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Imploding ichthyosaurs (free pdf)
From: Ben Creisler
A new online paper. Note that the pdf is open access (free!).
A. J. van Loon (2013)
Ichthyosaur embryos outside the mother body: not due to carcass
explosion but to carcass implosion.
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments (advance online publication)
Some well-preserved ichthyosaurs found in the Early Jurassic
Posidonienschiefer Formation at Holzmaden (Germany) have puzzled
palaeontologists for a long time: their skeletons are exceptionally
well preserved and their bones are almost all in situ, but the bones
of their embryos are scattered, partly beyond the body limits of the
mother. This has been explained initially by bottom currents and later
by a displacement of already disarticulated embryos during the
expulsion of putrefaction gases through the disrupted body wall of the
mother. It was postulated recently that this latter hypothesis is not
tenable. It is argued here that both hypotheses are not tenable in
their original form, but that carcass implosion may explain the
various enigmatic features.