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Re: Pliosaur neurovascular system suggests special sensory receptors

From: Ben Creisler

This paper is no longer available on the website. Has it been withdrawn?

On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new online paper:
> Davide Foffa, Judyth Sassoon, Andrew R. Cuff, Mark N. Mavrogordato &
> Michael J. Benton (2014)
> Complex rostral neurovascular system in a giant pliosaur.
> Naturwissenschaften (advance online publication)
> DOI: 10.1007/s00114-014-1173-3
> http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00114-014-1173-3
> Pliosaurs were a long-lived, ubiquitous group of Mesozoic marine
> predators attaining large body sizes (up to 12 m). Despite much being
> known about their ecology and behaviour, the mechanisms they adopted
> for prey detection have been poorly investigated and represent a
> mystery to date. Complex neurovascular systems in many vertebrate
> rostra have evolved for prey detection. However, information on the
> occurrence of such systems in fossil taxa is extremely limited because
> of poor preservation potential. The neurovascular complex from the
> snout of an exceptionally well-preserved pliosaur from the
> Kimmeridgian (Late Jurassic, c. 170 Myr ago) of Weymouth Bay (Dorset,
> UK) is described here for the first time. Using computed tomography
> (CT) scans, the extensive bifurcating neurovascular channels could be
> traced through the rostrum to both the teeth and the foramina on the
> dorsal and lateral surface of the snout. The structures on the surface
> of the skull and the high concentrations of peripheral rami suggest
> that this could be a sensory system, perhaps similar to crocodile
> pressure receptors or shark electroreceptors.