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Re: Confuciusornis gender identification

I'm assuming that by 'gender', the authors actually mean 'sex'. 

On Wed, Jan 23rd, 2013 at 4:58 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> Also in Nature Communications:
> Anusuya Chinsamy, Luis M. Chiappe, Jesús Marugán-Lobón, Gao Chunling &
> Zhang Fengjiao (2013)
> Gender identification of the Mesozoic bird Confuciusornis sanctus.
> Nature Communications 4, Article number: 1381
> doi:10.1038/ncomms2377
> http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n1/full/ncomms2377.html
> Hundreds of specimens of the beaked bird Confuciusornis sanctus have
> been recovered from Early Cretaceous lake deposits of northeastern
> China. These birds show remarkable variation in size and plumage, with
> some displaying two long, central ornamental rectrices (tail feathers)
> and others lacking them altogether. Although, traditionally specimens
> with ornamental rectrices were interpreted as males and those without
> them as females, this supposed sexual dimorphism has remained
> unconfirmed. Here we report on the discovery of medullary bone, a
> tissue unique to reproductively active female birds, in a specimen of
> C. sanctus (DNHM-D1874) lacking these feathers. Our discovery
> constitutes the first case of gender identification in a Mesozoic
> bird, and it provides undisputed evidence that individuals of C.
> sanctus without ornamental rectrices are females. By permitting gender
> identification in C. sanctus, our results provide insight into the
> onset of sexual maturity and attainment of adult body size of this and
> other early birds.
> See this as well:
> http://phys.org/news/2013-01-sex-early-birds-dinosaur-reproductive.html


Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj