Chapter

Sauropod Histology: Microscopic Views on the Lives of Giants

Kristina Curry Rogers and Gregory M. Erickson

in The Sauropods

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780520246232
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246232.003.0012
Sauropod Histology: Microscopic Views on the Lives of Giants

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This chapter addresses the sauropod growth rates from the perspectives of bone histology, long bone growth, and developmental mass. It provides an overview of the evidence from living and fossil vertebrate taxa relevant to qualitative interpretations of sauropod bone tissue. A case study for Apatosaurus that incorporates all methods discussed in the text is then reported. Bone histology offers an exceptional tool for studying bone growth in dinosaurs at the microscopic level. The growth rates of dinosaurs depended on the size of the taxon of interest: the larger the dinosaur, the more rapid the overall body growth rate. Amprino's Rule suggests that laminar tissue in sauropods grew at the same basic range of rates that occurs in extant mammals and birds. Application of developmental mass extrapolation (DME) and longevity estimates provide quantified measures of growth rates for all stages of whole-body growth, including the exponential stage.

Keywords: sauropod; bone histology; long bone growth; developmental mass; Apatosaurus; Amprino's Rule; developmental mass extrapolation; longevity estimates

Chapter.  11697 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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