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      Osteohistology and growth dynamics of the Brazilian noasaurid Vespersaurus paranaensis Langer et al., 2019 (Theropoda: Abelisauroidea)

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          Abstract

          Although the knowledge of bone histology of non-avian theropods has advanced considerably in recent decades, data about the bone tissue patterns, growth dynamics and ontogeny of some taxa such as abelisauroids are still limited. Here we describe the bone microstructure and growth dynamics of the Brazilian noasaurine Vespersaurus paranaensis using five femora and six tibiae and quantify the annual growth marks through retrocalculation of missing ones to estimate ontogenetic ages. The femoral series comprises four femoral histological classes (FHC I-IV), varying from two annuli or LAGs to seven LAGs. Femora show that sexual maturity was achieved around the seventh to tenth year of life, whereas the tibiae suggest it was earlier (around three to five years old). Tibiae represent three histological classes (THC I-III) displaying from three to nine LAGs. Two tibiae (THC III) exhibit an external fundamental system indicating that these specimens reached full skeletal size. The heterogeneous maturity observed in Vespersaurus hind limb bones could result from differential allometry scaling between femora and tibiae length with the body length. The predominant parallel-fibered bone matrix suggests that Vespersaurus grew more slowly than most theropods, including other abelisauroids, in a pattern shared with the noasaurines Masiakasaurus knopfleri from Madagascar and CPPLIP 1490 from Brazil. This deviation from the typical theropod growth pattern may be mainly correlated with small body size, but also may related to resource limitation imposed by the arid climate prevailing in southwestern Gondwana during Cretaceous. Moreover, given the ecological and phylogenetic similarities among these taxa, such features would probably be apomorphic within Noasauridae.

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          Predatory Dinosaurs from the Sahara and Late Cretaceous Faunal Differentiation

          Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) fossils discovered in the Kem Kem region of Morocco include large predatory dinosaurs that inhabited Africa as it drifted into geographic isolation. One, represented by a skull approximately 1.6 meters in length, is an advanced allosauroid referable to the African genus Carcharodontosaurus. Another, represented by a partial skeleton with slender proportions, is a new basal coelurosaur closely resembling the Egyptian genus Bahariasaurus. Comparisons with Cretaceous theropods from other continents reveal a previously unrecognized global radiation of carcharodontosaurid predators. Substantial geographic differentiation of dinosaurian faunas in response to continental drift appears to have arisen abruptly at the beginning of the Late Cretaceous.
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            Long bone histology of the hadrosaurid dinosaurMaiasaura peeblesorum: growth dynamics and physiology based on an ontogenetic series of skeletal elements

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              Dinosaurian growth rates and bird origins.

              Dinosaurs, like other tetrapods, grew more quickly just after hatching than later in life. However, they did not grow like most other non-avian reptiles, which grow slowly and gradually through life. Rather, microscopic analyses of the long-bone tissues show that dinosaurs grew to their adult size relatively quickly, much as large birds and mammals do today. The first birds reduced their adult body size by shortening the phase of rapid growth common to their larger theropod dinosaur relatives. These changes in timing were primarily related not to physiological differences but to differences in growth strategy.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ Inc. (San Diego, USA )
                2167-8359
                15 September 2020
                2020
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Programa de Pós-Graduação em Zoologia (PPGZoo), Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro , Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                [2 ]Laboratory of Systematics and Taphonomy of Fossil Vertebrates, Departamento de Geologia e Paleontologia, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro , Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                [3 ]Departamento de Geologia e Paleontologia, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro , Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                [4 ]Núcleo de Biologia, Centro Acadêmico de Vitória, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco , Vitória de Santo Antão, Pernambuco, Brazil
                [5 ]Centro Paleontológico, Universidade do Contestado , Mafra, Santa Catarina, Brazil
                Article
                9771
                10.7717/peerj.9771
                7500327
                © 2020 Souza et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                Funding
                Funded by: Fundação de Desenvolvimento Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ)
                Award ID: #E-26/202.905/2018 and #E-26/010.002178/2019
                Funded by: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq)
                Award ID: #420687/2016-5, #313461/2018-0, #311715/2017-6 and #307938/2019-0
                This project was supported by the Fundação de Desenvolvimento Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ #E-26/202.905/2018 to Alexander W.A. Kellner; #E-26/010.002178/2019 to Marina Bento Soares) and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq #420687/2016-5 and #313461/2018-0 to Alexander W.A. Kellner; #311715/2017-6 to Juliana M. Sayão; #307938/2019-0 to Marina Bento Soares). There was no additional external funding received for this study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Paleontology
                Zoology
                Histology

                dinosauria, cretaceous, vespersaurus, brazil, abelisauroidea

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