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RE: Saurolophus skin impressions show species distinctions

I normally don't care much for papers that aren't phylogenetic or osteological, 
but I gotta say this is one of the coolest I've read.  It's amazing we have the 
material to describe interspecific differences in integument and possible 
coloration.  I'd love to see a similar comparison between Saurolophus and other 
hadrosaurid genera with skin impressions.

Mickey Mortimer

> Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 21:26:57 -0800
> From: bcreisler@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Saurolophus skin impressions show species distinctions
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> New in PLoS ONE:
> Bell, P.R. (2012)
> Standardized Terminology and Potential Taxonomic Utility for
> Hadrosaurid Skin Impressions: A Case Study for Saurolophus from Canada
> and Mongolia.
> PLoS ONE 7(2): e31295
> doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031295
> http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0031295
> The characterization of palaeospecies typically relies on hard-tissue
> anatomy, such as bones or teeth that is more readily fossilized than
> soft parts. Among dinosaurs, skin impressions are commonly associated
> with partial and complete hadrosaurid skeletons, and consist of
> non-imbricating tubercles or scales. Skin impressions from various
> parts of the body of two species of the hadrosaurine Saurolophus (S.
> angustirostris from Mongolia and S. osborni from Canada) are described
> from multiple specimens. These species, recently validated on
> osteological grounds, can be differentiated based solely on
> soft-tissue anatomy, namely scale shape and pattern. This study
> demonstrates for the first time the applicability of soft-tissue
> (i.e., scale impressions) as a means to differentiate species within
> the Dinosauria. Differences are most spectacular in the tail, where S.
> angustirostris is differentiated by the presence of vertical bands of
> morphologically distinct scales, a grid-like arrangement of circular
> feature-scales, and tabular scales along the dorsal midline.
> Preliminary results indicate scale architecture remained consistent
> throughout ontogeny in S. angustirostris. These results support
> previous assertions that hadrosaurid scale architecture has a positive
> phylogenetic signal. As such, future taxonomic descriptions should
> include, where possible, the standardized description of skin
> impressions including the position and orientation of these
> impressions on the body.