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Re: Gastralia

>Dr. Carpenter wrote:
>> They may be a uniting character for the saurischia (Theropoda +
>> Sauropoda).  O.C. Marsh (1896) was the first to point them out (and
>> illustrate them) in sauropods.  Later, Holland reported them from
>> Dinosaur National Monument.  Naturally, von Huene illustrated them for
>> prosauropods, as has Cooper, etc.  They apparently donot occur in
>> ornithischia.
>> Oh, by the way.  Our newly remounted Diplodocus has them (9 pairs) based
>> on a newly described sauropod from Wyoming.
>One question I've been asking myself for some time. Apart from the
>functional aspects of gastralia, what are the current hypotheses
>regarding their (phylogenetic and developmental) origin? Are gastralia
>present in other fossil or extant non-archosaurian amniotes?

Gastralia are found in many modern lepidosaurs (the gastralia of
_Sphenodon_ [under its various junior synonyms] are illustrated in most
classic studies of dinosaur gastralia).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                                   
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile                  Phone:      703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey                                FAX:      703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092