for the WSFTB formation. In turn, the magnetic fabric on the undeformed foreland displays a distinct NNE-SSW orientation that we attribute to the paleocurrent direction. Rock-magnetic analyses reveal that the dominant ferrimagnetic carriers are magnetite and titanomagnetite. The Triassic rocks are characterised by complicated NRM patterns often with overlapping unblocking temperature spectra of particular components. The dominant magnetisation is characterised, however, by a steep inclination of 70-80º. The derived paleomagnetic direction from the WSFTB falls on the Jurassic - recent sector of the apparent polar wander path (APWP) of Baltica after tectonic unfolding. These data imply that at least some of the identified secondary components could have originated before the Eurekan folding event (K/Pg), for example, in Early Cretaceous time which corresponds to the period of rifting events on Barents

  20. Illumination influences working memory: an EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jin Young; Min, Byoung-Kyong; Jung, Young-Chul; Pak, Hyensou; Jeong, Yeon-Hong; Kim, Eosu

    2013-09-05

    Illumination conditions appear to influence working efficacy in everyday life. In the present study, we obtained electroencephalogram (EEG) correlates of working-memory load, and investigated how these waveforms are modulated by illumination conditions. We hypothesized that illumination conditions may affect cognitive performance. We designed an EEG study to monitor and record participants' EEG during the Sternberg working memory task under four different illumination conditions. Illumination conditions were generated with a factorial design of two color-temperatures (3000 and 7100 K) by two illuminance levels (150 and 700 lx). During a working memory task, we observed that high illuminance led to significantly lower frontal EEG theta activity than did low illuminance. These differences persisted despite no significant difference in task performance between illumination conditions. We found that the latency of an early event-related potential component, such as N1, was significantly modulated by the illumination condition. The fact that the illumination condition affects brain activity but not behavioral performance suggests that the lighting conditions used in the present study did not influence the performance stage of behavioral processing. Nevertheless, our findings provide objective evidence that illumination conditions modulate brain activity. Further studies are necessary to refine the optimal lighting parameters for facilitating working memory. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Discovery of a Triassic magmatic arc source for the Permo-Triassic Karakaya subduction complex, NW Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayda Ustaömer, Petek; Ustaömer, Timur; Gerdes, Axel; Robertson, Alastair H. F.; Zulauf, Gernold

    2014-05-01

    The Permo-Triassic Karakaya Complex is well explained by northward subduction of Palaeotethys but until now no corresponding magmatic arc has been identified in the region. With the aim of determining the compositions and ages of the source units, ten sandstone samples were collected from the mappably distinct Ortaoba, Hodul, Kendirli and Orhanlar Units. Zircon grains were extracted from these sandstones and >1300 were dated by the U-Pb method and subsequently analysed for the Lu-Hf isotopic compositions by LA-MC-ICPMS at Goethe University, Frankfurt. The U-Pb-Hf isotope systematics are indicative of two different sediment provenances. The first, represented by the Ortaoba, Hodul and Kendirli Units, is dominated by igneous rocks of Triassic (250-220 Ma), Early Carboniferous-Early Permian (290-340 Ma) and Early to Mid-Devonian (385-400 Ma) ages. The second provenance, represented by the Orhanlar Unit, is indicative of derivation from a peri-Gondwanan terrane. In case of the first provenance, the Devonian and Carboniferous source rocks exibit intermediate eHf(t) values (-11 to -3), consistent with the formation at a continental margin where juvenile mantle-derived magmas mixed with (recycled) old crust having Palaeoproterozoic Hf model ages. In contrast, the Triassic arc magma exhibits higher eHf(t) values (-6 to +6), consistent with the mixing of juvenile mantle-derived melts with (recycled) old crust perhaps somewhat rejuvanated during the Cadomian period. We have therefore identified a Triassic magmatic arc as predicted by the interpretation of the Karakaya Complex as an accretionary complex related to northward subduction (Carboniferous and Devonian granites are already well documented in NW Turkey). Possible explanations for the lack of any outcrop of the source magmatic arc are that it was later subducted or the Karakaya Complex was displaced laterally from its source arc (both post 220 Ma). Strike-slip displacement (driven by oblique subduction?) can also

  2. Quantum Illumination with Noiseless Linear Amplifier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Sheng-Li; Wang -Kun; Guo Jian-Sheng; Shi Jian-Hong

    2015-01-01

    Quantum illumination, that is, quantum target detection, is to detect the potential target with two-mode quantum entangled state. For a given transmitted energy, the quantum illumination can achieve a target-detection probability of error much lower than the illumination scheme without entanglement. We investigate the usefulness of noiseless linear amplification (NLA) for quantum illumination. Our result shows that NLA can help to substantially reduce the number of quantum entangled states collected for joint measurement of multi-copy quantum state. Our analysis on the NLA-assisted scheme could help to develop more efficient schemes for quantum illumination. (paper)

  3. 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.

  4. MIDDLE TRIASSIC AUTOCLASTIC DEPOSITS FROM SOUTHWESTERN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duje Smirčić

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Middle Triassic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks have been recognized at several localities near Bosansko Grahovo, in southwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the External Dinarides. Peculiar types of autoclastic rocks were investigated. These are peperites and hyaloclastites. Regarding specific structures, mineral composition and micropetrographic characteristics it was possible to further differentiate hyaloclastites into in situ hyaloclastites and slightly resedimented hyaloclastites that represent genetic succession. All rock types occurred in a deep sea troughs that formed as a consequence of Middle Triassic extensional tectonic and rift related wrench faulting. In situ hyaloclastites and slightly resedimented hyaloclastites were formed due to quenching at the contact of lava effusions with sea water. Genesis of peperites is related to lava emplacement in unconsolidated water saturated lime mudstones that were deposited in deep sea basin. All investigated rock types represent first findings of autoclastic deposits in the External Dinarides. Biostratigraphic constraints achieved by means of conodont species Neogondolella excentrica, Paragondolella excelsa, Paragondolella trammeri and Gladigondolella tethydis indicate Late Anisian to Early Ladinian interval of the autoclastic deposits from Bosansko Grahovo.

  5. THE TRIASSIC/JURASSIC BOUNDARY IN THE ANDES OF ARGENTINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALBERTO C. RICCARDI

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available The Arroyo Malo Formation at Alumbre Creek, on the northern bank of the Atuel River, west central Argentina, comprises a c. 300 m thick continuous marine succession across the Triassic-Jurassic System boundary, consisting of massive and laminated pelites indicative of a slope depositional environment. Late Triassic invertebrates, including ammonoids, nautiloids, bivalves, gastropods, brachiopods and corals are restricted to the lower 150 m. Beds between 125-135 m from the bottom yield Choristoceras cf. marshi Hauer, a species found in the Marshi/Crickmayi Zone of Europe and North America, together with loose fragments of Psiloceras cf. pressum Hillebrandt, coeval with the lower to middle part of the Hettangian Planorbis Zone. About 80 m higher are beds yielding Psiloceras cf. rectocostatum Hillebrandt, a species that gives name to an Andean biozone partially coeval with the Johnstoni and Plicatulum Subzones, upper Planorbis Zone. Other fossils recorded in the Rhaetian strata of this section are foraminifers, ostracods and plant remains identified as Zuberia cf. zuberi (Szaj. Freng. and Clathropteris sp. The section was also sampled for conodonts and radiolarians, thus far with negative results. A palaeomagnetic study is underway.

  6. Triassic oils and related hydrocarbon kitchens in the Adriatic basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novelli, L.; Demaison, G. (AGIP, Milan (Italy))

    1988-08-01

    Without exception, the oils from both the Abruzzi basin and Albanian foredeep are of lower Liassic to Upper Triassic origin. This is demonstrated by biological marker-based correlations between the oils and stratigraphically controlled, carbonate-rich source rocks. The biomarker studies also provided proof to conclude that many of the oils possess low API gravities and high sulfur contents because they are immature rather than biodegraded. Following the geochemical investigations, a computer-aided, basinwise maturation simulation of the hydrocarbon kitchens was carried out, with backstripping in geologic time. The simulations, performed with the Tissot-Espitalie kinetic model, used basin-specific kerogen activation energies obtained by the optimum method. These simulated values were calibrated with observed values in deep wells. Two characteristics diverge from normal petroleum basin situations (e.g., the North Sea basin): sulfur-rich kerogens in the source rocks, featuring relatively low activation energy distributions, and low geothermal gradients in the subsurface. The geographic outlines of simulated Triassic-lower Liassic hydrocarbon kitchens closely coincide with the zones of petroleum occurrence and production in the Adriatic basin. Furthermore, API gravities of the oils are broadly predicted by the mathematical simulations. This methodology has once again shown its ability to rationally high-grade the petroleum-rich sectors of sedimentary basin while identifying those areas where chances of success are extremely low regardless of the presence of structures.

  7. MIDDLE TRIASSIC FORAMINIFERA FROM THE SECEDA CORE (DOLOMITES, NORTHERN ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FLORIAN MAURER

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available The assemblage of foraminifera in turbidite beds in Middle Triassic basinal deposits straddling the Anisian/Ladinian boundary interval was studied in 224 thin sections. The fauna consists mainly of shallow-water inhabitants, associated with calcareous hyaline foraminifera (Lagenina of open marine environment. Due to a well established  biostratigraphy in the studied interval, the first and last appearance of some shallow water, benthic foraminifera can be assigned to the Mid Triassic ammonoid stratigraphy. The species Meandrospira dinarica Kochansky-Devidè & Pantic and Arenovidalina chialingchiagensis Ho are limited to the Reitzi ammonoid zone. The species Variostoma alta Kristan and Hoyenella gr. sinensis both do not superate the Curionii zone in age in the studied succession.  The biostratigraphic most important event occurs at the base of the Gredleri zone,  with the appearance of the family Involutinidae Bütschli, represented by the genera Lamelliconus and Aulotortus. The faunal composition is similar to those of neighbouring paleoprovinces, but generally a lower faunistical diversification compared to foraminiferal assemblages in the Anisian or Carnian is observed.   

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Texture analyses of Sauropod dinosaur bones from Tendaguru

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Diffraction analysis of customized illumination technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Chang-Moon; Kim, Seo-Min; Eom, Tae-Seung; Moon, Seung Chan; Shin, Ki S.

    2004-05-01

    Various enhancement techniques such as alternating PSM, chrome-less phase lithography, double exposure, etc. have been considered as driving forces to lead the production k1 factor towards below 0.35. Among them, a layer specific optimization of illumination mode, so-called customized illumination technique receives deep attentions from lithographers recently. A new approach for illumination customization based on diffraction spectrum analysis is suggested in this paper. Illumination pupil is divided into various diffraction domains by comparing the similarity of the confined diffraction spectrum. Singular imaging property of individual diffraction domain makes it easier to build and understand the customized illumination shape. By comparing the goodness of image in each domain, it was possible to achieve the customized shape of illumination. With the help from this technique, it was found that the layout change would not gives the change in the shape of customized illumination mode.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott; Richards, Zachary

    2015-03-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Recovery vs. Restructuring: Establishing Ecologic Patterns in Early and Middle Triassic Paleocommunities (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraiser, M.; Dineen, A.; Sheehan, P.

    2013-12-01

    Published data has been interpreted as indicating that marine ecological devastation following the end-Permian mass extinction was protracted and may have lasted 5 million years into the Middle Triassic (Anisian). However, a review of previous literature shows that understanding of biotic recovery is typically based on only a few components of the ecosystem, such as on taxonomic diversity, a single genus/phylum, or facies. Typically, paleocommunities are considered fully recovered when dominance and diversity are regained and normal ecosystem functioning has resumed. However, in addition to the biodiversity crash at the end of the Permian, taxonomic and ecologic structure also changed,with the extinction marking the faunal shift from brachiopod-rich Paleozoic Evolutionary Fauna (EF) to the mollusc-rich Modern EF. This suggests that the extreme reorganizational nature of the Triassic does not adhere to the standard definition of recovery, which is a return to previous conditions. Thus, we propose the term 'restructuring' to describe this interval, as Early and Middle Triassic communities might not exhibit the typical characteristics of a 'normal' Permian one. To more fully characterize Triassic ecologic restructuring, paleoecologists should take into account functional diversity and redundancy. We quantified functional richness and regularity in four different paleocommunities from classic Permian and Triassic sections. Functional richness was low in paleocommunities after the end-Permian mass extinction, but increased to high levels by the Middle Triassic. In contrast, functional regularity was low in the Middle Permian, but high in all the Triassic paleocommunities. The change from low to high functional regularity/redundancy at the P/T boundary may be a factor of the highly stressful Triassic environmental conditions (i.e. anoxia, hypercapnia), as high regularity in a community can boost survival in harsh environments. Parameters such as these will more

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Chronology of Fluctuating Sea Levels since the Triassic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haq, Bilal U.; Hardenbol, Jan; Vail, Peter R.

    1987-03-01

    Advances in sequence stratigraphy and the development of depositional models have helped explain the origin of genetically related sedimentary packages during sea level cycles. These concepts have provided the basis for the recognition of sea level events in subsurface data and in outcrops of marine sediments around the world. Knowledge of these events has led to a new generation of Mesozoic and Cenozoic global cycle charts that chronicle the history of sea level fluctuations during the past 250 million years in greater detail than was possible from seismic-stratigraphic data alone. An effort has been made to develop a realistic and accurate time scale and widely applicable chronostratigraphy and to integrate depositional sequences documented in public domain outcrop sections from various basins with this chronostratigraphic frame-work. A description of this approach and an account of the results, illustrated by sea level cycle charts of the Cenozoic, Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic intervals, are presented.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. Real time global illumination using the GPU

    OpenAIRE

    Bengtsson, Morgan

    2010-01-01

    Global illumination is an important factor when striving for photo realism in computergraphics. This thesis describes why this is the case, and why global illumination is considered acomplex problem to solve. The problem becomes even more demanding when considering realtime purposes. Resent research has proven it possible to produce global illumination in realtime. Therefore the subject of this thesis is to compare and evaluate a number of those methods. An implementation is presented based o...

  9. Remagnetization mechanisms in Triassic red beds from South China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Zhaoxia; Liu, Qingsong; Dekkers, Mark J.; Zhao, Xiang; Roberts, Andrew P.; Yang, Zhenyu; Jin, Chunsheng; Liu, Jianxing

    2017-12-01

    Paleogeographic reconstructions based on paleomagnetic data rely on the reliability of the natural remanent magnetization (NRM) as a primary geomagnetic signal. Remagnetizations, however, can be common in many rock types, including late Paleozoic and Mesozoic red beds, and they complicate paleogeographic interpretations. Extracting the primary NRM from partially remagnetized rocks, and understanding the remagnetization mechanism are important in these contexts. We carried out a systematic paleomagnetic study of red bed samples from the Triassic Huangmaqing Formation, Nanjing (32.0°N, 118.9°E), South China. Two NRM components carried by secondary and primary hematite are isolated in 47 of the 94 samples studied, where the latter component has a direction in stratigraphic coordinates of D = 29.2 °, I = 34.6 ° (α95 = 10.9 °, 47 samples from 6 sites) that yields a paleopole of λ = 60.8°N, ϕ = 228.1°E, dp / dm = 12.5 / 7.2, which is consistent with Triassic pole positions for the South China Block. A secondary chemical remanent magnetization (CRM) (D = 227.1 °, I = 80.8 °, α95 = 7.3 °) is documented in all 94 samples from 10 sites and is carried by pigmentary hematite that is inferred to have been generated by magnetite oxidation during orogenic activity. This secondary component has steep inclinations and is interpreted to have been influenced by a combination of the remanence carried by original parent magnetite, the orogenic stress field, and the prevailing geomagnetic field direction during deformation. This CRM direction is recorded commonly by red beds from the South China Block, and is significant for regional tectonic studies in the area.

  10. Astrochronology and magnetostratigraphy of the Xujiahe Formation of South China and Newark Supergroup of North America: implications for the Late Triassic time scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, M.; Zhang, Y.; Huang, C.; Ogg, J. G.; Hinnov, L.; Wang, Y.; Zou, Z.; Li, L.; Grasby, S. E.; Zhong, Y.; Huang, K.

    2017-12-01

    The astrochronology derived from lacustrine clastic successions tied to the geomagnetic polarity time scale of the Newark Supergroup of eastern North America, known as the Newark APTS provides a basis for the Late Triassic time scale. However, the Newark APTS has been challenged regarding its age scale and completeness; therefore an independent astronomically tuned magnetic polarity zonation is required to verify the upper Newark APTS reference scale. We have compiled a 6.5 million year (myr) APTS with magnetic stratigraphy from four sections of the lacustrine-fluvial, dinosaur-track-bearing Xujiahe Formation in the Sichuan Basin of South China that has dating from detrital zircons and regional biostratigraphy. Variations in natural gamma-ray and magnetic susceptibility that reflect variable continental weathering in the source regions of the Xujiahe Formation are paced by Milankovitch cycles, especially the 100-kyr short eccentricity and 405-kyr long eccentricity. The cycle-tuned magnetostratigraphy of the Xujiahe Formation is compared directly via the magnetic-polarity zones to the depth ranks of the Newark Supergroup that are indicative of relative depositional depths of lacustrine facies. The Sichuan APTS indicates that there is no significant hiatus between the sedimentary succession and the basalt flows at the top of the Newark Supergroup. The Sichuan APTS is compatible with the magnetostratigraphy from the candidate Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Norian-Rhaetian boundary interval at the Pignola-Abriola section of South Italy, but does not extend downward to the proposed GSSP in Austria associated with the longer Rhaetian option. The earliest dinosaur tracks in China are from the middle of the Xujiahe Formation, therefore are implied to be middle Rhaetian in age. The Sichuan APTS helps to resolve the controversy about the completeness and reliability of the Newark APTS, and can be used in the future to verify if isotopic

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

    OpenAIRE

    Seymour, Roger S.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Moessbauer effect study of the diagenesis on the southern Brazilian Triassic paleoherpetofauna

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Da Costa, M.I. Jr.; Holz, M.; Schultz, C.L.

    1994-01-01

    Moessbauer spectroscopy is applied to identify the iron contents of bony elements of southern Brazilian Triassic reptile remains, and the question of the paragenetic mineral assemblage is discussed. (orig.)

  20. Resetting the evolution of marine reptiles at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Philippa M; Ruta, Marcello; Benton, Michael J

    2011-05-17

    Ichthyosaurs were important marine predators in the Early Jurassic, and an abundant and diverse component of Mesozoic marine ecosystems. Despite their ecological importance, however, the Early Jurassic species represent a reduced remnant of their former significance in the Triassic. Ichthyosaurs passed through an evolutionary bottleneck at, or close to, the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, which reduced their diversity to as few as three or four lineages. Diversity bounced back to some extent in the aftermath of the end-Triassic mass extinction, but disparity remained at less than one-tenth of pre-extinction levels, and never recovered. The group remained at low diversity and disparity for its final 100 Myr. The end-Triassic mass extinction had a previously unsuspected profound effect in resetting the evolution of apex marine predators of the Mesozoic.

  1. The first Triassic dipteran (Insecta) from South America, with review of Hennigmatidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, María Belén; Lukashevich, Elena D

    2013-01-01

    The first Triassic dipteran from South America is described based on an isolated wing from the lower Upper Triassic deposits of Argentina (Mendoza Province, Potrerillos Formation, Quebrada del Durazno locality). Trihennigma zavattierii gen. et sp. nov. is a member of the Mesozoic family Hennigmatidae, previously recorded only from Eurasia. A key for the genera and species of Hennigmatidae is provided and systematic position of the taxa is discussed.

  2. The terminal Permian in European Russia: Vyaznikovian Horizon, Nedubrovo Member, and Permian-Triassic boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozovsky, V. R.; Balabanov, Yu. P.; Karasev, E. V.; Novikov, I. V.; Ponomarenko, A. G.; Yaroshenko, O. P.

    2016-07-01

    The comprehensive analysis of the data obtained on terrestrial vertebrata, ostracods, entomologic fauna, megaflora, and microflora in deposits of the Vyaznikovian Horizon and Nedubrovo Member, as well as the paleomagnetic data measured in enclosing rocks, confirms heterogeneity of these deposits. Accordingly, it is necessary to distinguish these two stratons in the terminal Permian of the East European Platform. The combined sequence of Triassic-Permian boundary deposits in the Moscow Syneclise, which is considered to be the most complete sequence in the East European Platform, is as follows (from bottom upward): Vyatkian deposits; Vyaznikovian Horizon, including Sokovka and Zhukovo members; Nedubrovo Member (Upper Permian); Astashikha and Ryabi members of the Vokhmian Horizon (Lower Triassic). None of the sequences of Permian-Triassic boundary deposits known in the area of study characterizes this sequence in full volume. In the north, the Triassic deposits are underlain by the Nedubrovo Member; in the south (the Klyazma River basin), the sections are underlain by the Vyaznikovian Horizon. The Permian-Triassic boundary adopted in the General Stratigraphic Scale of Russia for continental deposits of the East European platform (the lower boundary of the Astashikha Member) is more ancient than the one adopted in the International Stratigraphic Chart. The same geological situation is observed in the German Basin and other localities where Triassic continental deposits are developed. The ways of solving this problem are discussed in this article.

  3. Early archosauromorph remains from the Permo-Triassic Buena Vista Formation of north-eastern Uruguay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín D. Ezcurra

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The Permo-Triassic archosauromorph record is crucial to understand the impact of the Permo-Triassic mass extinction on the early evolution of the group and its subsequent dominance in Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems. However, the Permo-Triassic archosauromorph record is still very poor in most continents and hampers the identification of global macroevolutionary patterns. Here we describe cranial and postcranial bones from the Permo-Triassic Buena Vista Formation of northeastern Uruguay that contribute to increase the meagre early archosauromorph record from South America. A basioccipital fused to both partial exoccipitals and three cervical vertebrae are assigned to Archosauromorpha based on apomorphies or a unique combination of characters. The archosauromorph remains of the Buena Vista Formation probably represent a multi-taxonomic assemblage composed of non-archosauriform archosauromorphs and a ‘proterosuchid-grade’ animal. This assemblage does not contribute in the discussion of a Late Permian or Early Triassic age for the Buena Vista Formation, but reinforces the broad palaeobiogeographic distribution of ‘proterosuchid grade’ diapsids in Permo-Triassic beds worldwide.

  4. Early archosauromorph remains from the Permo-Triassic Buena Vista Formation of north-eastern Uruguay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezcurra, Martín D; Velozo, Pablo; Meneghel, Melitta; Piñeiro, Graciela

    2015-01-01

    The Permo-Triassic archosauromorph record is crucial to understand the impact of the Permo-Triassic mass extinction on the early evolution of the group and its subsequent dominance in Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems. However, the Permo-Triassic archosauromorph record is still very poor in most continents and hampers the identification of global macroevolutionary patterns. Here we describe cranial and postcranial bones from the Permo-Triassic Buena Vista Formation of northeastern Uruguay that contribute to increase the meagre early archosauromorph record from South America. A basioccipital fused to both partial exoccipitals and three cervical vertebrae are assigned to Archosauromorpha based on apomorphies or a unique combination of characters. The archosauromorph remains of the Buena Vista Formation probably represent a multi-taxonomic assemblage composed of non-archosauriform archosauromorphs and a 'proterosuchid-grade' animal. This assemblage does not contribute in the discussion of a Late Permian or Early Triassic age for the Buena Vista Formation, but reinforces the broad palaeobiogeographic distribution of 'proterosuchid grade' diapsids in Permo-Triassic beds worldwide.

  5. Illumination correction in psoriasis lesions images

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maletti, Gabriela Mariel; Ersbøll, Bjarne Kjær

    2003-01-01

    An approach to automatically correct illumination problems in dermatological images is presented. The illumination function is estimated after combining the thematic map indicating skin-produced by an automated classification scheme- with the dermatological image data. The user is only required t...

  6. Weld pool visual sensing without external illumination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Jinchao; Fan, Zhun; Olsen, Soren Ingvor

    2011-01-01

    Visual sensing in arc welding has become more and more important, but still remains challenging because of the harsh environment with extremely strong illumination from the arc. This paper presents a low-cost camera-based sensor system, without using external Illumination, but nevertheless able...

  7. Anisotropic Density Estimation in Global Illumination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schjøth, Lars

    2009-01-01

    Density estimation employed in multi-pass global illumination algorithms gives cause to a trade-off problem between bias and noise. The problem is seen most evident as blurring of strong illumination features. This thesis addresses the problem, presenting four methods that reduce both noise...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brecher, K.

    1997-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Chromatic illumination discrimination ability reveals that human colour constancy is optimised for blue daylight illuminations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Pearce

    Full Text Available The phenomenon of colour constancy in human visual perception keeps surface colours constant, despite changes in their reflected light due to changing illumination. Although colour constancy has evolved under a constrained subset of illuminations, it is unknown whether its underlying mechanisms, thought to involve multiple components from retina to cortex, are optimised for particular environmental variations. Here we demonstrate a new method for investigating colour constancy using illumination matching in real scenes which, unlike previous methods using surface matching and simulated scenes, allows testing of multiple, real illuminations. We use real scenes consisting of solid familiar or unfamiliar objects against uniform or variegated backgrounds and compare discrimination performance for typical illuminations from the daylight chromaticity locus (approximately blue-yellow and atypical spectra from an orthogonal locus (approximately red-green, at correlated colour temperature 6700 K, all produced in real time by a 10-channel LED illuminator. We find that discrimination of illumination changes is poorer along the daylight locus than the atypical locus, and is poorest particularly for bluer illumination changes, demonstrating conversely that surface colour constancy is best for blue daylight illuminations. Illumination discrimination is also enhanced, and therefore colour constancy diminished, for uniform backgrounds, irrespective of the object type. These results are not explained by statistical properties of the scene signal changes at the retinal level. We conclude that high-level mechanisms of colour constancy are biased for the blue daylight illuminations and variegated backgrounds to which the human visual system has typically been exposed.

  14. Discovery of Early Triassic conodonts in western Gangdisê and the establishment of the Tangnale Formation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG; YouYe; XU; RongKe; WANG; ChengYuan; MA; GuoTao; LAI; XuLong; YE; DeJin; CAO; Liang; LIANG; JiWei

    2007-01-01

    Most geologists believe that there are no Early and Middle Triassic strata in the W. Gandisê stratigraphic subregion, but the present authors have found Early Triassic conodonts for the first time in the Shiquanhe area, including five conodonts genera (Form genera): Pachycladina, Neohindeodella, Cornudina, Hadrodontina and Hibbardella sp. etc. Then we affirm that Early Triassic deposits exist in the Gandisê stratigraphic subregion, and establish the Tangnale Formation. The conclusion is new important complementary basal data for Triassic stratigraphy division of Gangdisê, reconstructing palaogeography and studying Gangdisê from Paleozoic to Mesozoic island-arc evolution and transition.

  15. Optical design applications for enhanced illumination performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilray, Carl; Lewin, Ian

    1995-08-01

    Nonimaging optical design techniques have been applied in the illumination industry for many years. Recently however, powerful software has been developed which allows accurate simulation and optimization of illumination devices. Wide experience has been obtained in using such design techniques for practical situations. These include automotive lighting where safety is of greatest importance, commercial lighting systems designed for energy efficiency, and numerous specialized applications. This presentation will discuss the performance requirements of a variety of illumination devices. It will further cover design methodology and present a variety of examples of practical applications for enhanced system performance.

  16. Isotopic evidence bearing on Late Triassic extinction events, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, and implications for the duration and cause of the Triassic/Jurassic mass extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, P.D.; Garrison, G.H.; Haggart, J.W.; Kring, D.A.; Beattie, M.J.

    2004-01-01

    Stable isotope analyses of Late Triassic to earliest Jurassic strata from Kennecott Point in the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada shows the presence of two distinct and different organic carbon isotope anomalies at the Norian/Rhaetian and Rhaetian/Hettangian (=Triassic/Jurassic) stage boundaries. At the older of these boundaries, which is marked by the disappearance of the bivalve Monotis, the isotope record shows a series of short-lived positive excursions toward heavier values. Strata approaching this boundary show evidence of increasing anoxia. At the higher boundary, marked by the disappearance of the last remaining Triassic ammonites and over 50 species of radiolarians, the isotopic pattern consists of a series of short duration negative anomalies. The two events, separated by the duration of the Rhaetian age, comprise the end-Triassic mass extinction. While there is no definitive evidence as to cause, the isotopic record does not appear similar to that of the impact-caused Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary extinction. ?? 2004 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Triassic marine reptiles gave birth to live young.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yen-Nien; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Ji, Qiang

    2004-11-18

    Sauropterygians form the largest and most diverse group of ancient marine reptiles that lived throughout nearly the entire Mesozoic era (from 250 to 65 million years ago). Although thousands of specimens of this group have been collected around the world since the description of the first plesiosaur in 1821 (ref. 3), no direct evidence has been found to determine whether any sauropterygians came on shore to lay eggs (oviparity) like sea turtles, or gave birth in the water to live young (viviparity) as ichthyosaurs and mosasauroids (marine lizards) did. Viviparity has been proposed for plesiosaur, pachypleurosaur and nothosaur sauropterygians, but until now no concrete evidence has been advanced. Here we report two gravid specimens of Keichousaurus hui Young from the Middle Triassic of China. These exquisitely preserved specimens not only provide the first unequivocal evidence of reproductive mode and sexual dimorphism in sauropterygians, but also indicate that viviparity could have been expedited by the evolution of a movable pelvis in pachypleurosaurs. By extension, this has implications for the reproductive pattern of other sauropterygians and Mesozoic marine reptiles that possessed a movable pelvis.

  18. Ocean redox change at the Permian-Triassic mass extinction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruhl, Micha; Bjerrum, Christian J.; Canfield, Donald Eugene

    2013-01-01

    Earth’s history is marked by multiple events of ocean anoxia developing along continental margins and po¬tentially into the open ocean realm. These events of¬ten coincide with the emplacement of large igneous provinces (LIPs) on continents, major perturbations of global geochemical cycles and mar...... these oceanographic changes to similar observations for the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction and discuss environmental forcing, poten¬tially inherent to major volcanic events and leading to global environmental change and extinction...... ocean redox change over the largest mass extinction event in Earth history, at the Permian-Tri¬assic boundary (at ~252 Ma). This event is marked by a major perturbation in the global exogenic carbon cycle (and associated major negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE)), likely initiated by carbon...... (anoxic but not euxinic) coinciding with the main extinction event. Molybdenum enrichments, often indicative for freely available sulfide in the water-column, only occur dur¬ing the second phase of euxinia. This pattern of ocean redox-change in Svalbard direct¬ly reflects similar trends in Greenland...

  19. Osteology of the Late Triassic aetosaur Scutarx deltatylus (Archosauria: Pseudosuchia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William G. Parker

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Aetosaurians are some of the most common fossils collected from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of Arizona, especially at the Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO. Aetosaurians collected from lower levels of the park include Desmatosuchus spurensis, Paratypothorax, Adamanasuchus eisenhardtae, Calyptosuchus wellesi, and Scutarx deltatylus. Four partial skeletons collected from the park between 2002 and 2009 represent the holotype and referred specimens of Scutarx deltatylus. These specimens include much of the carapace, as well as the vertebral column, and shoulder and pelvic girdles, and a new naming convention proposed for osteoderms descriptions better differentiates portions of the carapace and ventral armor. A partial skull from the holotype specimen represents the first aetosaur skull recovered and described from Arizona since the 1930s. The key morphological feature distinguishing Scutarx deltatylus is the presence of a prominent, triangular boss located in the posteromedial corner of the dorsal surface of the dorsal paramedian osteoderms. Scutarx deltatylus can be distinguished from closely related forms Calyptosuchus wellesi and Adamanasuchus eisenhardtae not only morphologically, but also stratigraphically. Thus, Scutarx deltatylus is potentially an index taxon for the upper part of the Adamanian biozone.

  20. An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chun; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Rieppel, Olivier; Wang, Li-Ting; Zhao, Li-Jun

    2008-11-27

    The origin of the turtle body plan remains one of the great mysteries of reptile evolution. The anatomy of turtles is highly derived, which renders it difficult to establish the relationships of turtles with other groups of reptiles. The oldest known turtle, Proganochelys from the Late Triassic period of Germany, has a fully formed shell and offers no clue as to its origin. Here we describe a new 220-million-year-old turtle from China, somewhat older than Proganochelys, that documents an intermediate step in the evolution of the shell and associated structures. A ventral plastron is fully developed, but the dorsal carapace consists of neural plates only. The dorsal ribs are expanded, and osteoderms are absent. The new species shows that the plastron evolved before the carapace and that the first step of carapace formation is the ossification of the neural plates coupled with a broadening of the ribs. This corresponds to early embryonic stages of carapace formation in extant turtles, and shows that the turtle shell is not derived from a fusion of osteoderms. Phylogenetic analysis places the new species basal to all known turtles, fossil and extant. The marine deposits that yielded the fossils indicate that this primitive turtle inhabited marginal areas of the sea or river deltas.

  1. A new archosauriform (Reptilia: Diapsida) from the Manda beds (Middle Triassic) of southwestern Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbitt, Sterling J; Butler, Richard J; Gower, David J

    2013-01-01

    Archosauria and their closest relatives, the non-archosaurian archosauriforms, diversified in the Early and Middle Triassic, soon after the end-Permian extinction. This diversification is poorly documented in most Lower and Middle Triassic rock sequences because fossils of early groups of archosauriforms are relatively rare compared to those of other amniotes. The early Middle Triassic (? late Anisian) Manda beds of southwestern Tanzania form an exception, with early archosaur skeletons being relatively common and preserved as articulated or associated specimens. The Manda archosaur assemblage is exceptionally diverse for the Middle Triassic. However, to date, no non-archosaurian archosauriforms have been reported from these rocks. Here, we name a new taxon, Asperoris mnyama gen. et sp. nov., from the Manda beds and thoroughly describe the only known specimen. The specimen consists of a well-preserved partial skull including tooth-bearing elements (premaxilla, maxilla), the nasal, partial skull roof, and several incomplete elements. All skull elements are covered in an autapomorphic highly rugose sculpturing. A unique combination of character states indicates that A. mnyama lies just outside Archosauria as a stem archosaur within Archosauriformes, but more precise relationships of A. mnyama relative to other early archosauriform clades (e.g., Erythrosuchidae) cannot be determined currently. Asperoris mnyama is the first confirmed non-archosaurian archosauriform from the Manda beds and increases the morphological and taxonomic diversity of early archosauriforms known from the Middle Triassic. The direct association of A. mnyama with species referable to Archosauria demonstrates that non-archosaurian archosauriforms were present during the rise and early diversification of Archosauria. Non-archosaurian archosauriforms and archosaurs co-occur in fossil reptile assemblages across Pangaea from the late Early Triassic to the end of the Late Triassic.

  2. The Middle Triassic insect radiation revealed by isotopic age and iconic fossils from NW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Daran; Chang, Su-Chin; Wang, He; Fang, Yan; Wang, Jun; Feng, Chongqing; Xie, Guwei; Jarzembowski, Edmund A.; Zhang, Haichun; Wang, Bo

    2017-04-01

    Following the end-Permian mass extinction, the Triassic represented an important period witnessing the recovery and radiation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Terrestrial plants and vertebrates have been widely investigated; however the insects, the most diverse organisms on earth, remain enigmatic due to the rarity of Early-Middle Triassic fossils. Here we report new fossils from a Ladinian deposit dated at 238-237 Ma and a Carnian deposit in northwestern China, including the earliest definite caddisfly cases (Trichoptera) and water boatmen (Hemiptera), diverse polyphagan beetles (Coleoptera) and scorpionflies (Mecoptera). Our findings suggest that the Holometabola, comprising the majority of modern-day insect species, experienced an extraordinary diversification in the Middle Triassic and was already been dominant in some Middle and Late Triassic insect faunas, after the extinction of several ecologically dominant, Paleozoic insect groups in the latest Permian and earliest Triassic. This turnover is perhaps related to notable episodes of extreme warming and drying, leading to the eventual demise of coal-swamp ecosystems, evidenced by floral turnover during this interval. The forest revival during the Middle Triassic probably stimulated the rapid radiation and evolution of insects including some key aquatic lineages which built new associations that persist to the present day. Our results provide not only new insights into the early evolution of insect diversity and ecology, but also robust evidence for the view that the Triassic is the "Dawn of the Modern World". Besides, LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating initially gave a late Ladinian age for the Tongchuan entomnfauna after the results: 237.41 ± 0.91 Ma and 238 ± 0.97 Ma. The age is in agreement with that of the marine Ladinian-Carnian boundary, representing a novel age constraint for the terrestrial strata near this boundary. This age can provide a calibration for marine and terrestrial correlation near Ladinian

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Color constancy by characterization of illumination chromaticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikkanen, Jarno T.

    2011-05-01

    Computational color constancy algorithms play a key role in achieving desired color reproduction in digital cameras. Failure to estimate illumination chromaticity correctly will result in invalid overall colour cast in the image that will be easily detected by human observers. A new algorithm is presented for computational color constancy. Low computational complexity and low memory requirement make the algorithm suitable for resource-limited camera devices, such as consumer digital cameras and camera phones. Operation of the algorithm relies on characterization of the range of possible illumination chromaticities in terms of camera sensor response. The fact that only illumination chromaticity is characterized instead of the full color gamut, for example, increases robustness against variations in sensor characteristics and against failure of diagonal model of illumination change. Multiple databases are used in order to demonstrate the good performance of the algorithm in comparison to the state-of-the-art color constancy algorithms.

  6. Iterative Adaptive Sampling For Accurate Direct Illumination

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Donikian, Michael

    2004-01-01

    This thesis introduces a new multipass algorithm, Iterative Adaptive Sampling, for efficiently computing the direct illumination in scenes with many lights, including area lights that cause realistic soft shadows...

  7. Catalyzed reactions at illuminated semiconductor interfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wrighton, M.S.

    1984-01-01

    Many desirable minority carrier chemical redox processes are too slow to compete with e - -h + recombination at illuminated semiconductor/liquid electrolyte junction interfaces. Reductions of H 2 O to H 2 or CO 2 to compounds having C--H bonds are too slow to compete with e - -h + recombination at illuminated p-type semiconductors, for example. Approaches to improve the rate of the desired processes involving surface modification techniques are described. Photoanodes are plagued by the additional problem of oxidative decomposition under illumination with > or =E/sub g/ illumination. The photo-oxidation of Cl - , Br - , and H 2 O is considered to illustrate the concepts involved. Proof of concept experiments establish that catalysis can be effective in dramatically improving direct solar fuel production; efficiencies of >10% have been demonstrated

  8. Spiritual Art: A Study of Illuminated Drawings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Kateb

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Illumination can be seen as a collection of exquisite and novel designs that painters and illumination-workers use to make religious, scientific, cultural, historical, and other collections of work beautiful. The professionals of illumination use these techniques in books to beautifully virtualize the golden pages of the eternal literature and the religious texts of their homeland. In this way, the sides and margins of the pages are decorated with designs of Islimi (arabesque branches, stems, flowers, and Cathay (Khataei leaves. Illuminations like paintings have various schools and periods, such as the Seljuk, Bukhara, Timurid, Safavid, Qajar schools, with further branches within each school. The illuminations of different periods represent the states and spirits of those eras. However, the illustrated paintings have been performed in the primary state in each school and era with some minor differences in colors and designs, and it can be said that the basis of the illustrated designs are three geometric shapes of the square, circle and triangle, and the combination of these three shapes. In this article, we try to study illumination drawings in terms of the spiritual dimension and its effect on the soul and psych. Furthermore; we will study the spiritual nature of the motifs in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the spirit of Islamic art.

  9. AN ILLUMINATION INVARIANT TEXTURE BASED FACE RECOGNITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Meena

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Automatic face recognition remains an interesting but challenging computer vision open problem. Poor illumination is considered as one of the major issue, since illumination changes cause large variation in the facial features. To resolve this, illumination normalization preprocessing techniques are employed in this paper to enhance the face recognition rate. The methods such as Histogram Equalization (HE, Gamma Intensity Correction (GIC, Normalization chain and Modified Homomorphic Filtering (MHF are used for preprocessing. Owing to great success, the texture features are commonly used for face recognition. But these features are severely affected by lighting changes. Hence texture based models Local Binary Pattern (LBP, Local Derivative Pattern (LDP, Local Texture Pattern (LTP and Local Tetra Patterns (LTrPs are experimented under different lighting conditions. In this paper, illumination invariant face recognition technique is developed based on the fusion of illumination preprocessing with local texture descriptors. The performance has been evaluated using YALE B and CMU-PIE databases containing more than 1500 images. The results demonstrate that MHF based normalization gives significant improvement in recognition rate for the face images with large illumination conditions.

  10. 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

  11. Origin of the Permian-Triassic komatiites, northwestern Vietnam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanski, Eero; Walker, Richard J.; Huhma, Hannu; Polyakov, Gleb V.; Balykin, Pavel A.; Tran Trong Hoa; Ngo Thi Phuong

    Rare examples of Phanerozoic komatiites are found in the Song Da zone, NW Vietnam. These komatiites were erupted through continental crust and may belong to the SE extension of the Permo-Triassic Emeishan volcanic province located in SW China. They provide a good opportunity to study the source characteristics of starting plume magmas in a continental flood basalt province. Erupted on late-Permian carbonate rocks, the komatiitic rocks are interbedded with low-Ti olivine basalts. Basaltic komatiites display pyroxene spinifex textures, while more magnesian rocks (MgO up to 32 wt.%) are porphyritic, containing a single, cognate population of euhedral to elongated olivine phenocrysts with Fo up to 93.0%. This suggests a highly magnesian parental magma with 22-23 wt.% MgO. In terms of major and minor elements, the komatiites are similar to the ca. 89 Ma old Gorgona Island komatiites of Colombia. The Song Da komatiites are also strongly light-rare-earth-element- (LREE) depleted (CeN/YbN 0.30-0.62) and have unfractionated heavy rare earth element (HREE) patterns. The komatiites have high Os concentrations (up to 7.0 ppb), low but variable Re/Os ratios, and define an isochron with an age of 270+/-21 Ma, and an initial 188Os/187Os ratio of 0.12506+/- 0.00041 (γOs=+0.02+/-0.40). The Os isotopic systematics of the komatiites show no effects of crustal contamination. In contrast, their initial ɛNd values range from +3 to +8, reflecting varying but generally small degrees of contamination with Proterozoic sialic basement material. Associated low-Ti basalts have low initial ɛNd values (-0.8 to -7.5), high initial γOs values (>=15), flat or LREE-enriched REE patterns, and Nb-Ta depletion. These characteristics are also attributed to variable extents of crustal contamination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-25

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-10-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Surface color perception under two illuminants: the second illuminant reduces color constancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Joong Nam; Shevell, Steven K.

    2003-01-01

    This study investigates color perception in a scene with two different illuminants. The two illuminants, in opposite corners, simultaneously shine on a (simulated) scene with an opaque dividing wall, which controls how much of the scene is illuminated by each source. In the first experiment, the height of the dividing wall was varied. This changed the amount of each illuminant reaching objects on the opposite side of the wall. Results showed that the degree of color constancy decreased when a region on one side of the wall had cues to both illuminants, suggesting that cues from the second illuminant are detrimental to color constancy. In a later experiment, color constancy was found to improve when the specular highlight cues from the second illuminant were altered to be consistent with the first illuminant. This corroborates the influence of specular highlights in surface color perception, and suggests that the reduced color constancy in the first experiment is due to the inconsistent, though physically correct, cues from the two illuminants.

  20. 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.

  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. Organic geochemical characterization of terrestrial source rocks of the Triassic Madygen formation (Southern Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berner, U.; Scheeder, G.; Kus, J. [Section Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal, BGR, Hannover (Germany); Voigt, S.; Schneider, J.W. [Geological Inst., TU Bergakademic Freiberg (Germany)

    2009-09-15

    Along the northern foothills of the Turkestan-Alai Range (SW Kyrgyzstan), a 1000 to 1500m thick succession of Mesozoic deposits is exposed recording regional changes of the paleo-landscape during Triassic to Cretaceous times. Detailed litho- and biofacies analyses, conducted by the TU Bergakademie Freiberg since 2006, provided for the first time a nearly complete columnar section of the continental Triassic Madygen Formation of Kyrgyzstan. Organic petrographical and organic geochemical methods (including RockEval pyrolyses, and biomarker analyses) have been applied to a suite of terrestrial sedimentary rocks of Triassic age with the intention to identify the depositional environment. Our investigations suggest that the potential source rocks of the terrestrial pluvial Madygen Formation might generate predominantly gaseous hydrocarbons at higher maturities. (orig.)

  3. Upper Triassic spongiomorph and coral association dredged off the northwestern Australian shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, G. D.

    Upper Triassic corals and spongiomorphs dredged during BMR Cruise 95 from the Rowley Terrace, offshore Canning Basin of northwestern Australia, indicate possible new occurrences of reef facies. These are comparable to counterparts known from the Norhtern Limestone Alps of central Europe. A branching spongiomorph, represented by the genus Spongiomorpha sp. and two coral taxa, Pamiroseris rectilamellosa (Winkler) and Retiophyllia tellae (Stoppani), are reported herein. Collectively, these fossils indicate a Late Triassic (Noria-Rhaetian) age. Although different in taxonomic composition, the fauna compares with one previously reported from a Late Triassic Ocean Drilling Project reef site (site 764) on the Wombat Plateau, some 350 km to the west. The Rowley Terrace occurrences may represent an eastward extension of the Wombat reefs, developed along the rifted margin of Gondwana.

  4. OLDEST STEM TELEOSTEI FROM THE LATE LADINIAN (MIDDLE TRIASSIC OF SOUTHERN CHINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANDREA TINTORI

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The origin of the largest modern vertebrate group, the Teleostei, saw major refinements in the last decades, thanks to newly discovered and stratigraphically closely spaced Triassic Lagerstätten. Here we report the oldest Pholidophoriformes (stem teleosts that were collected during a large scale yet detailed excavation of Upper Ladinian (Middle Triassic marine deposits in Xingyi City, Guizhou Province, China. Taxonomic comparisons support the erection of a new pholidophorid genus, Malingichthys gen. nov., with two species. The new genus shows a partially fused skull roof, a preopercular bone with a hockey-stick shape and, for the first time in Pholidophoridae, supraneural elements. Most Triassic marine vertebrate clades (fishes and reptiles, Malingichthys included first emerged in the South China Block, with Late Ladinian most showing an important faunal transformation that was strengthened by our last findings. The material here described is about 2 million years older than the previous records for pholidophorids. 

  5. The Triassic metabasalts of Dudin Krš, near Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Memović Emin

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the geochemical characteristics of the metabasalts of Dudin Krš, near Kosovska Mitrovica. The Dudin Krš is the easternmost occurrence of Middle Triassic rift-related volcanic rocks in the Dinarides. Generally, these rocks show similarities to other Triassic volcanic rocks of the Dinarides. They are high-magnesian, ol and ne-normative basalts, with low Zr/Nb and medium/low Ti/Zr and Ti/Y ratios. They exhibit transitional geochemical characteristics, between E-MORB and subalkaline basalts of continental rift zones. Their presence and geochemical affinity is evidence of rifting processes along the continental slope of the Adria block during Middle Triassic.

  6. Illumination compensation in ground based hyperspectral imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendel, Alexander; Underwood, James

    2017-07-01

    Hyperspectral imaging has emerged as an important tool for analysing vegetation data in agricultural applications. Recently, low altitude and ground based hyperspectral imaging solutions have come to the fore, providing very high resolution data for mapping and studying large areas of crops in detail. However, these platforms introduce a unique set of challenges that need to be overcome to ensure consistent, accurate and timely acquisition of data. One particular problem is dealing with changes in environmental illumination while operating with natural light under cloud cover, which can have considerable effects on spectral shape. In the past this has been commonly achieved by imaging known reference targets at the time of data acquisition, direct measurement of irradiance, or atmospheric modelling. While capturing a reference panel continuously or very frequently allows accurate compensation for illumination changes, this is often not practical with ground based platforms, and impossible in aerial applications. This paper examines the use of an autonomous unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to gather high resolution hyperspectral imaging data of crops under natural illumination. A process of illumination compensation is performed to extract the inherent reflectance properties of the crops, despite variable illumination. This work adapts a previously developed subspace model approach to reflectance and illumination recovery. Though tested on a ground vehicle in this paper, it is applicable to low altitude unmanned aerial hyperspectral imagery also. The method uses occasional observations of reference panel training data from within the same or other datasets, which enables a practical field protocol that minimises in-field manual labour. This paper tests the new approach, comparing it against traditional methods. Several illumination compensation protocols for high volume ground based data collection are presented based on the results. The findings in this paper are

  7. Decoupled form and function in disparate herbivorous dinosaur clades

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P Wilson

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alnawaz Rehemtulla

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehemtulla, Alnawaz

    2010-01-01

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

  11. The phylogeny and evolutionary history of tyrannosauroid dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L.; Carr, Thomas D.

    2016-02-01

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

  12. Mechanical implications of pneumatic neck vertebrae in sauropod dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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

    2016-05-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. The phylogeny and evolutionary history of tyrannosauroid dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Carr, Thomas D

    2016-02-02

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Absence of suction feeding ichthyosaurs and its implications for triassic mesopelagic paleoecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryosuke Motani

    Full Text Available Mesozoic marine reptiles and modern marine mammals are often considered ecological analogs, but the extent of their similarity is largely unknown. Particularly important is the presence/absence of deep-diving suction feeders among Mesozoic marine reptiles because this would indicate the establishment of mesopelagic cephalopod and fish communities in the Mesozoic. A recent study suggested that diverse suction feeders, resembling the extant beaked whales, evolved among ichthyosaurs in the Triassic. However, this hypothesis has not been tested quantitatively. We examined four osteological features of jawed vertebrates that are closely linked to the mechanism of suction feeding, namely hyoid corpus ossification/calcification, hyobranchial apparatus robustness, mandibular bluntness, and mandibular pressure concentration index. Measurements were taken from 18 species of Triassic and Early Jurassic ichthyosaurs, including the presumed suction feeders. Statistical comparisons with extant sharks and marine mammals of known diets suggest that ichthyosaurian hyobranchial bones are significantly more slender than in suction-feeding sharks or cetaceans but similar to those of ram-feeding sharks. Most importantly, an ossified hyoid corpus to which hyoid retractor muscles attach is unknown in all but one ichthyosaur, whereas a strong integration of the ossified corpus and cornua of the hyobranchial apparatus has been identified in the literature as an important feature of suction feeders. Also, ichthyosaurian mandibles do not narrow rapidly to allow high suction pressure concentration within the oral cavity, unlike in beaked whales or sperm whales. In conclusion, it is most likely that Triassic and Early Jurassic ichthyosaurs were 'ram-feeders', without any beaked-whale-like suction feeder among them. When combined with the inferred inability for dim-light vision in relevant Triassic ichthyosaurs, the fossil record of ichthyosaurs does not suggest the

  6. Absence of suction feeding ichthyosaurs and its implications for triassic mesopelagic paleoecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motani, Ryosuke; Ji, Cheng; Tomita, Taketeru; Kelley, Neil; Maxwell, Erin; Jiang, Da-yong; Sander, Paul Martin

    2013-01-01

    Mesozoic marine reptiles and modern marine mammals are often considered ecological analogs, but the extent of their similarity is largely unknown. Particularly important is the presence/absence of deep-diving suction feeders among Mesozoic marine reptiles because this would indicate the establishment of mesopelagic cephalopod and fish communities in the Mesozoic. A recent study suggested that diverse suction feeders, resembling the extant beaked whales, evolved among ichthyosaurs in the Triassic. However, this hypothesis has not been tested quantitatively. We examined four osteological features of jawed vertebrates that are closely linked to the mechanism of suction feeding, namely hyoid corpus ossification/calcification, hyobranchial apparatus robustness, mandibular bluntness, and mandibular pressure concentration index. Measurements were taken from 18 species of Triassic and Early Jurassic ichthyosaurs, including the presumed suction feeders. Statistical comparisons with extant sharks and marine mammals of known diets suggest that ichthyosaurian hyobranchial bones are significantly more slender than in suction-feeding sharks or cetaceans but similar to those of ram-feeding sharks. Most importantly, an ossified hyoid corpus to which hyoid retractor muscles attach is unknown in all but one ichthyosaur, whereas a strong integration of the ossified corpus and cornua of the hyobranchial apparatus has been identified in the literature as an important feature of suction feeders. Also, ichthyosaurian mandibles do not narrow rapidly to allow high suction pressure concentration within the oral cavity, unlike in beaked whales or sperm whales. In conclusion, it is most likely that Triassic and Early Jurassic ichthyosaurs were 'ram-feeders', without any beaked-whale-like suction feeder among them. When combined with the inferred inability for dim-light vision in relevant Triassic ichthyosaurs, the fossil record of ichthyosaurs does not suggest the establishment of modern

  7. Realtime global illumination using compressed pre-computed indirect illumination textures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bahnsen, Chris; Martin dit Neuville, Antoine; Pedersen, Casper

    2012-01-01

    and added to the direct illumination to produce the total illumination. Depending on the type of image produced, the algorithm allows a camera to move, and even objects to be added or modified at runtime to some extent. Finally, we will see that the amount of data to store and process can also be reduced...

  8. Content adaptive illumination for Fourier ptychography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Liheng; Suo, Jinli; Situ, Guohai; Zheng, Guoan; Chen, Feng; Dai, Qionghai

    2014-12-01

    Fourier ptychography (FP) is a recently reported technique, for large field-of-view and high-resolution imaging. Specifically, FP captures a set of low-resolution images, under angularly varying illuminations, and stitches them together in the Fourier domain. One of FP's main disadvantages is its long capturing process, due to the requisite large number of incident illumination angles. In this Letter, utilizing the sparsity of natural images in the Fourier domain, we propose a highly efficient method, termed adaptive Fourier ptychography (AFP), which applies content adaptive illumination for FP, to capture the most informative parts of the scene's spatial spectrum. We validate the effectiveness and efficiency of the reported framework, with both simulated and real experiments. Results show that the proposed AFP could shorten the acquisition time of conventional FP, by around 30%-60%.

  9. A brief exegesis of End Triassic Extinction issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteside, J. H.; Grice, K.; Fox, C.; Kent, D. V.; Olsen, P. E.; Irmis, R. B.

    2017-12-01

    Recent reports of environmental proxy records through the end-Triassic extinction (ETE), in some cases coupled with high-resolution geochronologic data, provide new insights into cause and effect. For example, the emplacement of vast volumes of basalt in the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) are temporally associated with carbon isotopic excursions (CIEs), indications of widespread oceanic euxinia, distinct regional and perhaps very abrupt global sea level change, massive changes in atmospheric CO2, and the proliferation of "disaster" species, both on land and ocean. In the least, these indicate major disruptions in how the Earth works. However some striking and critical issues remain unresolved at a very basic level. Most important are the uncertainties in the stratigraphic relationships of marine extinctions to the various environmental proxy sections, particularly the GSSP for the base Hettangian in Austria, and the UK sections (notably St. Audrie's Bay). Here, the sequence of sporomorph and marine "invertebrate" turnover occurs in different order relative to the proxy record and lithostratigraphy. Thus the sequence of environmental events are, at present, of uncertain relationship to the extinction. Second, it is unclear what processes the various CIEs reflect in different environments; the canonical initial isotopic excursion in the UK, demonstrably correlatable over a huge area, was recorded in a lake in a restricted basin, unlike the isotopic data from surrounding marine strata. Could some CIEs in non-marine basins be diagenetic in nature, caused by the contact effects of overlying basalts? Finally, how does the clear and dramatic tropical non-marine record of the ETE, precisely located relative to the CAMP, relate to the marine record of the ETE, particularly at higher latitudes, where continental biotic turnover is not nearly as dramatic? Do these records correlate in a sufficiently tight temporal interval such that causation can be inferred? These

  10. An integrated perspective on the Permian-Triassic "Great Dying"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algeo, T. J.

    2017-12-01

    The 252-Ma end-Permian mass extinction (EPME), marked by the loss of 90% of marine invertebrate species, was the largest biocrisis in Earth history. Intensive study of this "Great Dying" has led to major insights and a broad consensus regarding many aspects of this event. The ultimate trigger is regarded as eruption of the Siberian Traps Large Igneous Province (STLIP), which released large quantities of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) and sulfate aerosols, triggering a catastrophic global warming of 10°C and acidification of both land surfaces and the surface ocean. On land, a massive die-off of vegetation led to a transient episode of rapid soil erosion and a longer-term increase in weathering rates linked to elevated temperatures. In the ocean, widespread anoxia developed concurrently with the EPME, triggered by ocean-surface warming that reduced dissolved oxygen solubility in seawater and that intensified vertical stratification. Expanded anoxia led to massive burial of organic matter and reduced sulfur, although the evidence for this is indirect (C, U and S isotopes); few organic-rich deposits of Early Triassic age have been found, suggesting that organic sedimentation occurred mainly on continental slopes or in the deep ocean. Other aspects of the end-Permian crisis remain under debate. For example, there is no consensus regarding changes in marine productivity levels in the aftermath of the EPME, which would have been stimulated by enhanced subaerial weathering but depressed by reduced overturning circulation-the evidence to date may favor localized positive and negative changes in productivity. Also under scrutiny is evidence for volcanic eruptions and environmental perturbations during the 100 kyr prior to the EPME, which are likely to have occurred but remain poorly dated and quantified. The greatest uncertainty, however, may surround the nature of the proximate kill mechanism(s) during the EPME. Many hypotheses have been advanced including mechanisms

  11. Dynamic Control Based Photovoltaic Illuminating System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Chengkai

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Smart LED illumination system can use the power from whether the photovoltaic cell or the power grid automatically based on the SOC (State Of Charge of the photovoltaic cell. This paper proposes a feedback control of the photovoltaic cells and a dynamic control strategy for the Energy system. The dynamic control strategy is used to determine the switching state of the photovoltaic cell based on the illumination load in the past one hour and the battery capacity. These controls are manifested by experimental prototype that the control scheme is correct and effective.

  12. Illumination engineering design with nonimaging optics

    CERN Document Server

    Koshel, R John

    2012-01-01

    This book brings together experts in the field who present material on a number of important and growing topics including lighting, displays, solar concentrators. The first chapter provides an overview of the field of nonimagin and illumination optics. Included in this chapter are terminology, units, definitions, and descriptions of the optical components used in illumination systems. The next two chapters provide material within the theoretical domain, including etendue, etendue squeezing, and the skew invariant. The remaining chapters focus on growing applications. This entire field of

  13. Taxonomy, morphology, masticatory function and phylogeny of heterodontosaurid dinosaurs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Sereno

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Heterodontosaurids comprise an important early radiation of small-bodied herbivores that persisted for approximately 100 My from Late Triassic to Early Cretaceous time. Review of available fossils unequivocally establishes Echinodon as a very small-bodied, late-surviving northern heterodontosaurid similar to the other northern genera Fruitadens and Tianyulong. Tianyulong from northern China has unusual skeletal proportions, including a relatively large skull, short forelimb, and long manual digit II. The southern African heterodontosaurid genus Lycorhinus is established as valid, and a new taxon from the same formation is named Pegomastax africanus gen. n., sp. n. Tooth replacement and tooth-to-tooth wear is more common than previously thought among heterodontosaurids, and in Heterodontosaurus the angle of tooth-to-tooth shear is shown to increase markedly during maturation. Long-axis rotation of the lower jaw during occlusion is identified here as the most likely functional mechanism underlying marked tooth wear in mature specimens of Heterodontosaurus. Extensive tooth wear and other evidence suggests that all heterodontosaurids were predominantly or exclusively herbivores. Basal genera such as Echinodon, Fruitadens and Tianyulong with primitive, subtriangular crowns currently are known only from northern landmasses. All other genera except the enigmatic Pisanosaurus have deeper crown proportions and currently are known only from southern landmasses.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang Tiesheng; Wang Lanfen; Wang Shicheng; Cheng Zhengwu

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan C Mallon

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, Jordan C; Anderson, Jason S

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabavizadeh, Ali

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Restoring Maximum Vertical Browsing Reach in Sauropod Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Gregory S

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-04

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Cau

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Jeanne M.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Randy

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tleuberdina, R A; Nasirov, R N

    1998-07-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Wilson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Manabu; Benton, Michael J.

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pate, Monique

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, W Scott; Currie, Philip J

    2017-05-07

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

  17. Stratigraphy and tectonics of Permo-Triassic basins in the Netherlands and surrounding areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geluk, M.C.

    2005-01-01

    This thesis addresses different aspects of the geological development during the Permian and Triassic (300 to 200 Ma) of the Netherlands and surrounding areas. The study area encompasses the Southern Permian Basin (SPB), a large intracratonic basin stretched out from the United Kingdom in the west

  18. The continental Permian-Triassic boundary in the Netherlands: Implications for the geomagnetic polarity time scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Szurlies, M.; Geluk, M.C.; Krijgsman, W.; Kürschner, W.M.

    2012-01-01

    In Central and NW Europe, the transition from the Permian to the Triassic (i.e., the Zechstein–Buntsandstein boundary interval) is developed mainly in red bed facies. This continental sedimentary succession is marked by relatively high sedimentation rates providing a high temporal resolution

  19. Comments on Triassic pterosaurs with discussion about ontogeny and description of new taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander W.A. Kellner

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Eudimorphodon ranzii was the first Triassic pterosaur to be described and several specimens have been referred to this taxon mainly based on the presence of multicuspid teeth. Since this dental feature has been observed in several other pterosaurs, the revision of some specimens assigned to Eudimorphodon shows that they represent new taxa as follows: Arcticodactyluscromptonellus (comb. nov., Austriadraco dallavecchiai (gen. et sp. nov. and Bergamodactyluswildi (gen. et sp. nov.. A preliminary analysis of pterosaur ontogeny resulted in the recognition of six distinct ontogenetic stages (OS1-6. According to this classification, the holotype of Arcticodactyluscromptonellus has reached OS2, and although being ontogenetically much younger than others, the conspicuous anatomical differences lead to its exclusion from Eudimorphodon. The holotypes of Austriadraco dallavecchiai,Bergamodactyluswildi and Carniadactylus rosenfeldi have reached at least OS5, which demonstrates that the anatomical differences among them cannot be explained by ontogeny. Moreover, Bergamodactyluswildi reaches about 60% of the maximized wingspan of Carniadactylus rosenfeldi and further concurs that these specimens collected in distinct Triassic Islands of Europe are not conspecific. The present study increases the diversity of Triassic flying reptiles and further pushes the origins of this clade back to at least the Middle Triassic.

  20. Uranium isotope evidence for an expansion of marine anoxia during the end-Triassic extinction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jost, Adam B.; Bachan, Aviv; van de Schootbrugge, Bas; Lau, Kimberly V.; Weaver, Karrie L.; Maher, Kate; Payne, Jonathan L.

    The end-Triassic extinction coincided with an increase in marine black shale deposition and biomarkers for photic zone euxinia, suggesting that anoxia played a role in suppressing marine biodiversity. However, global changes in ocean anoxia are difficult to quantify using proxies for local anoxia.

  1. Macropredatory ichthyosaur from the Middle Triassic and the origin of modern trophic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fröbisch, Nadia B; Fröbisch, Jörg; Sander, P Martin; Schmitz, Lars; Rieppel, Olivier

    2013-01-22

    The biotic recovery from Earth's most severe extinction event at the Permian-Triassic boundary largely reestablished the preextinction structure of marine trophic networks, with marine reptiles assuming the predator roles. However, the highest trophic level of today's marine ecosystems, i.e., macropredatory tetrapods that forage on prey of similar size to their own, was thus far lacking in the Paleozoic and early Mesozoic. Here we report a top-tier tetrapod predator, a very large (>8.6 m) ichthyosaur from the early Middle Triassic (244 Ma), of Nevada. This ichthyosaur had a massive skull and large labiolingually flattened teeth with two cutting edges indicative of a macropredatory feeding style. Its presence documents the rapid evolution of modern marine ecosystems in the Triassic where the same level of complexity as observed in today's marine ecosystems is reached within 8 My after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction and within 4 My of the time reptiles first invaded the sea. This find also indicates that the biotic recovery in the marine realm may have occurred faster compared with terrestrial ecosystems, where the first apex predators may not have evolved before the Carnian.

  2. Palaeoclimatic trends deduced from the hydrochemistry of a Triassic sandstone aquifer, U.K

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bath, A.H.; Edmunds, W.M.; Andrews, J.N.

    1978-01-01

    A detailed geochemical study (elemental, isotopic and dissolved inert gases) of unconfined and confined sections of the Triassic non-marine sandstone aquifer in Eastern England has been undertaken. Aspects of the recharge history of this aquifer over the past 40 000 years are revealed by examination of the data. (orig./HK) [de

  3. Characteristics of the Triassic Source Rocks of the Aitutu Formation in the (West Timor Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asep Kurnia Permana

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available DOI:10.17014/ijog.v1i3.192The Triassic rocks of the (West Timor Basin have been identified that was mainly deposited in the  marine environment. The fine grained clastics and carbonate  rocks of this Triassic marine  facies are considered to be the most promising source rocks potential in this basin. In this paper we present geochemical and petrographic data from outcrop samples of the Triassic carbonate Aitutu Formation, due to emphasized the organic maturation, kerogen type of the organic matter and the origin of the organic matter.  A representative of selected sample were subjected to the Rock-Eval Pyrolisis, vitrinite reflectance and thermal alteration index, bitumen extraction, were analyzed on the GC-MS. The samples were collected from marine deposit of the Triassic Sequence. The TOC values of the analyzed sample range between rich and rich organic richness (0.51% - 9.16%, wt.%, TOC, which consists mainly of type II and III kerogen and the organic matter consider to be predominantly oil/gas prone and gas prone potential. The thermal maturity assessed from Tmax, TAI, and vitrinite reflectance shows an immature to early peak mature stage of the organic matter. The GC-MS analyses of the biomarkers indicate mainly the organic matter derived from mixed source rocks facies containing alga debris and higher plant terrestrial origin.

  4. A tale of two extinctions : converging end-Permian and end-Triassic scenarios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Schootbrugge, Bas; Wignall, Paul B.

    The end-Permian (c. 252 Ma) and end-Triassic (c. 201 Ma) mass-extinction events are commonly linked to the emplacement of the large igneous provinces of the Siberia Traps and Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, respectively. Accordingly, scenarios for both extinctions are increasingly convergent and

  5. Triassic Sequence Geological Development of the Arctic with focus on Svalbard and the Barents Shelf

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moerk, Atle

    1998-12-31

    Triassic rocks are of great interest for exploration in Arctic areas as they have proved to include both good hydrocarbon source rocks and potential hydrogen reservoir rocks. In this thesis, the stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Arctic Triassic successions are studied within a sequence stratigraphical framework. Inter-regional comparisons throughout the Arctic are based on comparisons of transgressive-regressive sequences. Improved dating of the studied sequences, and the recognition and correlation of sequence boundaries of second and third order, facilitate interpretation of facies distribution and the geological development both within and between the studied areas. Main emphasis is given to the Triassic succession of Svalbard and the Barents Shelf, which through this study is integrated within a circum-Arctic sequence stratigraphical framework. Good correspondence of the Triassic sequence boundaries between the different Arctic areas indicate that they are mainly controlled by eustacy, while decreasing correspondence of the sequence boundaries in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods indicate that local and large scale tectonism becomes progressively more dominant in the circum-Arctic Realm through the Mesozoic Era. These hypotheses are further discussed. 701 refs., 110 figs., 12 tabs.

  6. Exceptional vertebrate biotas from the Triassic of China, and the expansion of marine ecosystems after the Permo-Triassic mass extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, Michael J.; Zhang, Qiyue; Hu, Shixue; Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Wen, Wen; Liu, Jun; Huang, Jinyuan; Zhou, Changyong; Xie, Tao; Tong, Jinnan; Choo, Brian

    2013-10-01

    The Triassic was a time of turmoil, as life recovered from the most devastating of all mass extinctions, the Permo-Triassic event 252 million years ago. The Triassic marine rock succession of southwest China provides unique documentation of the recovery of marine life through a series of well dated, exceptionally preserved fossil assemblages in the Daye, Guanling, Zhuganpo, and Xiaowa formations. New work shows the richness of the faunas of fishes and reptiles, and that recovery of vertebrate faunas was delayed by harsh environmental conditions and then occurred rapidly in the Anisian. The key faunas of fishes and reptiles come from a limited area in eastern Yunnan and western Guizhou provinces, and these may be dated relative to shared stratigraphic units, and their palaeoenvironments reconstructed. The Luoping and Panxian biotas, both from the Guanling Formation, are dated as Anisian (Pelsonian) on the basis of conodonts and radiometric dates, the former being slightly older than the latter. The Xingyi biota is from the Zhuganpo Formation, and is Ladinian or early Carnian, while the Guanling biota is from the overlying Xiaowa Formation, dated as Carnian. The first three biotas include extensive benthos and burrowing in the sediments, and they were located in restricted basins close to shore. Further, even though the Luoping and Panxian biotas are of similar age, their faunas differ significantly, reflecting perhaps palaeogeographically isolated basins. Between the time of the Xingyi and Guanling biotas, there was a major transgression, and the Guanling biota is entirely different in character from the other three, being dominated by pelagic forms such as large floating crinoids attached to logs, very large ichthyosaurs and thalattosaurs, and pseudoplanktonic bivalves, with no benthos and no burrowing. Phylogenetic study of the fishes and marine reptiles shows apparently explosive diversification among 20 actinopterygian lineages very early in the Early Triassic

  7. Public illumination manual; Manual de iluminacao publica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-12-31

    This work aims to guide in the correct choice and usage of the adequate public illumination equipment. It also aims to help the public authorities in terms of the best economical and technical choice, as well as the adequate maintenance of the equipment in order to obtain the most efficiency and safety with minimum costs 22 figs., 11 tabs.

  8. Measurement of illumination exposure in postpartum women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stein Martin T

    2003-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Low levels of light exposure at critical times are thought to cause seasonal affective disorder. Investigators, in studies demonstrating the usefulness of bright light therapy, also have implicated light's role in non-seasonal depression. The precise cause of postpartum depression has not been delineated, but it seemed possible that new mothers would spend reduced time in daylight. The goal of this study was to examine the levels of illumination experienced by postpartum mothers and to discover any relationship between light exposure and mood levels experienced during the postpartum period. Methods Fifteen postpartum women, who did not have any baseline indication of depression, wore a wrist device (Actillume for 72 hours to measure their exposure to light. At the end of the recording period, they completed a self-reported measure of mood. The mean light exposure of these postpartum women (expressed as the 24-hour average logarithm of illumination in lux was compared with that of a representative sample of women of comparable age, residence, and seasonal months of recording. Mood levels were then rank-ordered and tested for correlation with light exposure levels. Results There was no significant difference between the amount of light [log10lux] experienced by postpartum (1.01 SD 0.236 and control women (1.06 SD 0.285. Mood was not correlated with illumination in the postpartum sample. Conclusions Postpartum women in San Diego did not receive reduced light, nor was low mood related to low illumination.

  9. Lighting design for globally illuminated volume rendering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yubo; Ma, Kwan-Liu

    2013-12-01

    With the evolution of graphics hardware, high quality global illumination becomes available for real-time volume rendering. Compared to local illumination, global illumination can produce realistic shading effects which are closer to real world scenes, and has proven useful for enhancing volume data visualization to enable better depth and shape perception. However, setting up optimal lighting could be a nontrivial task for average users. There were lighting design works for volume visualization but they did not consider global light transportation. In this paper, we present a lighting design method for volume visualization employing global illumination. The resulting system takes into account view and transfer-function dependent content of the volume data to automatically generate an optimized three-point lighting environment. Our method fully exploits the back light which is not used by previous volume visualization systems. By also including global shadow and multiple scattering, our lighting system can effectively enhance the depth and shape perception of volumetric features of interest. In addition, we propose an automatic tone mapping operator which recovers visual details from overexposed areas while maintaining sufficient contrast in the dark areas. We show that our method is effective for visualizing volume datasets with complex structures. The structural information is more clearly and correctly presented under the automatically generated light sources.

  10. Diffuse-Illumination Systems for Growing Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, George; Ryan, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Agriculture in both terrestrial and space-controlled environments relies heavily on artificial illumination for efficient photosynthesis. Plant-growth illumination systems require high photon flux in the spectral range corresponding with plant photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) (400 700 nm), high spatial uniformity to promote uniform growth, and high energy efficiency to minimize electricity usage. The proposed plant-growth system takes advantage of the highly diffuse reflective surfaces on the interior of a sphere, hemisphere, or other nearly enclosed structure that is coated with highly reflective materials. This type of surface and structure uniformly mixes discrete light sources to produce highly uniform illumination. Multiple reflections from within the domelike structures are exploited to obtain diffuse illumination, which promotes the efficient reuse of photons that have not yet been absorbed by plants. The highly reflective surfaces encourage only the plant tissue (placed inside the sphere or enclosure) to absorb the light. Discrete light sources, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), are typically used because of their high efficiency, wavelength selection, and electronically dimmable properties. The light sources are arranged to minimize shadowing and to improve uniformity. Different wavelengths of LEDs (typically blue, green, and red) are used for photosynthesis. Wavelengths outside the PAR range can be added for plant diagnostics or for growth regulation

  11. Illuminating Everyday Performances of Privilege and Oppression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuman, Amy N.

    2018-01-01

    Courses: Intercultural Communication, Interracial Communication, Gender and Communication, Introduction to Communication Course (within a unit on culture), and any courses encouraging critical analyses of power. Objectives: This activity will: illuminate the ways in which everyday performances of privilege and resulting oppressions connect with…

  12. An illumination system for endoscopic applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2013-01-01

    The present disclosure relates to an illumination system for endoscopic applications comprising at least one substantially monochromatic light source having a predefined central wavelength between 400 and 500 nm or between 500 and 550 nm, an optical transmission path adapted to guide light emanat...... for photodynamic diagnosis and/or therapy of bladder cancer is further disclosed herein....

  13. Public illumination manual; Manual de iluminacao publica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-12-31

    This work aims to guide in the correct choice and usage of the adequate public illumination equipment. It also aims to help the public authorities in terms of the best economical and technical choice, as well as the adequate maintenance of the equipment in order to obtain the most efficiency and safety with minimum costs 22 figs., 11 tabs.

  14. Interactive indirect illumination using adaptive multiresolution splatting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Greg; Wyman, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Global illumination provides a visual richness not achievable with the direct illumination models used by most interactive applications. To generate global effects, numerous approximations attempt to reduce global illumination costs to levels feasible in interactive contexts. One such approximation, reflective shadow maps, samples a shadow map to identify secondary light sources whose contributions are splatted into eye space. This splatting introduces significant overdraw that is usually reduced by artificially shrinking each splat's radius of influence. This paper introduces a new multiresolution approach for interactively splatting indirect illumination. Instead of reducing GPU fill rate by reducing splat size, we reduce fill rate by rendering splats into a multiresolution buffer. This takes advantage of the low-frequency nature of diffuse and glossy indirect lighting, allowing rendering of indirect contributions at low resolution where lighting changes slowly and at high-resolution near discontinuities. Because this multiresolution rendering occurs on a per-splat basis, we can significantly reduce fill rate without arbitrarily clipping splat contributions below a given threshold-those regions simply are rendered at a coarse resolution.

  15. Scene independent real-time indirect illumination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frisvad, Jeppe Revall; Christensen, Niels Jørgen; Falster, Peter

    2005-01-01

    A novel method for real-time simulation of indirect illumination is presented in this paper. The method, which we call Direct Radiance Mapping (DRM), is based on basal radiance calculations and does not impose any restrictions on scene geometry or dynamics. This makes the method tractable for rea...

  16. Early Triassic development of a foreland basin in the Canadian high Arctic: Implications for a Pangean Rim of Fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadlari, Thomas; Dewing, Keith; Matthews, William A.; Alonso-Torres, Daniel; Midwinter, Derrick

    2018-06-01

    Following the amalgamation of Laurasia and Gondwana to form Pangea, some Triassic tectonic models show an encircling arc system called the "Pangean Rim of Fire". Here we show that the stratigraphy and Early Triassic detrital zircon provenance of the Sverdrup Basin in the Canadian Arctic is most consistent with deposition in a retro-arc foreland basin. Late Permian and Early Triassic volcanism was accompanied by relatively high rates of subsidence leading to a starved basin with volcanic input from a magmatic arc to the northwest. The mostly starved basin persisted through the Middle and Late Triassic with nearly continuous input of volcanic ash recorded as bentonites on the northwestern edge of the basin. In the latest Triassic it is interpreted that decreasing subsidence and a significant influx of sand-grade sediment when the arc was exhumed led to filling of the basin at the end of an orogenic cycle. Combined with other hints of Early Triassic arc activity along the western margin of Laurentia we propose that the Pangean Rim of Fire configuration spanned the entire Triassic. This proposed configuration represents the ring of external subduction zones that some models suggest are necessary for the breakup of supercontinents such as Pangea.

  17. Late Triassic sedimentary records in the northern Tethyan Himalaya: Tectonic link with Greater India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huawen Cao

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The Upper Triassic flysch sediments (Nieru Formation and Langjiexue Group exposed in the Eastern Tethyan Himalayan Sequence are crucial for unraveling the controversial paleogeography and paleotectonics of the Himalayan orogen. This work reports new detrital zircon U-Pb ages and whole-rock geochemical data for clastic rocks from flysch strata in the Shannan area. The mineral modal composition data suggest that these units were mainly sourced from recycled orogen provenances. The chemical compositions of the sandstones in the strata are similar to the chemical composition of upper continental crust. These rocks have relatively low Chemical Index of Alteration values (with an average of 62 and Index of Compositional Variability values (0.69, indicating that they experienced weak weathering and were mainly derived from a mature source. The geochemical compositions of the Upper Triassic strata are similar to those of graywackes from continental island arcs and are indicative of an acidic-intermediate igneous source. Furthermore, hornblende and feldspar experienced decomposition in the provenance, and the sediment became enriched in zircon and monazite during sediment transport. The detrital zircons in the strata feature two main age peaks at 225–275 Ma and 500–600 Ma, nearly continuous Paleoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic ages, and a broad inconspicuous cluster in the Tonian–Stenian (800–1200 Ma. The detrital zircons from the Upper Triassic sandstones in the study area lack peaks at 300–325 Ma (characteristic of the Lhasa block and 1150–1200 Ma (characteristic of the Lhasa and West Australia blocks. Therefore, neither the Lhasa block nor the West Australia blocks likely acted as the main provenance of the Upper Triassic strata. Newly discovered Permian–Triassic basalt and mafic dikes in the Himalayas could have provided the 225–275 Ma detrital zircons. Therefore, Indian and Himalayan units were the main provenances of the flysch

  18. Daylight illumination-color-contrast tables for full-form objects naturally illuminated objects

    CERN Document Server

    Nagel, M

    1978-01-01

    Daylight Illumination-Color-Contrast Tables for Full-form Objects is the result of a major computational project concerning the illumination, color, and contrast conditions in naturally illuminated objects. The project from which this two-chapter book is derived is originally conceived in support of the various remote sensing and image processing activities of the Deutsche Forschungs- und Versuchsanstalt für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Oberpfaffenhofen, West Germany DFVLR, in particular, those depending on the quantitative photometric and colorimetric evaluation of photographs and other environmental

  19. Reflectance, illumination, and appearance in color constancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, John J; Parraman, Carinna; Rizzi, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    We studied color constancy using a pair of identical 3-D Color Mondrian displays. We viewed one 3-D Mondrian in nearly uniform illumination, and the other in directional, nonuniform illumination. We used the three dimensional structures to modulate the light falling on the painted surfaces. The 3-D structures in the displays were a matching set of wooden blocks. Across Mondrian displays, each corresponding facet had the same paint on its surface. We used only 6 chromatic, and 5 achromatic paints applied to 104 block facets. The 3-D blocks add shadows and multiple reflections not found in flat Mondrians. Both 3-D Mondrians were viewed simultaneously, side-by-side. We used two techniques to measure correlation of appearance with surface reflectance. First, observers made magnitude estimates of changes in the appearances of identical reflectances. Second, an author painted a watercolor of the 3-D Mondrians. The watercolor's reflectances quantified the changes in appearances. While constancy generalizations about illumination and reflectance hold for flat Mondrians, they do not for 3-D Mondrians. A constant paint does not exhibit perfect color constancy, but rather shows significant shifts in lightness, hue and chroma in response to the structure in the nonuniform illumination. Color appearance depends on the spatial information in both the illumination and the reflectances of objects. The spatial information of the quanta catch from the array of retinal receptors generates sensations that have variable correlation with surface reflectance. Models of appearance in humans need to calculate the departures from perfect constancy measured here. This article provides a dataset of measurements of color appearances for computational models of sensation.

  20. Reflectance, illumination, and appearance in color constancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J. McCann

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We studied color constancy using a pair of identical 3-D Color Mondrian displays. We viewed one 3-D Mondrian in nearly uniform illumination, and the other in directional, nonuniform illumination. We used the three dimensional structures to modulate the light falling on the painted surfaces. The 3-D structures in the displays were a matching set of wooden blocks. Across Mondrian displays, each corresponding facet had the same paint on its surface. We used only 6 chromatic, and 5 achromatic paints applied to 104 block facets. The 3-D blocks add shadows and multiple reflections not found in flat Mondrians. Both 3-D Mondrians were viewed simultaneously, side-by-side. We used two techniques to measure correlation of appearance with surface reflectance. First, observers made magnitude estimates of changes in the appearances of identical reflectances. Second, an author painted a watercolor of the 3-D Mondrians. The watercolor’s reflectances quantified the changes in appearances. While constancy generalizations about illumination and reflectance hold for flat Mondrians, they do not for 3-D Mondrians. A constant paint does not exhibit perfect color constancy, but rather shows significant shifts in lightness, hue and chroma in response to the structure in the nonuniform illumination. Color appearance depends on the spatial information in both the illumination and the reflectances of objects. The spatial information of the quanta catch from the array of retinal receptors generates sensations that have variable correlation with surface reflectance. Models of appearance in humans need to calculate the departures from perfect constancy measured here. This article provides a dataset of measurements of color appearances for computational models of sensation.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, P. Martin

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Short-snouted toothless ichthyosaur from China suggests Late Triassic diversification of suction feeding ichthyosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Martin Sander

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ichthyosaurs were an important group of Mesozoic marine reptiles and existed from the Early Triassic to the early Late Cretaceous. Despite a great diversity in body shapes and feeding adaptations, all share greatly enlarged eyes, an elongated rostrum with numerous conical teeth, and a streamlined body. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Based on new material from China and the restudy of Shastasaurus pacificus, we here reinterpret the classical large-bodied Late Triassic ichthyosaur genus Shastasaurus to differ greatly from the standard ichthyosaurian body plan, indicating much greater morphological diversity and range of feeding adaptations in ichthyosaurs than previously recognized. Phylogenetic analysis indicates a monophyletic clade consisting of the giant Shonisaurus sikanniensis, Guanlingsaurus liangae, and Shastasaurus pacificus to which the genus name Shastasaurus is applied. Shastasaurus liangae comb. nov. is from the Late Triassic (Carnian Xiaowa Formation of Guizhou Province, southwestern China. The species combines a diminutive head with an entirely toothless and greatly reduced snout. The species also has by far the highest vertebral count among ichthyosaurs (86 presacral vertebrae and >110 caudal vertebrae, a count that is also very high for tetrapods in general. A reduced toothless snout and a diminutive head is also apparently present in the giant S. sikanniensis and presumably in S. pacificus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In analogy to many modern odontocetes, Shastasaurus is interpreted as a specialized suction feeder on unshelled cephalopods and fish, suggesting a unique but widespread Late Triassic diversification of toothless, suction-feeding ichthyosaurs. Suction feeding has not been hypothesized for any of the other diverse marine reptiles of the Mesozoic before, but in Shastasaurus may be linked to the Late Triassic minimum in atmospheric oxygen.

  6. A NEW SAURICHTHYS (ACTINOPTERYGII FROM THE SPATHIAN (EARLY TRIASSIC OF CHAOHU (ANHUI PROVINCE, CHINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANDREA TINTORI

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available A new species of Saurichthys, S. majiashanensis , is described. It comes from a series of marine vertebrate-bearing beds of the upper member of the Nanlinghu Formation outcropping in the large quarry at the top of Majiashan (Majia Hill near Chaohu (Hefei City, Anhui Province, China. Its age is Middle Spathian (Olenekian, Early Triassic. This new species deeply differs from the several pre-Spathian species of Saurichthys mainly for having only two longitudinal scale rows together with a reduced grid-like structure for the neural elements in the vertebral column. Further derived characters are in the endoskeleton of the dorsal and anal fin, where radials articulate only to anterior lepidotrichia, the posterior ones being supported by the first scale from the caudal pedicle mid-dorsal and mid-ventral rows, deeply imbedded in the body. In addition, the haemal spines of the caudal region are much enlarged and reversed, with their distal parts pointing forwards. Though the skull is lacking, postcranial characters are enough to justify the erection of a new species. This new Saurichthys species, together with other few actinopterygians, can be considered as the oldest assemblage of the Triassic Middle Fish Fauna, which bloomed probably in the early Anisian and widespread especially all over the Tethys for the Middle Triassic and at least the Carnian in the Late Triassic. This new fish assemblage, together with some of the oldest marine reptiles, is considered as the beginning of the actual Triassic recovery among marine vertebrates.

  7. Lithofacies palaeogeography and biostratigraphy of the lowermost horizons of the Middle Triassic Hallstatt Limestones (Argolis Peninsula, Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fotini A. Pomoni

    2013-07-01

    Taking into consideration the present location of the Hallstatt Formation, in the context of the Hellenides, an area suitable for the deposition of the Hallstatt Limestones, should be located between the sub-Pelagonian (western part of the Pelagonian zone and Pindos geotectonic zones, which during the Triassic corresponded to a platform slope and a deep ocean, respectively. The widespread Middle Triassic Han Bulog Limestones (ammonoid-bearing pelagic limestones from Triassic successions of the Eastern Alps (Dinarides, Hellenides may have formed partly in similar slope environments.

  8. Comparison of two structured illumination techniques based on different 3D illumination patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shabani, H.; Patwary, N.; Doblas, A.; Saavedra, G.; Preza, C.

    2017-02-01

    Manipulating the excitation pattern in optical microscopy has led to several super-resolution techniques. Among different patterns, the lateral sinusoidal excitation was used for the first demonstration of structured illumination microscopy (SIM), which provides the fastest SIM acquisition system (based on the number of raw images required) compared to the multi-spot illumination approach. Moreover, 3D patterns that include lateral and axial variations in the illumination have attracted more attention recently as they address resolution enhancement in three dimensions. A threewave (3W) interference technique based on coherent illumination has already been shown to provide super-resolution and optical sectioning in 3D-SIM. In this paper, we investigate a novel tunable technique that creates a 3D pattern from a set of multiple incoherently illuminated parallel slits that act as light sources for a Fresnel biprism. This setup is able to modulate the illumination pattern in the object space both axially and laterally with adjustable modulation frequencies. The 3D forward model for the new system is developed here to consider the effect of the axial modulation due to the 3D patterned illumination. The performance of 3D-SIM based on 3W interference and the tunable system are investigated in simulation and compared based on two different criteria. First, restored images obtained for both 3D-SIM systems using a generalized Wiener filter are compared to determine the effect of the illumination pattern on the reconstruction. Second, the effective frequency response of both systems is studied to determine the axial and lateral resolution enhancement that is obtained in each case.

  9. Illumination normalization of face image based on illuminant direction estimation and improved Retinex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Jizheng; Mao, Xia; Chen, Lijiang; Xue, Yuli; Rovetta, Alberto; Caleanu, Catalin-Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Illumination normalization of face image for face recognition and facial expression recognition is one of the most frequent and difficult problems in image processing. In order to obtain a face image with normal illumination, our method firstly divides the input face image into sixteen local regions and calculates the edge level percentage in each of them. Secondly, three local regions, which meet the requirements of lower complexity and larger average gray value, are selected to calculate the final illuminant direction according to the error function between the measured intensity and the calculated intensity, and the constraint function for an infinite light source model. After knowing the final illuminant direction of the input face image, the Retinex algorithm is improved from two aspects: (1) we optimize the surround function; (2) we intercept the values in both ends of histogram of face image, determine the range of gray levels, and stretch the range of gray levels into the dynamic range of display device. Finally, we achieve illumination normalization and get the final face image. Unlike previous illumination normalization approaches, the method proposed in this paper does not require any training step or any knowledge of 3D face and reflective surface model. The experimental results using extended Yale face database B and CMU-PIE show that our method achieves better normalization effect comparing with the existing techniques.

  10. Illumination normalization of face image based on illuminant direction estimation and improved Retinex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jizheng Yi

    Full Text Available Illumination normalization of face image for face recognition and facial expression recognition is one of the most frequent and difficult problems in image processing. In order to obtain a face image with normal illumination, our method firstly divides the input face image into sixteen local regions and calculates the edge level percentage in each of them. Secondly, three local regions, which meet the requirements of lower complexity and larger average gray value, are selected to calculate the final illuminant direction according to the error function between the measured intensity and the calculated intensity, and the constraint function for an infinite light source model. After knowing the final illuminant direction of the input face image, the Retinex algorithm is improved from two aspects: (1 we optimize the surround function; (2 we intercept the values in both ends of histogram of face image, determine the range of gray levels, and stretch the range of gray levels into the dynamic range of display device. Finally, we achieve illumination normalization and get the final face image. Unlike previous illumination normalization approaches, the method proposed in this paper does not require any training step or any knowledge of 3D face and reflective surface model. The experimental results using extended Yale face database B and CMU-PIE show that our method achieves better normalization effect comparing with the existing techniques.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David W E Hone

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Structured illumination microscopy and its new developments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianling Chen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Optical microscopy allows us to observe the biological structures and processes within living cells. However, the spatial resolution of the optical microscopy is limited to about half of the wavelength by the light diffraction. Structured illumination microscopy (SIM, a type of new emerging super-resolution microscopy, doubles the spatial resolution by illuminating the specimen with a patterned light, and the sample and light source requirements of SIM are not as strict as the other super-resolution microscopy. In addition, SIM is easier to combine with the other imaging techniques to improve their imaging resolution, leading to the developments of diverse types of SIM. SIM has great potential to meet the various requirements of living cells imaging. Here, we review the recent developments of SIM and its combination with other imaging techniques.

  16. Fast linear method of illumination classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Ted J.; Baqai, Farhan A.

    2003-01-01

    We present a simple method for estimating the scene illuminant for images obtained by a Digital Still Camera (DSC). The proposed method utilizes basis vectors obtained from known memory color reflectance to identify the memory color objects in the image. Once the memory color pixels are identified, we use the ratios of the red/green and blue/green to determine the most likely illuminant in the image. The critical part of the method is to estimate the smallest set of basis vectors that closely represent the memory color reflectances. Basis vectors obtained from both Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Independent Component Analysis (ICA) are used. We will show that only two ICA basis vectors are needed to get an acceptable estimate.

  17. Pulsed laser illumination of photovoltaic cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yater, Jane A.; Lowe, Roland A.; Jenkins, Phillip P.; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1995-01-01

    In future space missions, free electron lasers (FEL) may be used to illuminate photovoltaic receivers to provide remote power. Both the radio-frequency (RF) and induction FEL produce pulsed rather than continuous output. In this work we investigate cell response to pulsed laser light which simulates the RF FEL format. The results indicate that if the pulse repetition is high, cell efficiencies are only slightly reduced compared to constant illumination at the same wavelength. The frequency response of the cells is weak, with both voltage and current outputs essentially dc in nature. Comparison with previous experiments indicates that the RF FEL pulse format yields more efficient photovoltaic conversion than does an induction FEL format.

  18. Direct illumination LED calibration for telescope photometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrelet, E.; Juramy, C.

    2008-01-01

    A calibration method for telescope photometry, based on the direct illumination of a telescope with a calibrated light source regrouping multiple LEDs, is proposed. Its purpose is to calibrate the instrument response. The main emphasis of the proposed method is the traceability of the calibration process and a continuous monitoring of the instrument in order to maintain a 0.2% accuracy over a period of years. Its specificity is to map finely the response of the telescope and its camera as a function of all light ray parameters. This feature is essential to implement a computer model of the instrument representing the variation of the overall light collection efficiency of each pixel for various filter configurations. We report on hardware developments done for SNDICE, the first application of this direct illumination calibration system which will be installed in Canada France Hawaii telescope (CFHT) for its leading supernova experiment (SNLS)

  19. Alternative Packaging for Back-Illuminated Imagers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pain, Bedabrata

    2009-01-01

    An alternative scheme has been conceived for packaging of silicon-based back-illuminated, back-side-thinned complementary metal oxide/semiconductor (CMOS) and charge-coupled-device image-detector integrated circuits, including an associated fabrication process. This scheme and process are complementary to those described in "Making a Back-Illuminated Imager With Back-Side Connections" (NPO-42839), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 32, No. 7 (July 2008), page 38. To avoid misunderstanding, it should be noted that in the terminology of imaging integrated circuits, "front side" or "back side" does not necessarily refer to the side that, during operation, faces toward or away from a source of light or other object to be imaged. Instead, "front side" signifies that side of a semiconductor substrate upon which the pixel pattern and the associated semiconductor devices and metal conductor lines are initially formed during fabrication, and "back side" signifies the opposite side. If the imager is of the type called "back-illuminated," then the back side is the one that faces an object to be imaged. Initially, a back-illuminated, back-side-thinned image-detector is fabricated with its back side bonded to a silicon handle wafer. At a subsequent stage of fabrication, the front side is bonded to a glass wafer (for mechanical support) and the silicon handle wafer is etched away to expose the back side. The frontside integrated circuitry includes metal input/output contact pads, which are rendered inaccessible by the bonding of the front side to the glass wafer. Hence, one of the main problems is to make the input/output contact pads accessible from the back side, which is ultimately to be the side accessible to the external world. The present combination of an alternative packaging scheme and associated fabrication process constitute a solution of the problem.

  20. Downhole interferometric illumination diagnosis and balancing

    OpenAIRE

    Van der Neut, J.

    2012-01-01

    With seismic interferometry or the virtual source method, controlled sources can be redatumed from the Earth’s surface to generate so-called virtual sources at downhole receiver locations. Generally this is done by crosscorrelation of the recorded down-hole data and stacking over source locations. By studying the retrieved data at zero time lag, downhole illumination conditions that determine the virtual source radi- ation pattern can be analyzed without a velocity model. This can be benefici...

  1. Broadband spectrally dynamic solid state illumination source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nicol, David B; Asghar, Ali; Gupta, Shalini; Kang, Hun; Pan, Ming [Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Atlanta, GA 30332-0250 (United States); Strassburg, Martin [Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Atlanta, GA 30332-0250 (United States); Georgia State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Atlanta, GA 30302-4106 (United States); Summers, Chris; Ferguson, Ian T [Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Atlanta, GA 30332 (United States)

    2006-06-15

    Solid state lighting has done well recently in niche markets such as signage and displays, however, no available SSL technologies incorporate all the necessary attributes for general illumination. Development of a novel solid state general illumination source is discussed here. Two LEDs emitting at two distinct wavelengths can be monolithically grown and used to excite two or more phosphors with varied excitation spectra. The combined phosphorescence spectrum can then be controlled by adjusting the relative intensities of the two LED emissions. Preliminary phosphor analysis shows such a scheme to be viable for use in a spectrally dynamic broadband general illumination source. A tunnel junction is envisioned as a means of current spreading in a buried layer for three terminal operation. However, tunnel junction properties in GaN based materials are not well understood, and require further optimization to be practical devices. Preliminary results on GaN tunnel junctions are presented here as well. (copyright 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim) (orig.)

  2. Permian and Triassic microfloral assemblages from the Blue Nile Basin, central Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawit, Enkurie L.

    2014-11-01

    Palynological investigation was carried out on surface samples from up to 400 m thick continental siliciclastic sediments, here referred to as “Fincha Sandstone”, in the Blue Nile Basin, central Ethiopia. One hundred sixty species were identified from 15 productive samples collected along a continuous road-cut exposure. Six informal palynological assemblage zones have been identified. These assemblage zones, in ascending order, are: “Central Ethiopian Permian Assemblage Zone - CEPAZ I”, earliest Permian (Asselian-Sakmarian); “CEPAZ II”, late Early Permian (Artinskian-Kungurian); CEPAZ III - Late Permian (Kazanian-Tatarian); “CETAZ IV”, Lower Triassic (Olenekian Induan); “CETAZ V”, Middle Triassic (Anisian Ladinian); “CETAZ VI”, Late Triassic (Carnian Norian). Tentative age ranges proposed herein are compared with faunally calibrated palynological zones in Gondwana. The overall composition and vertical distribution of miospores throughout the studied section reveals a wide variation both qualitatively and quantitatively. The high frequency of monosaccate pollen in CEPAZ I may reflect a Glossopterid-dominated upland flora in the earliest Permian. The succeeding zone is dominated by straite/taeniate disaccate pollen and polyplicates, suggesting a notable increase in diversity of glossopterids. The decline in the diversity of taeniate disaccate pollen and the concomitant rise in abundance of non-taeniate disaccates in CEPAZ III may suggest the decline in Glossopteris diversity, though no additional evidence is available to equate this change with End-Permian extinction. More diverse and dominant non-taeniate, disaccate, seed fern pollen assignable to FalcisporitesAlisporites in CETAZ IV may represent an earliest Triassic recovery flora. The introduction of new disaccate forms with thick, rigid sacci, such as Staurosaccites and Cuneatisporites, in CETAZ V and VI may indicate the emergence of new gymnospermous plants that might have favourably

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. Anisian (Middle Triassic) marine ichnocoenoses from the eastern and western margins of the Kamdian Continent, Yunnan Province, SW China: Implications for the Triassic biotic recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xueqian; Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Woods, Adam; Pei, Yu; Wu, Siqi; Fang, Yuheng; Luo, Mao; Xu, Yaling

    2017-10-01

    Two Anisian (Middle Triassic) marine ichnocoenoses are reported from the Boyun and Junmachang (JMC) sections located along the eastern and western margins of the Kamdian Continent, Yunnan Province, Southwest China, respectively. The Boyun ichnoassemblage is middle Anisian in age and is dominated by robust Rhizocorallium, while the JMC ichnoassemblage is of an early Anisian age and is characterized by the presence of Zoophycos. The ichnoassemblage horizons of the Boyun section represent an inner ramp environment, while the JMC section was likely situated in a mid-ramp setting near storm wave base as indicated by the presence of tempestites. The ichnofossil-bearing successions are usually highly bioturbated in both the Boyun (BI 3-5, BPBI 5) and JMC (BI 3-4, BPBI 3-4) sections. Three large, morphologically complicated ichnogenera: 1) Rhizocorallium; 2) Thalassinoides; and, 3) Zoophycos characterize the Anisian ichnocoenoses. Of these, Rhizocorallium has mean and maximum tube diameters up to 20.4 mm and 28 mm, respectively, while Thalassinoides mean and maximum tube diameters are 14.2 mm and 22 mm, respectively. Zoophycos is present in the early Anisian strata of the JMC section, and represents the oldest known occurrence of this ichnogenus following the latest Permian mass extinction. Similar to coeval ichnoassemblages elsewhere in the world, the Yunnan ichnocoenoses embrace a relatively low ichnodiversity, but their burrows usually penetrate deeply into the sediment, and include large and complex Rhizocorallium and Thalassinoides. All of these ichnologic features are indicative of recovery stage 4 after the latest Permian crisis. Anisian ichnoassemblages occur globally in six different habitat settings, and all show similar ecologic characteristics except for slightly different degrees of ichnotaxonomic richness, indicating that depositional environment is not a crucial factor shaping the recovery of the trace-makers, but may have an impact on their ichnodiversity

  5. Bessel light sheet structured illumination microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noshirvani Allahabadi, Golchehr

    Biomedical study researchers using animals to model disease and treatment need fast, deep, noninvasive, and inexpensive multi-channel imaging methods. Traditional fluorescence microscopy meets those criteria to an extent. Specifically, two-photon and confocal microscopy, the two most commonly used methods, are limited in penetration depth, cost, resolution, and field of view. In addition, two-photon microscopy has limited ability in multi-channel imaging. Light sheet microscopy, a fast developing 3D fluorescence imaging method, offers attractive advantages over traditional two-photon and confocal microscopy. Light sheet microscopy is much more applicable for in vivo 3D time-lapsed imaging, owing to its selective illumination of tissue layer, superior speed, low light exposure, high penetration depth, and low levels of photobleaching. However, standard light sheet microscopy using Gaussian beam excitation has two main disadvantages: 1) the field of view (FOV) of light sheet microscopy is limited by the depth of focus of the Gaussian beam. 2) Light-sheet images can be degraded by scattering, which limits the penetration of the excitation beam and blurs emission images in deep tissue layers. While two-sided sheet illumination, which doubles the field of view by illuminating the sample from opposite sides, offers a potential solution, the technique adds complexity and cost to the imaging system. We investigate a new technique to address these limitations: Bessel light sheet microscopy in combination with incoherent nonlinear Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM). Results demonstrate that, at visible wavelengths, Bessel excitation penetrates up to 250 microns deep in the scattering media with single-side illumination. Bessel light sheet microscope achieves confocal level resolution at a lateral resolution of 0.3 micron and an axial resolution of 1 micron. Incoherent nonlinear SIM further reduces the diffused background in Bessel light sheet images, resulting in

  6. Review of potential host rocks for radioactive wasste disposal in the southeast United States: Triassic basin subregion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1980-10-01

    Based on an evaluation of existing information, areas were identified within the Triassic basins of the southeastern United States with geologic properties considered favorable for containment of radioactive waste. The study region included both exposed and buried Triassic basins from Maryland to Georgia. These basins are long, narrow northeast-trending troughs filled with continental deposits derived from Paleozoic and Precambrian metamorphic and igneous rocks bordering the basins. The rocks are predominantly red in color and consist mainly of fanglomerates, conglomerates, arkosic sandstones, siltstones, claystones, shales, and argillites. The investigation identified 14 exposed and 5 buried basins within the study region. Candidate areas for further investigation were identified which meet the broad general criteria for tectonic stability, slow ground water movement, and long flow paths to the biosphere. These include: the Danville Triassic Basin in Virginia; the Dan River, Durham, and Wadesboro Triassic Basins in North Carolina; and the buried Florence and Dunbarton Triassic Basins in South Carolina. Other rock types in the southeast may prove more or less suitable as host rocks for a repository, but the available data suggest that the argillaceous Triassic rocks offer sufficient promise to be considered for additional study

  7. Optimal LED-based illumination control via distributed convex optimization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aslam, Muhammad; Hermans, R.M.; Pandharipande, A.; Lazar, M.; Boje, Edward; Xia, Xiaohua

    2014-01-01

    Achieving illumination and energy consumption targets is essential in indoor lighting design. The provision of localized illumination to occupants, and the utilization of natural light and energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) luminaires can help meet both objectives. Localized illumination

  8. The geology and hydrocarbon possibilities of the Triassic-Jurassic Fundy Basin, eastern Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wade, J.A.; Fensome, R.A. [Geological Survey of Canada, Dartmouth, NS (Canada). Atlantic Geoscience Centre; Brown, D.E. [Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, Halifax, NS (Canada)

    1997-09-01

    The development of the Mesozoic sedimentary basins beneath the waters of the eastern coast of North America was discussed. These basins have been linked to the rifting of the central part of Pangaea during Mid and Late Triassic time that ended in the formation of a series of grabens extending from Florida to The Grand Banks of Newfoundland, one of them being the Bay of Fundy Basin which is about 16,500 square kilometres in size. Onshore and offshore geologic mapping and seismic interpretations have shown their age range to be from the Mid Triassic Anisian or Ladinian to Mid Jurassic. Up to 12 km of Mesozoic rocks were deposited in the basin with up to 9 km still present. The depositional history of the area was described. The two areas with greatest hydrocarbon potential are the Bay of Fundy and the Chignecto subbasins.

  9. U-Th-Geochemistry of Permian and Triassic sediments of the Drauzug, Carinthia, Austria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurat, G.; Korkisch, J.; Niedermayr, G.; Seemann, R.

    1976-05-01

    Chemical analysis of samples of Triassic and Permian rocks from the Drauzug, Carinthia and Austria was carried out. U concentration was measured by flurimetry, Th and Cu by spectrophotometry using Thoronol method or Arsenazo III method for Th, Fe by titrimetry and V, Ba, Sr by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The average U concentration ranged from 0.8 to 4.6 ppm and the Th concentration from 3.2 to 15.6 ppm depending upon the mineral material. The quartzporphyries contained the highest concentration of both. It was concluded that the Permian-Triassic series are very similar to the equivalent deposits in Northern Italy. Assuming a lateral displacement, the former represent the Northern marginal part of the latter and therefore are inferior in thickness and thus not favourable for larger U mineralization

  10. Trouble Upstairs: Reconstructing Permian-Triassic Climate during Siberian Traps Magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, B. A.; Neely, R. R., III; Lamarque, J. F.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Mills, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    The eruption of large igneous provinces can transfer significant masses of volatiles from Earth's interior to the atmosphere. What are the consequences of this degassing for habitability and extinction? In this presentation, we consider this question in the context of Siberian Traps magmatism, which has been shown to overlap within geochronologic uncertainty with catastrophic deterioration of Permian-Triassic marine and terrestrial ecosystems. To investigate the impacts of endogenic gases on climate, atmospheric chemistry, and ocean circulation, we conducted a series of numerical experiments with a comprehensive global model for the Permian-Triassic. Our simulations predict the intensity and distribution of acid rain and ozone depletion, with implications for terrestrial biota. We further explore feedbacks between sulfur emissions, transient cooling, and shifts in ocean circulation. We suggest that Siberian Traps magmatism may have triggered several distinct kill mechanisms in the oceans and on land, contributing to a complex combined pattern of environmental stress and latest Permian ecological failure.

  11. UPPER OLENEKIAN (SPATHIAN AMMONOIDS FROM CHIOS (LOWER TRIASSIC, GREECE: TAXONOMY AND STRATIGRAPHIC POSITIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DOROTHEE MERTMANN

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available  On the Greek island of Chios, Lower Triassic sections bave delivered rich ammonoid faunas from red limestones of the Hallstatt facies. Here, we present a palaeontological description of Spathian ammonoids, which have been collected during two field campaigns by Italian-German teams (Assereto et al. 1980; Gaetani et al. 1992. The ammonoid associations are composed of Ceratitida and Phylloceratida, each order containing species of the Noritaceae, Hedenstroemiaceae, Xenodiscaceae, Dinaritaceae, Pinacocerataceae, Phyllocerataceae, Ptychitaceae, Ussuritaceae and Megaphyllitaceae. Long ranging genera, e.g. Procarnites and Leiophyllites, are present as well as endemic ones, e.g. Chiotites, which occurs exclusively in the Lower Triassic of Chios. The ammonoid association is indicative of the Prohungarites-Subcolumbites zone sensu Kummel (1973a. The haugi zone, installed as uppermost Olenekian in North America, is not represented by ammonoids on Chios. 

  12. Integrated geophysical study of the Triassic salt bodies' geometry and evolution in central Tunisia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azaiez, Hajer; Amri, Dorra Tanfous; Gabtni, Hakim; Bedir, Mourad; Soussi, Mohamed

    2008-01-01

    A comprehensive study, integrating gravity, magnetic and seismic reflection data, has been used to resolve the complex Triassic salt body geometry and evolution in central Tunisia. Regional seismic lines across the study area show a detachment level in the Upper Triassic evaporites, associated with chaotic seismic facies below the Souinia, Majoura, and Mezzouna structures. The Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous seismic horizons display pinching-outs and onlapping around these structures. A stack-velocity section confirms the existence of a high-velocity body beneath the Souinia Mountain. Regional gravity and magnetic profiles in this area were elaborated from ETAP (the Tunisian Firm of Petroleum Activities) measure stations. These profiles were plotted following the same layout from the west (Souinia) to the east (Mezzouna), across the Majoura and Kharrouba mountains. They highlight associated gravity and magnetic negative anomalies. These gravity and magnetic data coupled to the reflection seismic data demonstrate that, in the Souinia, Majoura, and El Hafey zones, the Triassic salt reaches a salt pillow and a salt-dome stage, without piercing the cover. These stages are expressed by moderately low gravity anomalies. On the other hand, in the Mezzouna area (part of the North-South Axis), the Triassic salt had pierced its cover during the Upper Cretaceous and the Tertiary, reaching a more advanced stage as a salt diapir and salt wall. These stages express important low gravity and magnetic anomalies. These results confirm the model of Tanfous et al. (2005) of halokinetic movements by fault intrusions inducing, from the west to the east, structures at different stages of salt pillow, salt dome, and salt diapir.

  13. The Pangaean megamonsoon - evidence from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubiel, R.F.; Totman, Parrish J.; Parrish, J.M.; Good, S.C.

    1991-01-01

    The Chinle was deposited between about 5?? to 15??N paleolatitude in the western equatorial region of Pangaea, a key area for documenting the effects of the monsoonal climate. This study summarizes sedimentological and paleontologic data from the Chinle Formation on the Colorado Plateau and integrates that data with paleoclimatic models. The evidence for abundant moisture and seasonality attest to the reversal of equatorial flow and support the hypothesis that the Triassic Pangaean climate was dominated by monsoonal circulation. -from Authors

  14. Depositional environments of Late Triassic lake, east-central New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hester, P.M. (Bureau of Land Management, Albuquerque, NM (USA))

    1989-09-01

    The Redonda Member of the Chinle Formation represents deposition in a large, polymictic lake during the Late Triassic (Norian) in east-central New Mexico. This study documents and defines an extensive lacustrine system situated in western Pangaea which was influenced by both tectonic and climatic events. Areal extent of the lake may have been as much as 5,000 km{sup 2}.

  15. Magnetic microsperules in Permian and Triassic bedded chert from Southwest Japan

    OpenAIRE

    Iwahashi,Junko; Yoshida,Masaru; Miono,Shigeyoshi; Santosh,Geetha; Santosh,M.

    1991-01-01

    Magnetic microspherules collected from the Permian and Triassic bedded cherts in Southwest Japan were studied. The size range, as estimated from 801 microspherules, vary from 3 to 100μm, with a peak size distribution between 10-20μm. Three broad shapes are recognized : spherical-, drop- and rocket-shaped, all categories including hollow particles. The surface textures as studied from scanning electron microscope show five dominant varieties : random mosaic, dendritic mosaic, feather crystal, ...

  16. A Triassic to Cretaceous Sundaland-Pacific subduction margin in West Sarawak, Borneo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitfeld, H. Tim; Hall, Robert; Galin, Thomson; Forster, Margaret A.; BouDagher-Fadel, Marcelle K.

    2017-01-01

    Metamorphic rocks in West Sarawak are poorly exposed and studied. They were previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement but had never been dated. New 40Ar/39Ar ages from white mica in quartz-mica schists reveal metamorphism between c. 216 to 220 Ma. The metamorphic rocks are associated with Triassic acid and basic igneous rocks, which indicate widespread magmatism. New U-Pb dating of zircons from the Jagoi Granodiorite indicates Triassic magmatism at c. 208 Ma and c. 240 Ma. U-Pb dating of zircons from volcaniclastic sediments of the Sadong and Kuching Formations confirms contemporaneous volcanism. The magmatic activity is interpreted to represent a Triassic subduction margin in westernmost West Sarawak with sediments deposited in a forearc basin derived from the magmatic arc at the Sundaland-Pacific margin. West Sarawak and NW Kalimantan are underlain by continental crust that was already part of Sundaland or accreted to Sundaland in the Triassic. One metabasite sample, also previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement, yielded Early Cretaceous 40Ar/39Ar ages. They are interpreted to indicate resumption of subduction which led to deposition of volcaniclastic sediments and widespread magmatism. U-Pb ages from detrital zircons in the Cretaceous Pedawan Formation are similar to those from the Schwaner granites of NW Kalimantan, and the Pedawan Formation is interpreted as part of a Cretaceous forearc basin containing material eroded from a magmatic arc that extended from Vietnam to west Borneo. The youngest U-Pb ages from zircons in a tuff layer from the uppermost part of the Pedawan Formation indicate that volcanic activity continued until c. 86 to 88 Ma when subduction terminated.

  17. Terrestrial Origin of Viviparity in Mesozoic Marine Reptiles Indicated by Early Triassic Embryonic Fossils

    OpenAIRE

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exc...

  18. Investigating A Unique Open Ocean Geochemical Record Of the End Triassic Mass Extinction from Panthalassa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marroquín, S. M.; Gill, B. C.; Them, T. R., II; Trabucho-Alexandre, J. P.; Aberhan, M.; Owens, J. D.; Gröcke, D. R.; Caruthers, A. H.

    2017-12-01

    The end-Triassic mass extinction ( 201 Ma) was a time of intense disturbance for marine communities. This event is estimated to have produced as much as a loss of 80% of known marine species. The protracted interval of elevated extinction rates is also characterized by a major carbon cycle perturbation and potentially widespread oxygen deficiency within the oceans. While the causes of extinction and environmental feedbacks are still debated it is hypothesized to have been triggered by massive volcanism associated with the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province flood basalts. However, our understanding of the Latest Triassic-Earliest Jurassic interval is limited due to the lack of well-preserved stratigraphic successions outside of the Tethys Ocean (present day Europe), with most of the records from epicontinental and marginal marine settings. To expand our understanding of this critical interval, our study seeks to document biological and environmental changes elsewhere. Specifically, we document and reconstruct these changes in the equatorial Panthalassan Ocean. We will present new data from a sedimentary succession preserved in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska that spans the Late Triassic through Early Jurassic. The sedimentary succession represents a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic ramp that was deposited at tropical latitudes, adjacent to an island arc in the open Panthalassan Ocean. This succession affords a unique view of open marine conditions, and also holds the potential for excellent temporal control as it contains abundant ash layers throughout, as well as, key ammonite and bivalve fossil occurrences that provide biostratigraphic control. We will present an integrated geochemical and paleontological record from this site using several geochemical proxies (carbon, δ13Ccarb and % total organic carbon, sulfur, δ34S, as well as pyrite contents and iron speciation) along with ammonite and bivalve occurrence data to reconstruct the record of environmental and

  19. VALLESAURUS CENENSIS WILD, 1991, A DREPANOSAURID (REPTILIA DIAPSIDA FROM THE LATE TRIASSIC OF NORTHERN ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SILVIO RENESTO

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Vallesaurus cenensis, a small drepanosaurid reptile from the Norian (Late Triassic beds of the Calcare di Zorzino (Zorzino Limestone is described. The holotype and only known specimen represents the first drepanosaurid in which the skull is preserved articulated with the postcranial skeleton. The study of Vallesaurus anatomy confirms previous data about arboreal adaptation in all known drepanosaurids and permits more firm hypotheses about the phylogenetic relationships of the Drepanosauridae to be proposed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignacio Alejandro Cerda

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Martín Hechenleitner

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daněk Tomáš

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fricke, Henry C.; Rogers, Raymond R.

    2000-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Youhong; Zhu Jieqing; Wang Xiaohong; Wang Yimin

    1997-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Youhong; Zhu Jieqing; Wang Xiaohong; Wang Yimin

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xing; Norell, Mark A

    2004-10-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. The development of the Middle Triassic tectonical controlled Germanic Basin of Central Europe and the palaeoenvironmental related distribution of marine and terrestrial reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2010-05-01

    territory loss, and marginal marine beach zone extensions seem to be also the reason for the beginning of the dinosaur raise in the world. Within the Middle Muschelkalk Heilbronn and Diemel Formations a massive sea level fall caused a new extension of intertidal zones and sabkhas, but also halite and gypsum evaporates ("Domolite-evaporate facies") in the basin center including the southern Germanic Basin branch (region Tübingen/Stuttgart, Southwestern Germany). The "Middle Muschelkalk" shallow relief and lagoon to intertidal dominated period changed again drastically within a new tectonic active "Upper Muschelkalk" time and strong "ingression" of the northern Tethys into the Germanic Basin within the Illyrian time (Bad Sulza Fm, Trochitenkalk Fm). A shallow marine, with shallow water carbonates filled Germanic Basin developed again, but this time with different consequences onto the former coastal zones, in which intertidal biolaminated and sabkhas disappeared as a result of steeper coastal morphologies. Whereas in the first ingression a shallow marine reptile fauna was present (Nothosaur-Pachypleurosaur taphocoenosis, Lower Bad Sulza Fm, Diedrich in prep.). The fauna changed with the main transgression within the Upper Bad Sulza Fm to a Placodontid-Pistosaur taphocoenosis with more open marine adapted forms (Diedrich in prep.). At those time also crinoid bioherms developed massively all over the central and southern Germanic Basin in front of the costs at the "steeper coast margins" (which were still hot high angled), as a "crinoid belt" (e.g. Aigner and Bachmann 1991), which was responsible for massive crinoidal limestones (= "Trochitenkalk facies"). In this period again "Triassic seacows" seem to have populated well the entire Germanic Basin, and here again seagrass meadow areas documented by benthic invertebrate palaeocommunities (Diedrich 2009a, 2010a). The marine macroplants must have built extended meadows on the shallow marine and oxygen-rich seafloor conditions of

  14. Permian-Triassic Tethyan realm reorganization: Implications for the outward Pangea margin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riel, Nicolas; Jaillard, Etienne; Martelat, Jean-Emmanuel; Guillot, Stéphane; Braun, Jean

    2018-01-01

    We present a new conceptual model to explain the first order Permian-Triassic evolution of the whole > 30 000 km long Pangea margin facing the Panthalassa ocean. Compilation of available geological, geochemical, geochronogical and paleomagnetic data all along this system allowed us to distinguish three part of the margin: western Laurentia, western Gondwana and eastern Gondwana. These segments record distinct tectonic and magmatic events, which all occur synchronously along the whole margin and correlate well with the main geodynamic events of this period, i.e. subduction of the Paleotethys mid-ocean ridge at 310-280 Ma, opening of the Neotethys at 280-260 Ma, counterclockwise rotation of Pangea at 260-230 Ma and closure of the Paleotethys at 230-220 Ma. Between 260 and 230 Ma, the reorganization of the Tethyan realm triggered the up to 35° rotation of Pangea around an Euler pole located in northernmost South America. This implied both an increase and a decrease of the convergence rate between the margin and the Panthalassa ocean, north and south of the Euler pole, respectively. Thus, the Permian-Triassic Pangean margin was marked: in western Laurentia by marginal sea closure, in western Gondwana by widespread bimodal magmatic and volcanic activity, in eastern Gondwana by transpressive orogenic phase. Therefore, we propose that the Permian-Triassic evolution of the outward margin of Pangea was controlled by the Tethyan realm reorganization.

  15. Geochronologic evidence of a large magmatic province in northern Patagonia encompassing the Permian-Triassic boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luppo, Tomás; López de Luchi, Mónica G.; Rapalini, Augusto E.; Martínez Dopico, Carmen I.; Fanning, Christopher M.

    2018-03-01

    The Los Menucos Complex (northern Patagonia) consists of ∼6 km thick succession of acidic and intermediate volcanic and pyroclastic products, which has been traditionally assigned to the Middle/Late Triassic. New U/Pb (SHRIMP) zircon crystallization ages of 257 ± 2 Ma at the base, 252 ± 2 Ma at an intermediate level and 248 ± 2 Ma near the top of the sequence, indicate that this volcanic event took place in about 10 Ma around the Permian-Triassic boundary. This volcanism can now be considered as the effusive terms of the neighboring and coeval La Esperanza Plutono-Volcanic Complex. This indicates that the climax of activity of a large magmatic province in northern Patagonia was coetaneous with the end-Permian mass extinctions. Likely correlation of La Esperanza- Los Menucos magmatic province with similar volcanic and plutonic rocks across other areas of northern Patagonia suggest a much larger extension than previously envisaged for this event. Its age, large volume and explosive nature suggest that the previously ignored potential role that this volcanism might have played in climatic deterioration around the Permian-Triassic boundary should be investigated.

  16. A basal ichthyosauriform with a short snout from the Lower Triassic of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-Yong; Chen, Guan-Bao; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Ji, Cheng; Huang, Jian-Dong

    2015-01-22

    The incompleteness of the fossil record obscures the origin of many of the more derived clades of vertebrates. One such group is the Ichthyopterygia, a clade of obligatory marine reptiles that appeared in the Early Triassic epoch, without any known intermediates. Here we describe a basal ichthyosauriform from the upper Lower Triassic (about 248 million years ago) of China, whose primitive skeleton indicates possible amphibious habits. It is smaller than ichthyopterygians and had unusually large flippers that probably allowed limited terrestrial locomotion. It also retained characteristics of terrestrial diapsid reptiles, including a short snout and body trunk. Unlike more-derived ichthyosauriforms, it was probably a suction feeder. The new species supports the sister-group relationships between ichthyosauriforms and Hupehsuchia, the two forming the Ichthyosauromorpha. Basal ichthyosauromorphs are known exclusively from south China, suggesting that the clade originated in the region, which formed a warm and humid tropical archipelago in the Early Triassic. The oldest unequivocal record of a sauropterygian is also from the same stratigraphic unit of the region.

  17. Investigation of mineral composition of differently treated devonian, quaternary and triassic clays of Latvia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kosorukovs, A.; Viss, R.

    1999-01-01

    Clayey fractions (particle size less than 5 μm )of the Latvian Devonian (Kuprava and Liepa deposits), Quaternary (Laza and Ugale deposits) and Triassic (Akmene deposit, Republic of Lithuania) clays have been obtained. The clayey fractions were converted in the form in which all the cations were exchanged for magnesium ions. After the ion exchange the fractions were treated with dimethyl sulfoxide or glycerol in the course for two days, one sample being subjected to thermal treatment at 550±110 C for two hours. Diffractograms for the treated samples have been obtained using a DRON-2,0 diffractometer (Co-radiation). Analysis of the obtained diffractograms show that: 1) the main clayey minerals of the Devonian clays occur to be hydromicas (mainly hydromuscovite) containing admixtures of kaolinite and quartz; 2) the main clayey minerals of the Quarternary clays also occur to be hydromicas - mixtures of hydrobiotite and hydromuscovite containing admixtures of kaolinite and iron-containing chlorite; 3) smectite occurs to be the main mineral of the Triassic clay; it contains admixtures of hydromica and chlorite; 4) the Triassic and Quaternary clays contain fine- and coarse-grained carbonates, mainly calcite, in quantities of 10-16%; 5) iron and titanium are included in fine grained minerals. (author)

  18. Origin and tectonic evolution of upper Triassic Turbidites in the Indo-Burman ranges, West Myanmar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Wei; Ding, Lin; Cai, Fulong; Wang, Houqi; Xu, Qiang; Zaw, Than

    2017-11-01

    The Pane Chaung Formation is exposed in the Indo-Burman Ranges, and has been involved in collision between the Indian Plate and West Burma Block. However, controversies exist over the provenance and paleogeographic reconstruction of the Pane Chaung Formation. This study presents new petrographical and detrital zircon Usbnd Pb ages and Hf isotopic data from the Pane Chaung Formation in Rakhine Yoma and Chin Hills, west Myanmar. The depositional age of the Pane Chaung Formation is Late Triassic, indicated by the Carnian-Norian Halobia fossils and maximum depositional ages between 233.0 ± 2.5 Ma and 206.2 ± 1.8 Ma. Upper Triassic sandstones contain 290-200 Ma detrital zircons, εHf(t) values of - 6 to 11 and TDMC of 1.6 to 0.6 Ga, interpreted to be derived from West Papua region. The most abundant zircon age population of 750-450 Ma is derived from Pan-African orogenic belts in Australia. Zircons of 1250-900 Ma age were derived from the Grenvillian orogen in Australia. Archean zircons are interpreted to be derived from the Yilgarn and Pilbara cratons in Western Australia. Detrital zircon ages of the Pane Chaung Formation are distinct from similar aged strata in Indochina and Sibumasu, but comparable to NW Australia (Carnarvon Basin) and Greater India (Langjiexue Formation). It is suggested that the Pane Chaung Formation was deposited in a Late Triassic submarine fan along the northern margin of Australia.

  19. Synchrotron Reveals Early Triassic Odd Couple: Injured Amphibian and Aestivating Therapsid Share Burrow.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Fernandez

    Full Text Available Fossorialism is a beneficial adaptation for brooding, predator avoidance and protection from extreme climate. The abundance of fossilised burrow casts from the Early Triassic of southern Africa is viewed as a behavioural response by many tetrapods to the harsh conditions following the Permo-Triassic mass-extinction event. However, scarcity of vertebrate remains associated with these burrows leaves many ecological questions unanswered. Synchrotron scanning of a lithified burrow cast from the Early Triassic of the Karoo unveiled a unique mixed-species association: an injured temnospondyl amphibian (Broomistega that sheltered in a burrow occupied by an aestivating therapsid (Thrinaxodon. The discovery of this rare rhinesuchid represents the first occurrence in the fossil record of a temnospondyl in a burrow. The amphibian skeleton shows signs of a crushing trauma with partially healed fractures on several consecutive ribs. The presence of a relatively large intruder in what is interpreted to be a Thrinaxodon burrow implies that the therapsid tolerated the amphibian's presence. Among possible explanations for such unlikely cohabitation, Thrinaxodon aestivation is most plausible, an interpretation supported by the numerous Thrinaxodon specimens fossilised in curled-up postures. Recent advances in synchrotron imaging have enabled visualization of the contents of burrow casts, thus providing a novel tool to elucidate not only anatomy but also ecology and biology of ancient tetrapods.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casey M Holliday

    2010-09-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.F. Funston

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-06-30

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

  7. Open LED Illuminator: A Simple and Inexpensive LED Illuminator for Fast Multicolor Particle Tracking in Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosse, Jens B.; Tanneti, Nikhila S.; Hogue, Ian B.; Enquist, Lynn W.

    2015-01-01

    Dual-color live cell fluorescence microscopy of fast intracellular trafficking processes, such as axonal transport, requires rapid switching of illumination channels. Typical broad-spectrum sources necessitate the use of mechanical filter switching, which introduces delays between acquisition of different fluorescence channels, impeding the interpretation and quantification of highly dynamic processes. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), however, allow modulation of excitation light in microseconds. Here we provide a step-by-step protocol to enable any scientist to build a research-grade LED illuminator for live cell microscopy, even without prior experience with electronics or optics. We quantify and compare components, discuss our design considerations, and demonstrate the performance of our LED illuminator by imaging axonal transport of herpes virus particles with high temporal resolution. PMID:26600461

  8. Open LED Illuminator: A Simple and Inexpensive LED Illuminator for Fast Multicolor Particle Tracking in Neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens B Bosse

    Full Text Available Dual-color live cell fluorescence microscopy of fast intracellular trafficking processes, such as axonal transport, requires rapid switching of illumination channels. Typical broad-spectrum sources necessitate the use of mechanical filter switching, which introduces delays between acquisition of different fluorescence channels, impeding the interpretation and quantification of highly dynamic processes. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs, however, allow modulation of excitation light in microseconds. Here we provide a step-by-step protocol to enable any scientist to build a research-grade LED illuminator for live cell microscopy, even without prior experience with electronics or optics. We quantify and compare components, discuss our design considerations, and demonstrate the performance of our LED illuminator by imaging axonal transport of herpes virus particles with high temporal resolution.

  9. Ultra Deep Wave Equation Imaging and Illumination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alexander M. Popovici; Sergey Fomel; Paul Sava; Sean Crawley; Yining Li; Cristian Lupascu

    2006-09-30

    In this project we developed and tested a novel technology, designed to enhance seismic resolution and imaging of ultra-deep complex geologic structures by using state-of-the-art wave-equation depth migration and wave-equation velocity model building technology for deeper data penetration and recovery, steeper dip and ultra-deep structure imaging, accurate velocity estimation for imaging and pore pressure prediction and accurate illumination and amplitude processing for extending the AVO prediction window. Ultra-deep wave-equation imaging provides greater resolution and accuracy under complex geologic structures where energy multipathing occurs, than what can be accomplished today with standard imaging technology. The objective of the research effort was to examine the feasibility of imaging ultra-deep structures onshore and offshore, by using (1) wave-equation migration, (2) angle-gathers velocity model building, and (3) wave-equation illumination and amplitude compensation. The effort consisted of answering critical technical questions that determine the feasibility of the proposed methodology, testing the theory on synthetic data, and finally applying the technology for imaging ultra-deep real data. Some of the questions answered by this research addressed: (1) the handling of true amplitudes in the downward continuation and imaging algorithm and the preservation of the amplitude with offset or amplitude with angle information required for AVO studies, (2) the effect of several imaging conditions on amplitudes, (3) non-elastic attenuation and approaches for recovering the amplitude and frequency, (4) the effect of aperture and illumination on imaging steep dips and on discriminating the velocities in the ultra-deep structures. All these effects were incorporated in the final imaging step of a real data set acquired specifically to address ultra-deep imaging issues, with large offsets (12,500 m) and long recording time (20 s).

  10. Hybrid illumination systems for a brigth future

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjarklev, Araceli

    Problem to be adressed: Even with the implementation of the Eco-design directive (2005/32/EC) it is projected that the 20% energy reduction goal will not be reached in 2020. as a matter of fact, the electricity consumption in the illumination sector will not be changed from the levels of cosnsump...... of an interdisciplinary group, we aim to make a prototype of a test system. for this we will merge Solid State and Fiber optic technologies. The overall project will be assessed under  the viewpoints of environmental, socio-economic and esthetical parameters...

  11. Light engine for an illumination device

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

    Disclosed herein are embodiments of a light engine for an illumination device, the light engine defining an output gate and being configured to output light from said output gate; wherein the light engine comprises: one or more light sources defining a light-emitting area; a concave reflector con...... configured to receive light from the light-emitting area and to direct light from respective portions of the light-emitting area to form a converging beam that converges towards a beam spot at the output gate....

  12. Nonimaging reflectors for efficient uniform illumination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, J M; Kashin, P; Rabl, A

    1992-10-01

    Nonimaging reflectors that are an extension of the design principle that was developed for compound parabolic concentrator type devices are proposed for illumination applications. The optical designs presented offer maximal lighting efficiency while they retain sharp angular control of the radiation and highly uniform flux densities on distant target planes. Our results are presented for symmetrical configurations in two dimensions (troughlike reflectors) for flat and for tubular sources. For fields of view of practical interest (half-angle in the 30-60 degrees range), these devices can achieve minimum-tomaximum intensity ratios of 0.7, while they remain compact and incur low reflective losses.

  13. How to make illuminating type poster

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Yong Sun; Kang, Duk Sik

    1986-01-01

    Illuminating type poster looks very impressive and one may feel as if it were on the view box in his reading room. Some difficulties and nuisances really exist in making them and a few of demerits can also be encountered that of contrast enhancement and of rough graininess. Contact print renders the best quality, though, Kodak Technical-Pan film with HC-100 (Dil. F) developer, llford XP 1-400 with Kodak C-41 color developer and Kodak Plus-X with Microdiol-X developer combinations also work in minimizing the deterioration of resolution and grains which can almost always occur in enlargement prints.

  14. Freeform lens design for LED collimating illumination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jin-Jia; Wang, Te-Yuan; Huang, Kuang-Lung; Liu, Te-Shu; Tsai, Ming-Da; Lin, Chin-Tang

    2012-05-07

    We present a simple freeform lens design method for an application to LED collimating illumination. The method is derived from a basic geometric-optics analysis and construction approach. By using this method, a highly collimating lens with LED chip size of 1.0 mm × 1.0 mm and optical simulation efficiency of 86.5% under a view angle of ± 5 deg is constructed. To verify the practical performance of the lens, a prototype of the collimator lens is also made, and an optical efficiency of 90.3% with a beam angle of 4.75 deg is measured.

  15. Late Triassic paleolatitude of the Qiangtang block: Implications for the closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Peiping; Ding, Lin; Li, Zhenyu; Lippert, Peter C.; Yang, Tianshui; Zhao, Xixi; Fu, Jiajun; Yue, Yahui

    2015-08-01

    To better constrain the Late Triassic paleolatitude of the Qiangtang block and the closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean, a combined paleomagnetic and zircon U/Pb geochronological study has been conducted on the Upper Triassic Jiapila Formation volcanic rocks on the northern edge of the Qiangtang block of Central Tibet (34.1°N, 92.4°E). These rocks are dated to 204-213 Ma. Progressive thermal or alternating field demagnetization successfully isolated stable characteristic remanent magnetizations (ChRM) that pass both the fold and reversal tests, consistent with a primary magnetization. These are the first volcanic-based paleomagnetic results from pre-Cretaceous rocks of the Qiangtang block that appear to average secular variation well enough to yield a reliable paleolatitude estimate. Based on our new paleomagnetic data from Upper Triassic lavas, we conclude that the Late Triassic pole of the Qiangtang block was located at 64.0°N, 174.7°E, with A95 = 6.6 ° (N = 29). We compile published paleomagnetic data from the Qiangtang block to calculate a Late Triassic latitude for the Qiangtang block at 31.7 ± 3.0°N. The central Paleo-Tethys Ocean basin was located between the North China (NCB) and Tarim blocks to the north and the Qiangtang block to the south during Late Paleozoic-Early Mesozoic. A comparison of published Early Triassic paleopole from the Qiangtang block with the coeval paleopoles from the NCB and Tarim indicates that the Paleo-Tethys Ocean could not have closed during the Early Triassic and that its width was approximately ∼32-38° latitude (∼3500-4200 km). However, the comparison of our new combined Late Triassic paleomagnetic result with the Late Triassic poles of the NCB and Tarim, as well as numerous geological observations, indicates that the closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean at the longitude of the Qiangtang block most likely occurred during the Late Triassic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel Tschopp

    2016-02-01

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