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Oviraptorosaur Tail Forms and Functions

Published on Jan 1, 2013in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica1.64
· DOI :10.4202/app.2012.0093
W. Scott Persons14
Estimated H-index: 14
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Philip J. Currie52
Estimated H-index: 52
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Mark A. Norell60
Estimated H-index: 60
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)
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Abstract
Oviraptorosaur caudal osteology is unique among theropods and is characterized by posteriorly persistent and exceptionally wide transverse processes, anteroposteriorly short centra, and a high degree of flexibility across the pre-pygostyle vertebral series. Three-dimensional digital muscle reconstructions reveal that, while oviraptorosaur tails were reduced in length relative to the tails of other theropods, they were muscularly robust. Despite overall caudal length reduction, the relative size of the M. caudofemoralis in most oviraptorosaurs was comparable with those of other non-avian theropods. The discovery of a second Nomingia specimen with a pygostyle confirms that the fused terminal vertebrae of the type specimen were not an abnormality. New evidence shows that pygostyles were also present in the oviraptorosaurs Citipati and Conchoraptor. Based on the observed osteological morphology and inferred muscle morphology, along with the recognition that many members of the group probably sported broad tai...
  • References (56)
  • Citations (28)
References56
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