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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.


Jason


----- 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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