Air Sacs and Uniquely Hollow Bones in a New Sauropod – #365papers – 2017 – 103

#365papers for April 13, 2017

Ibiricu, Lamanna, Martinez, Casal, Cerda, Martinez, and Salgado, 2017, A novel form of postrcranial skeletal pneumaticity in a sauropod dinosaur: Implications for the paleobiology of Rebbachisauridae: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

What’s it about?

In birds, dinosaurs, and some other archosaurs (includes crocodilians) there are often hollow spaces in bones that are connected to the respiratory system. The hollowness of bones is called pneumaticity. The authors here describe the bones of a recently described species Katepensaurus goicoecheai. Katepensaurus shows a style of pneumaticity that is not seen in any other dinosaurs.

Why does it matter?

There are many reasons why animals may possess pneumaticity in their bones. For birds, it’s generally to lighten the bones. It is thought that the pneumaticity of bones of Katepensaurus was also to reduce the density of its bones, allowing it to fluorish as a large animal in hot and humid environments.

Why did I read this?

Here is another paper in the category of “it popped up on my feed so I decided to read it.”

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