Novel insight into the origin of the growth dynamics of sauropod dinosaurs
CERDA, IGNACIO; ANUSUYA CHINSAMY; DIEGO POL; CECILIA APALDETTI; ALEJANDRO OTERO; RICARDO MARTÍNEZ; JAIME POWELL
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Lugar: San Francisco; Año: 2017 vol. 12
Sauropod dinosaurs include the largest terrestrial animals and are considered to have uninterruptedrapid rates of growth, which differs from their more basal relatives, which have aslower cyclical growth. Here we examine the bone microstructure of several sauropodomorphdinosaurs, including basal taxa, as well as the more derived sauropods. Although ourresults agree that the plesiomorphic condition for Sauropodomorpha is cyclical growthdynamics, we found that the hypothesized dichotomy between the growth patterns of basaland more derived sauropodomorphs is not supported. Here, we show that sauropod-likegrowth dynamics of uninterrupted rapid growth also occurred in some basal sauropodomorphs,and that some basal sauropods retained the plesiomorphic cyclical growth patterns.Among the sauropodomorpha it appears that the basal taxa exploited different growthstrategies, but the more derived Eusauropoda successfully utilized rapid, uninterruptedgrowth strategies.