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RE: Endocranial anatomy of Therizinosauria

Yay, it's out!


  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: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 14:26:10 -0800
> From: bcreisler@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Endocranial anatomy of Therizinosauria
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> New in PLoS ONE:
> Stephan Lautenschlager, Emily J. Rayfield, Perle Altangerel, Lindsay
> E. Zanno & Lawrence M. Witmer (2012)
> The Endocranial Anatomy of Therizinosauria and Its Implications for
> Sensory and Cognitive Function.
> PLoS ONE 7(12): e52289.
> doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052289
> http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0052289
> Background
> Therizinosauria is one of the most enigmatic and peculiar clades among
> theropod dinosaurs, exhibiting an unusual suite of characters, such as
> lanceolate teeth, a rostral rhamphotheca, long manual claws, and a
> wide, opisthopubic pelvis. This specialized anatomy has been
> associated with a shift in dietary preferences and an adaptation to
> herbivory. Despite a large number of discoveries in recent years, the
> fossil record for Therizinosauria is still relatively poor, and
> cranial remains are particularly rare.
> Methodology/Principal Findings
> Based on computed tomographic (CT) scanning of the nearly complete and
> articulated skull of Erlikosaurus andrewsi, as well as partial
> braincases of two other therizinosaurian taxa, the endocranial anatomy
> is reconstructed and described. The wider phylogenetic range of the
> described specimens permits the evaluation of sensory and cognitive
> capabilities of Therizinosauria in an evolutionary context. The
> endocranial anatomy reveals a mosaic of plesiomorphic and derived
> characters in therizinosaurians. The anatomy of the olfactory
> apparatus and the endosseous labyrinth suggests that olfaction,
> hearing, and equilibrium were well-developed in therizinosaurians and
> might have affected or benefited from an enlarged telencephalon.
> Conclusion/Significance
> This study presents the first appraisal of the evolution of
> endocranial anatomy and sensory adaptations in Therizinosauria.
> Despite their phylogenetically basal position among maniraptoran
> dinosaurs, therizinosaurians had developed the neural pathways for a
> well developed sensory repertoire. In particular olfaction and hearing
> may have played an important role in foraging, predator evasion,
> and/or social complexity.