Exploring Dinosaur Growth With Psittacosaurus

by PhysOrg staff

Tracking the growth of dinosaurs and how they changed as they grew is difficult. Using a combination of biomechanical analysis and bone histology, palaeontologists from Beijing, Bristol, and Bonn have shown how one of the best-known dinosaurs switched from four feet to two as it grew.

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…

(read more)

illustration by Nobu Tamura; photo: Wikipeda

  1. jeancarlo09 reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  2. knightworg reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  3. emeraldtapestry reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    OMG DERPY DINOSAUR "I see your artistic rendering of me and i am unimpressed"
  4. theartfulblogger reblogged this from somuchscience
  5. somuchscience reblogged this from sagansense
  6. 21pilots reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  7. blues-jay reblogged this from sagansense
  8. smokingmydekushrubs reblogged this from sagansense
  9. im-mortvl reblogged this from sagansense
  10. sagansense reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    via rhamphotheca
  11. the-killing-jar reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  12. isshefromthere reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  13. mysterysquid reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  14. madmanxxl reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  15. nooramaria89 reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    Love this 🐦+🐲=💚
  16. kimberellasuglystepsister reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  17. silly-rabbit-tales reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  18. ayasan reblogged this from rhamphotheca