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New _Pterodaustro_ paper out.



Given the recent talk about filter feeding in the
Mesozoic, this almost seems fitting.

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=143&art_id=vn20080303060157578C634819

The paper itself is here:

http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/98443w8551537723/?p=31c9060fe99144659d36712c1aab3eb5&pi=0

Following is the abstract:


A. Chinsamy1, L. Codorniú2, L. Chiappe3

Developmental growth patterns of the filter-feeder
pterosaur, Pterodaustro guiñazui

Abstract

Life-history parameters of pterosaurs such as growth
and ontogenetic development represent an enigma. This
aspect of pterosaur biology has remained perplexing
because few pterosaur taxa are represented by complete
ontogenetic series. Of these, Pterodaustro is unique
in that besides being represented by hundreds of
individuals with wing spans ranging from 0.3 to 2.5m,
it includes an embryo within an egg. Here we present a
comprehensive osteohistological assessment of multiple
skeletal elements of a range of ontogenetic sizes of
Pterodaustro, and we provide unparalleled insight into
its growth dynamics. We show that, upon hatching,
Pterodaustro juveniles grew rapidly for approximately
2 years until they reached approximately 53% of their
mature body size, whereupon they attained sexual
maturity. Thereafter, growth continued for at least
another 3?4 years at comparatively slower rates until
larger adult body sizes were attained. Our analysis
further provides definitive evidence that Pterodaustro
had a determinate growth strategy.

_________________________________

I always love new info on what was probably the
weirdest (and thus, neatest) pterosaur ever. Judging
from the results, it seems _Pterodaustro_ wasn't
getting a whole lot out of the filter feeding
lifestyle.


Jason

"I am impressed by the fact that we know less about many modern [reptile] types 
than we do of many fossil groups." - Alfred S. Romer


      
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