DESOJO Julia Brenda
Palaeobiological inferences of the aetosaur Aetosauroides scagliai (Archosauria: Pseudosuchia) based on microstructural analyses of its appendicular bones
PONCE, DENIS A.; DESOJO, JULIA B.; CERDA, IGNACIO A.
Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Aetosaurs were a group of armoured pseudosuchians, recorded in most of the Upper Triassic continental deposits worldwide. Several osteohistological contributions of aetosaurs focused on their osteoderms, but rarely on appendicular bones. Here, we analyse the microstructure of the humerus, femur and tibia of Aetosauroides scagliai (specimens PVL 2073 [holotype] and PVL 2052). These exhibit cortical bone formed by highly vascularised fibrolamellar bone present in the inner portion of the cortex, mixed with scarce parallel-fibred bone. Also, they show parallel-fibred bone in the outermost portion of the cortex. A general growth pattern that includes a first rapid stage followed by a slow stage is reported. Nevertheless, the growth rate and the presence of parallel-fibred bone embedded in fibrolamellar bone layers recognise more variation within Aetosauria. The value of appendicular bones and osteoderms as age estimators is variable, the first being useful in early stages, and in late stages the osteoderms are better (based on the particular growth of osteoderms). Through morphological (neurocentral sutures) and histological (EFS absent) information, the holotype (PVL 2073) was recovered between juvenile and subadult stages. Using a statistical model that combines microanatomical and morphological data, a terrestrial lifestyle is inferred for Aetosauroides, which concur with previous analyses.