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Gargantuavis (Cretaceous bird) bone microstructure
From: Ben Creisler
A new online paper:
Anusuya Chinsamy, Eric Buffetaut, Aurore Canoville & Delphine Angst (2014)
Insight into the growth dynamics and systematic affinities of the Late
Cretaceous Gargantuavis from bone microstructure.
Naturwissenschaften (advance online publication)
Enigmatic avialan remains of Gargantuavis philoinos from the
Ibero-Armorican island of the Late Cretaceous European archipelago
(Southern France) led to a debate concerning its taxonomic affinities.
Here, we show that the bone microstructure of Gargantuavis resembles
that of Apteryx, the extinct emeids and Megalapteryx from New Zealand,
and indicates that like these slow-growing terrestrial birds, it took
several years to attain skeletal maturity. Our findings suggest that
the protracted cyclical growth in these ornithurines may have been in
response to insular evolution.