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RE: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates

I call foul. The paper is citing a thesis for a source, and not just that but 
it's in the ABSTRACT, too.


Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 12:56:22 -0400
> From: bh480@scn.org
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates
> From: Ben Creisler
> bh480@scn.org
> Another new paper about mosasaurs:
> Rib and vertebral micro-anatomical characteristics of hydropelvic
> mosasauroids.
> Lethaia (advance online publication)
> DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2011.00273.x
> http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1502-3931.2011.00273.x/abstract
> Mosasauroids are squamates secondarily adapted to an aquatic life that
> dominated the sea during the Late Cretaceous. Mosasauroids display distinct
> types of morphologies illustrating steps in the adaptation of this lineage
> to increasing obligatory habits. Hydropelvic mosasauroids (sensu Caldwell &
> Palci) were the most highly adapted to an open-sea environment. Contrary to
> plesiopelvic forms, they are considered to have relied on a hydrodynamic,
> rather than hydrostatic buoyancy and body trim control strategies. This led
> previous authors to consider that these taxa would favour bone lightening
> (osteoporotic-like condition) rather than bone mass increase. Although an
> osteoporotic-like state was indeed described in Clidastes and Tylosaurus,
> bone mass increase was reported in Platecarpus. As a matter of fact, the
> new analysis of vertebral thin sections of various taxa combined with the
> reanalysis of the rib sections available in Sheldon’s PhD thesis in a
> micro-anatomical perspective reveals the absence of both bone mass increase
> and bone lightening in these organisms. These taxa in fact display a
> vertebral micro-anatomy much peculiar within squamates. It
> characteristically corresponds to a true network of thin trabeculae whose
> tightness varies between taxa, probably as a result of both species and
> individual size differences, particularly the latter. In addition, analysis
> of the pattern of vascularization as observed in hydropelvic mosasauroids,
> which is unique amongst squamates, suggests that large size in hydropelvic
> mosasauroids would mainly rely on protracted rather than faster growth
> rates.
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