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Re: Plesiosaurs gave birth to live young

Talk about a publication that was a long time coming. Fossils of gravid 
plesiosaurs have been known (and sat on) for at least five years now. Glad to 
see this finally make it to the history books.


----- Original Message -----
> From: "bh480@scn.org" <bh480@scn.org>
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Cc: 
> Sent: Thursday, 11 August 2011 2:13 PM
> Subject: Plesiosaurs gave birth to live young
> From: Ben Creisler
> bh480@scn.org
> In the new issue of Science, plus news links:
> F. R. O’Keefe & L. M. Chiappe (2011) 
> Viviparity and K-Selected Life History in a Mesozoic Marine Plesiosaur
> (Reptilia, Sauropterygia)
> Science333(6044): 870-873 
> DOI: 10.1126/science.1205689 
> http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6044/870.abstract
> Abstract
> Viviparity is known in several clades of Mesozoic aquatic reptiles, but
> evidence for it is lacking in the Plesiosauria. Here, we report a Late
> Cretaceous plesiosaur fossil consisting of a fetus preserved within an
> adult of the same taxon. We interpret this occurrence as a gravid female
> and unborn young and hence as definitive evidence for plesiosaur
> viviparity. Quantitative analysis indicates that plesiosaurs gave birth to
> large, probably single progeny. The combination of viviparity, large
> offspring size, and small brood number differs markedly from the pattern
> seen in other marine reptiles but does resemble the K-selected strategy of
> all extant marine mammals and a few extant lizards. Plesiosaurs may have
> shared other life history traits with these clades, such as sociality and
> maternal care. 
> http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-pregnant-plesiosaur.html
> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20785-plesiosaurs-gave-birth-to-big-ba
> bies.html
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