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Sinosauropteryx post mortem opisthotonus stages



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

Theagarten Lingham-Soliar (2014)
Three stages of post mortem opisthotonus uniquely captured in the
dinosaur Sinosauropteryx.
Journal of Ornithology (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1007/s10336-014-1123-z
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10336-014-1123-z


The dinosaur Sinosauropteryx, thought by some to have given rise to
birds, is from the Chinese Jehol biota. A specimen of the dinosaur
uniquely shows the opisthotonic process (sharp upward recurvatures of
neck and tail) occurring in three stages in the tail, evident by a
trail of associated material. This evidence, together with the rufous
colour of the specimen, is particularly pertinent in the light of a
recent hypothesis that the Jehol biota included victims of volcanic
eruptions (as, e.g., skeletons at Pompeii and Herculaneum), which had
perished from pyroclastic surges and scorching temperatures.