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Rhamphorhynchus braincase, pneumatics, and jaws

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Niels Bonde & Maria E. C. Leal (2015)
The detailed anatomy of Rhamphorhynchus II: braincase, pneumatics and jaws.
Historical Biology (advance online publication)

This second contribution on Rhamphorhynchus based on an acid-prepared
specimen provides a detailed description of the braincase,
concentrating on the broken skull and its hollow bones, aiming to
gather data on its pneumatisation for comparative studies between
crocodiles, pterosaurs and dinosaur-birds. Computed tomographic (CT)
scanning was performed to further explore these cavities in the skull
bones, which are easily visible especially where the bones are broken.
However, it has not been possible to observe their precise origin and
connections. The skull regions where the pneumatisation is most
evident are the paroccipital processes and the prootics from the
endoskeletal braincase, but the precise form of the cavities is not
clear, and their origin as paratympanic systems cannot be seen. CT
scanning with better resolution might show more details of the skull
pneumatics to be used in a phylogenetic analysis.