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Oviraptorosaur Tail Forms and Functions

Published on Jan 1, 2013in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 1.89
· DOI :10.4202/app.2012.0093
W. Scott Persons13
Estimated H-index: 13
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Philip J. Currie50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Mark A. Norell57
Estimated H-index: 57
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History)
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 (53)
  • Citations (27)
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References53
Newest
Published on Dec 28, 2012in Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 2.94
Amy M. Balanoff15
Estimated H-index: 15
,
Mark A. Norell57
Estimated H-index: 57
ABSTRACT The monophyly of Oviraptoridae, a group of theropod dinosaurs, which share a uniquely bizarre morphology, has never been called into question due in large part to their unusual complex of characters. Despite a vivid recent history of discovery and broad public appeal the nature of their morphological diversity has not been explored extensively. Many previous descriptions of oviraptorid taxa are lost in the obscurity of hard-to-find journals, and many lack illustrations of what are now r...
56 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2012in Acta Geologica Sinica-english Edition 2.51
W. Scott Persons13
Estimated H-index: 13
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Philip J. Currie50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of A: University of Alberta)
: In the tails of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs and rhamphorhynchid pterosaurs, elongate osteological rods extend anteriorly from the chevrons and the prezygapophyses. These caudal rods are positioned in parallel and are stacked dorsoventrally. The fully articulated and three-dimensionally preserved caudal series of some dromaeosaurid specimens show that individually these caudal rods were flexible, not rigid as previously thought. However, examination of the arrangement of the caudal rods in cross-se...
11 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2012in BMC Biology 5.77
Nicolás E. Campione13
Estimated H-index: 13
(U of T: University of Toronto),
David C. Evans22
Estimated H-index: 22
(ROM: Royal Ontario Museum)
Background Body size is intimately related to the physiology and ecology of an organism. Therefore, accurate and consistent body mass estimates are essential for inferring numerous aspects of paleobiology in extinct taxa, and investigating large-scale evolutionary and ecological patterns in the history of life. Scaling relationships between skeletal measurements and body mass in birds and mammals are commonly used to predict body mass in extinct members of these crown clades, but the applicabili...
124 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 9, 2012in Science 41.06
Quanguo Li5
Estimated H-index: 5
(AMNH: American Museum of Natural History),
Ke-Qin Gao20
Estimated H-index: 20
(PKU: Peking University)
+ 7 AuthorsJakob Vinther27
Estimated H-index: 27
(Yale University)
Iridescent feather colors involved in displays of many extant birds are produced by nanoscale arrays of melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes). Data relevant to the evolution of these colors and the properties of melanosomes involved in their generation have been limited. A data set sampling variables of extant avian melanosomes reveals that those forming most iridescent arrays are distinctly narrow. Quantitative comparison of these data with melanosome imprints densely sampled from a previ...
91 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 17, 2011in PLOS ONE 2.77
W. Scott Persons13
Estimated H-index: 13
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Philip J. Currie50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of A: University of Alberta)
In the South American abelisaurids Carnotaurus sastrei, Aucasaurus garridoi, and, to a lesser extent Skorpiovenator bustingorryi, the anterior caudal ribs project at a high dorsolateral inclination and have interlocking lateral tips. This unique morphology facilitated the expansion of the caudal hypaxial musculature at the expense of the epaxial musculature. Distinct ridges on the ventrolateral surfaces of the caudal ribs of Aucasaurus garridoi are interpreted as attachment scars from the intra ...
17 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 12, 2011in PLOS ONE 2.77
John Hutchinson35
Estimated H-index: 35
(RVC: Royal Veterinary College),
Karl T. Bates20
Estimated H-index: 20
(University of Liverpool)
+ 2 AuthorsPeter J. Makovicky30
Estimated H-index: 30
(FMNH: Field Museum of Natural History)
The large theropod dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex underwent remarkable changes during its growth from 6000 kg adults in <20 years. These changes raise fascinating questions about the morphological transformations involved, peak growth rates, and scaling of limb muscle sizes as well as the body's centre of mass that could have influenced ontogenetic changes of locomotion in T. rex. Here we address these questions using three-dimensionally scanned computer models of four large, well-preserved fossil s...
51 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2011in Nature 41.58
Xing Zhou Xu2
Estimated H-index: 2
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Hai-Lu You20
Estimated H-index: 20
+ 1 AuthorsFenglu Han11
Estimated H-index: 11
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Archaeopteryx is widely accepted as being the most basal bird, and accordingly it is regarded as central to understanding avialan origins; however, recent discoveries of derived maniraptorans have weakened the avialan status of Archaeopteryx. Here we report a new Archaeopteryx-like theropod from China. This find further demonstrates that many features formerly regarded as being diagnostic of Avialae, including long and robust forelimbs, actually characterize the more inclusive group Paraves (com...
154 Citations Source Cite
W. Scott Persons13
Estimated H-index: 13
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Philip J. Currie50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of A: University of Alberta)
Unlike extant birds and mammals, most non-avian theropods had large muscular tails, with muscle arrangements similar to those of modern reptiles. Examination of ornithomimid and tyrannosaurid tails revealed sequential diagonal scarring on the lateral faces of four or more hemal spines that consistently correlates with the zone of the tail just anterior to the disappearance of the vertebral transverse processes. This sequential scarring is interpreted as the tapering boundary between the insertio...
33 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2010in Chinese Science Bulletin
XUXing14
Estimated H-index: 14
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Ma QingYu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Hu DongYu1
Estimated H-index: 1
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The last two decades have witnessed great advances in reconstructing the transition from non-avian theropods to avians, but views in opposition to the theropod hypothesis still exist. Here we highlight one issue that is often considered to raise problems for the theropod hypothesis of avian origins, i.e. the “temporal paradox” in the stratigraphic distribution of theropod fossils - the idea that the earliest known avian is from the Late Jurassic but most other coelurosaurian groups are poorly kn...
30 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 16, 2010in Palaeontology 3.73
Nicholas R. Longrich20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Yale University),
Philip J. Currie50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of A: University of Alberta),
DONGZhiming7
Estimated H-index: 7
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
: A new oviraptorid is described on the basis of a partial forelimb collected from the Upper Cretaceous redbeds of Bayan Mandahu, Inner Mongolia. Machairasaurus leptonychus, gen. et sp. nov. is diagnosed by slender, weakly curved manual unguals, reduced flexor tubercles, penultimate phalanges that are subequal in length to the preceding phalanges, and short, robust manual digits. Machairasaurus is found to be a member of the Ingeniinae, along with Ingenia yanshini, Heyuannia huangi, Conchoraptor...
33 Citations Source Cite
Cited By27
Newest
Published on May 1, 2019in Nature 41.58
Min Wang30
Estimated H-index: 30
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Jingmai K. O’Connor9
Estimated H-index: 9
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
+ 1 AuthorsZHOUZhonghe47
Estimated H-index: 47
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Powered flight evolved independently in vertebrates in the pterosaurs, birds and bats, each of which has a different configuration of the bony elements and epidermal structures that form the wings1,2. Whereas the early fossil records of pterosaurs and bats are sparse, mounting evidence (primarily from China) of feathered non-avian dinosaurs and stemward avians that derive primarily from the Middle–Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous periods has enabled the slow piecing together of the origins of...
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Published on Jan 11, 2018in PeerJ 2.12
Matthew C. Herne3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UQ: University of Queensland),
Alan M. Tait2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Monash University)
+ 4 AuthorsSteven W. Salisbury18
Estimated H-index: 18
(UQ: University of Queensland)
A new small-bodied ornithopod dinosaur, Diluvicursor pickeringi, gen. et sp. nov., is named from the lower Albian of the Eumeralla Formation in southeastern Australia and helps shed new light on the anatomy and diversity of Gondwanan ornithopods. Comprising an almost complete tail and partial lower right hindlimb, the holotype (NMV P221080) was deposited as a carcass or body-part in a log-filled scour near the base of a deep, high-energy river that incised a faunally rich, substantially forested...
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2017in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 2.38
Gregory F. Funston7
Estimated H-index: 7
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Steven E. Mendonca2
Estimated H-index: 2
(U of A: University of Alberta)
+ 1 AuthorsRinchen Barsbold17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Mongolian Academy of Sciences)
Abstract The interfingering Baruungoyot and Nemegt Formations of Mongolia host an exceptional diversity of oviraptorosaurs that is unique in including members of all three Late Cretaceous families (avimimids, caenagnathids, and oviraptorids). The oviraptorosaurs from the Baruungoyot and Nemegt Formations are reviewed, with a description of a new species of Avimimus . Emended diagnoses are provided for each taxon, including the first diagnosis of Rinchenia mongoliensis . The anatomy of these ovir...
7 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 1, 2017in Cretaceous Research 1.93
Matías J. Motta1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Federico Brissón Egli2
Estimated H-index: 2
(CONICET: National Scientific and Technical Research Council),
Fernando E. Novas29
Estimated H-index: 29
(CONICET: National Scientific and Technical Research Council)
Abstract Tail anatomy of unenlagiid theropods remains poorly known. The most complete and informative taxon of this family is Buitreraptor gonzalezorum from the Upper Cretaceous of Rio Negro province, Argentina. The aim of the present contribution is to carry out an analysis of the tail anatomy of Buitreraptor based on its holotype and a newly collected specimen as well. Similarities shared by Buitreraptor , Rahonavis, Anchiornis and Archaeopteryx include: mid-caudal vertebrae with postzygapophy...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on May 1, 2017in Journal of Theoretical Biology 1.83
W. Scott Persons13
Estimated H-index: 13
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Philip J. Currie50
Estimated H-index: 50
(U of A: University of Alberta)
Abstract Bipedalism is a trait basal to, and widespread among, dinosaurs. It has been previously argued that bipedalism arose in the ancestors of dinosaurs for the function of freeing the forelimbs to serve as predatory weapons. However, this argument does not explain why bipedalism was retained among numerous herbivorous groups of dinosaurs. We argue that bipedalism arose in the dinosaur line for the purpose of enhanced cursoriality. Modern facultatively bipedal lizards offer an analog for the ...
3 Citations Source Cite
Collin S. VanBuren2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Cambridge),
David C. Evans22
Estimated H-index: 22
(U of T: University of Toronto)
The evolution of vertebral fusion is a poorly understood phenomenon that results in the loss of mobility between sequential vertebrae. Non-pathological fusion of the anterior cervical vertebrae has evolved independently in numerous extant and extinct mammals and reptiles, suggesting that the formation of a ‘syncervical’ is an adaptation that arose to confer biomechanical advantage(s) in these lineages. We review syncervical anatomy and evolution in a broad phylogenetic context for the first time...
11 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2016in Current Biology 9.25
Lida Xing18
Estimated H-index: 18
(China University of Geosciences),
Ryan C. McKellar5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Regina)
+ 11 AuthorsAlexander P. Wolfe47
Estimated H-index: 47
(U of A: University of Alberta)
Summary In the two decades since the discovery of feathered dinosaurs [1–3], the range of plumage known from non-avialan theropods has expanded significantly, confirming several features predicted by developmentally informed models of feather evolution [4–10]. However, three-dimensional feather morphology and evolutionary patterns remain difficult to interpret, due to compression in sedimentary rocks [9, 11]. Recent discoveries in Cretaceous amber from Canada, France, Japan, Lebanon, Myanmar, an...
32 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2016in BMC Evolutionary Biology 3.03
Maïtena Dumont3
Estimated H-index: 3
(École normale supérieure de Lyon),
Paul Tafforeau36
Estimated H-index: 36
(European Synchrotron Radiation Facility)
+ 7 AuthorsAntoine Louchart12
Estimated H-index: 12
(École normale supérieure de Lyon)
Background The dentitions of extinct organisms can provide pivotal information regarding their phylogenetic position, as well as paleobiology, diet, development, and growth. Extant birds are edentulous (toothless), but their closest relatives among stem birds, the Cretaceous Hesperornithiformes and Ichthyornithiformes, retained teeth. Despite their significant phylogenetic position immediately outside the avian crown group, the dentitions of these taxa have never been studied in detail. To obtai...
11 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 1, 2016in Journal of Paleontology 1.35
Stephan Lautenschlager24
Estimated H-index: 24
15 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 7, 2016in PeerJ 2.12
T. Alexander Dececchi8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Queen's University),
Hans C. E. Larsson22
Estimated H-index: 22
(McGill University),
Michael B. Habib10
Estimated H-index: 10
(SC: University of Southern California)
Background: Powered flight is implicated as a major driver for the success of birds. Here we examine the effectiveness of three hypothesized pathways for the evolution of the flight stroke, the forelimb motion that powers aerial locomotion, in a terrestrial setting across a range of stem and basal avians: flap running, Wing Assisted Incline Running (WAIR), and wing-assisted leaping. Methods: Using biomechanical mathematical models based on known aerodynamic principals and in vivo experiments and...
13 Citations Source Cite