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Re: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates

... but you obviously didn't read the paper. If you had had done so, you would have see that the authors reanalyzed the rib sections available in Sheldon's PhD (1995) and partly published later (Sheldon, 1997; Sheldon & Bell, 1998). Hence the citation of Sheldon's original work (provided by the author, btw). Also, even if the abstract is quite ambiguous ("available in Sheldon's PhD thesis" referring to the reanalysis or rib sections ?), the actual paper is not.

I don't see any problem in reusing data available in a PhD dissertation. There is no nomenclatural, taxonomical, or moral issue here. Should we refrain from using measurements from dissertations because they are not published ? Reference to unpublished reports regarding quarries, borehole, or geological exploration in general is very common in local geology, for instance (e.g., BRGM for France, GSA for US, ...).


Le 14/06/2011 20:40, Jaime Headden a écrit :
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)

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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

Another new paper about mosasaurs:

Rib and vertebral micro-anatomical characteristics of hydropelvic
Lethaia (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2011.00273.x

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

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