How Necks Become Backs in Diplodocid Dinosaurs – #365papers – 2017 – 126

#365papers for May 6, 2017

Tschopp and Mateus, 2017, Osteology of Galeamopus pabsti sp. nov. (Sauropoda: Diplodocidae), with implications for the neurocentral closure timing, and the cervico-dorsal transition in diplodocids: PeerJ, doi:10.7717/peerj.3179

What’s it about?

Most of this paper is a description of a new species of dinosaur, Galeamopus pabsti. This individual is quite well preserved and allowd the authors to examine two important aspects of diplodocid growth and development: the fusion of certain parts of the vertebrae (‘neurocentral closure’) previously associated with adulthood, and the transition from neck vertebrate to back vertebrae (which bear ribs).

Why does it matter?

Since we have no modern sauropods to study, we have to rely on the structures in bones to estimate the age and maturity of fossil individuals. In this study, we learned that some of the landmarks that we use might be misleading.

Why did I read this?

This is a paper that popped up on my feed and I thought, gee, I should read about a dinosaur for novelty. This turned out to be a very challenging read, as I am largely unfamiliar with dinosaur relationships and anatomy, but still, I think I learned something.

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