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Pneumaticity in Triassic pterosaurs



 
 Makes one wonder how many times this feature evolved...
 
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Biology Letters 2009 May 1. [Epub ahead of print] 
Postcranial skeletal pneumaticity and air-sacs in the earliest 
pterosaurs.Butler RJ, Barrett PM, Gower DJ.
Department of Palaeontology, and.
Patterns of postcranial skeletal pneumatization (PSP) indicate that pterosaurs 
possessed components of a bird-like respiratory system, including a series of 
ventilatory air-sacs. However, the presence of PSP in the oldest known 
pterosaurs has not been unambiguously demonstrated by previous studies. Here we 
provide the first unequivocal documentation of PSP in Late Triassic and 
earliest Jurassic pterosaurs. This demonstrates that PSP and, by inference, 
air-sacs were probably present in the common ancestor of almost all known 
pterosaurs, and has broader implications for the evolution of respiratory 
systems in bird-line archosaurs, including dinosaurs.
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Guy Leahy