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Re: Psittacosaurus bristle article in Naturwissenschaften online



On Thu, 18 Jul 2002 16:30:05  
 bh480 wrote:
>From: Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org
>In case this has not been mentioned yet, the 
>Naturwissenschaften site has a preprint version of an 
>article about Psittacosaurus bristles:
>
>Mayr, Gerald Mayr, D. Stefan Peters, Gerhard Plodowski and 
>Olaf Vogel, 2002. Bristle-like integumentary structures at 
>the tail of the horned dinosaur Psittacosaurus. 
>Naturwissenschaften, DOI 10.1007/s00114-002-0339-6
>Published online: 17 July 2002.
>
>Abstract. A specimen of the horned dinosaur Psittacosaurus 
>from the early Cretaceous of China is described in which 
>the integument is extraordinarily well-preserved. Most 
>unusual is the presence of long bristle-like structures on 
>the proximal part of tail. We interpret these structures 
>as cylindrical and possibly tubular epidermal structures 
>that were anchored deeply in the skin. They might have 
>been used in display behavior and especially if one 
>assumes that they were colored, they may have had a signal 
>function. At present, there is no convincing evidence 
>which shows these structures to be homologous to the 
>structurally different integumentary filaments of theropod 
>dinosaurs. Independent of their homology, however, the 
>discovery of bristle-like structures in Psittacosaurus is 
>of great evolutionary significance since it shows that the 
>integumentary covering of at least some dinosaurs was much 
>more complex than has ever been previously imagined.
>
>http://link.springer-
>ny.com/link/service/journals/00114/contents/02/00339/paper/
>s00114-002-0339-6ch110.html

Yeah, the link doesn't work for me either, since I'm not a subscriber.  But, 
nonetheless, it's nice to see this paper published.  I'm curious: is the 
psittacosaurid referred to as _Psittacosaurus_ sp., or has it been assigned to 
a species?

And, is it discussed how these filaments might parallel the series of ossified 
tendons seen in the tail?  I'm certainly not suggesting that they are ossified 
tendons, but I find it interesting that in some _Psittacosaurus_ species said 
tendons only extend along the proximal half of the tail.  Likely coincidence, 
but perhaps there is a functional correlate??

Steve

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