Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




EARLY EARTH
Exploring dinosaur growth
by Staff Writers
Bristol UK (SPX) Jul 02, 2013


Skeletal reconstructions of hatchling, juvenile and adult individuals (left to right) showing inferred postural change, from quadrupedal to bipedal, with 178-cm-tall man for scale. Image by Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing.

Psittacosaurus, the 'parrot dinosaur' is known from more than 1000 specimens from the Cretaceous, 100 million years ago, of China and other parts of east Asia. As part of his PhD thesis at the University of Bristol, Qi Zhao, now on the staff of the Institute for Vertebrate Paleontology in Beijing, carried out the intricate study on bones of babies, juveniles and adults.

Dr Zhao said: "Some of the bones from baby Psittacosaurus were only a few millimetres across, so I had to handle them extremely carefully to be able to make useful bone sections. I also had to be sure to cause as little damage to these valuable specimens as possible."

With special permission from the Beijing Institute, Zhao sectioned two arm and two leg bones from 16 individual dinosaurs, ranging in age from less than one year to 10 years old, or fully-grown. He did the intricate sectioning work in a special palaeohistology laboratory in Bonn, Germany.

The one-year-olds had long arms and short legs, and scuttled about on all fours soon after hatching. The bone sections showed that the arm bones were growing fastest when the animals were ages one to three years. Then, from four to six years, arm growth slowed down, and the leg bones showed a massive growth spurt, meaning they ended up twice as long as the arms, necessary for an animal that stood up on its hind legs as an adult.

Professor Xing Xu of the Beijing Institute, one of Dr Zhao's thesis supervisors, said: "This remarkable study, the first of its kind, shows how much information is locked in the bones of dinosaurs. We are delighted the study worked so well, and see many ways to use the new methods to understand even more about the astonishing lives of the dinosaurs."

Professor Mike Benton of the University of Bristol, Dr Zhao's other PhD supervisor, said: "These kinds of studies can also throw light on the evolution of a dinosaur like Psittacosaurus. Having four-legged babies and juveniles suggests that at some time in their ancestry, both juveniles and adults were also four-legged, and Psittacosaurus and dinosaurs in general became secondarily bipedal."

'Histology and postural change during the growth of the ceratopsian dinosaur Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis' by Zhao, Q., Benton, M.J., Sullivan, C., Sander, P.M., and Xu, X. in Nature Communications.

.


Related Links
University of Bristol
Explore The Early Earth at TerraDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EARLY EARTH
Two mutations triggered an evolutionary leap 500 million years ago
Chicago IL (SPX) Jun 28, 2013
Evolution, it seems, sometimes jumps instead of crawls. A research team led by a University of Chicago scientist has discovered two key mutations that sparked a hormonal revolution 500 million years ago. In a feat of "molecular time travel," the researchers resurrected and analyzed the functions of the ancestors of genes that play key roles in modern human reproduction, development, immuni ... read more


EARLY EARTH
Metamorphosis of Moon's Water Ice Explained

Scientists use gravity, topographic data to find unmapped moon craters

Australian team maps Moon's hidden craters

LADEE Arrives at Wallops for Moon Mission

EARLY EARTH
Dry run for the 2020 Mars Mission

Opportunity Clocks Up 37 Kilometers Of Roving Mars

Mars Rover Opportunity Trekking Toward More Layers

Mars had oxygen-rich atmosphere 4,000 million years ago

EARLY EARTH
Voyager 1 Explores Final Frontier Of Our Solar Bubble

NASA's Voyager 1 approaches outer limit of solar system

PayPal launches quest for intergalactic currency

NASA Bill Would 'End Reliance on Russia,' Nix Asteroid Capture Project

EARLY EARTH
China plans to launch Tiangong-2 space lab around 2015

Twilight for Tiangong

China calls for international cooperation in manned space program

Shenzhou 10 Returns Safely To Earth

EARLY EARTH
Russian cosmonauts conduct space station tasks in spacewalk

Accelerating ISS Science With Upgraded Payload Operations Integration Center

Strange Flames on the ISS

Europe's space truck docks with ISS

EARLY EARTH
Russian Proton M Rocket Explodes Just After Blast Off

Arianespace takes delivery of its next Ariane 5 at the Spaceport

SpaceX Will Launch Turkmenistan Satellite For Thales Alenia Space

New Mexico Space Grant Consortium student experiments blast into space from Spaceport America

EARLY EARTH
Astronomers Detect Three 'Super-Earths' in Nearby Star's Habitable Zone

Three planets in habitable zone of nearby star

1 star, 3 habitable planets

Gas-giant exoplanets seen clinging close to their parent stars

EARLY EARTH
Low-power Wi-Fi signal tracks movement -- even behind walls

Gartner trims global IT spending forecast for the year

China sets rare earth export quota for second half

EU approves compromise on 'shipbreaking' in South Asian countries




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement