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RE: Massospondylus embryos discovered
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
Paper out later today in Science.
Yep, here 'tis:
Reisz, R.R., Scott, D., Sues, H.-D., Evans, D.C., and Raath, M.A. (2005).
Embryos of an early Jurassic prosauropod dinosaur and their evolutionary
significance. Science 309: 761-764.
"Articulated embryos from the Lower Jurassic Elliot Formation of South
Africa are referable to the prosauropod _Massospondylus carinatus_ and,
together with other material, provide substantial insights into the
ontogenetic development in this early dinosaur. The large forelimbs and
head and the horizontally held neck indicate that the hatchlings were
obligate quadrupeds. In contrast, adult _Massospondylus_ were at least
facultatively bipedal. This suggests that the quadrupedal gait of giant
sauropods may have evolved by retardation of postnatal negative allometry of
the forelimbs. Embryonic body proportions and an absence of well-developed
teeth suggest that hatchlings of this dinosaur may have required parental
Fascinating stuff. And those embryos are VERY cute.
It'd be fun to compare these guys to the juvenile _Mussaurus_ material.
Although, _Mussaurus_ may not be a prosauropod...
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
Building 237, Room 1117
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: email@example.com
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