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Mammalian bone palaeohistology: a survey and new data with emphasis on island forms


Kolb, Christian; Scheyer, Torsten M; Veitschegger, Kristof; Forasiepi, Analia M; Amson, Eli; Van der Geer, Alexandra A E; Van den Hoek Ostende, Lars W; Hayashi, Shoji; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R (2015). Mammalian bone palaeohistology: a survey and new data with emphasis on island forms. PeerJ:1-44.

Abstract

The interest in mammalian palaeohistology has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Starting in 1849 via descriptive approaches, it has been demonstrated that bone tissue and vascularisation types correlate with several biological variables such as ontogenetic stage, growth rate, and ecology. Mammalian bone displays a large variety of bone tissues and vascularisation patterns reaching from lamellar or parallel-fibred to fibrolamellar or woven-fibred bone, depending on taxon and individual age. Here we systematically review the knowledge and methods on cynodont and mammalian bone microstructure as well as palaeohistology and discuss potential future research fields and techniques. We present new data on the bone microstructure of two extant marsupial species and of several extinct continental and island placental mammals. Extant marsupials display mainly parallel-fibred primary bone with radial and oblique but mainly longitudinal vascular canals. Three juvenile specimens of the dwarf island hippopotamid Hippopotamus minor from the Late Pleistocene of Cyprus show reticular to plexiform fibrolamellar bone. The island murid Mikrotia magna from the Late Miocene of Gargano, Italy displays parallel-fibred primary bone with reticular vascularisation and strong remodelling in the middle part of the cortex. Leithia sp., the dormouse from the Pleistocene of Sicily, is characterised by a primary bone cortex consisting of lamellar bone and a high amount of compact coarse cancellous bone. The bone cortex of the fossil continental lagomorph Prolagus oeningensis and three fossil species of insular Prolagus displays mainly parallel-fibred primary bone and reticular, radial as well as longitudinal vascularisation. Typical for large mammals, secondary bone in the giant rhinocerotoid Paraceratherium sp. from the Late Oligocene of Turkey is represented by dense Haversian bone. The skeletochronological features of Sinomegaceros yabei, a large-sized deer from the Pleistocene of Japan closely related to Megaloceros, indicate a high growth rate. These examples and the synthesis of existing data show the potential of bone microstructure to reveal essential information on life history evolution. The bone tissue and the skeletochronological data of the sampled island species suggest the presence of various modes of bone histological modification and mammalian life history evolution on islands to depend on factors of island evolution such as island size, distance from mainland, climate, phylogeny, and time of evolution.

Abstract

The interest in mammalian palaeohistology has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Starting in 1849 via descriptive approaches, it has been demonstrated that bone tissue and vascularisation types correlate with several biological variables such as ontogenetic stage, growth rate, and ecology. Mammalian bone displays a large variety of bone tissues and vascularisation patterns reaching from lamellar or parallel-fibred to fibrolamellar or woven-fibred bone, depending on taxon and individual age. Here we systematically review the knowledge and methods on cynodont and mammalian bone microstructure as well as palaeohistology and discuss potential future research fields and techniques. We present new data on the bone microstructure of two extant marsupial species and of several extinct continental and island placental mammals. Extant marsupials display mainly parallel-fibred primary bone with radial and oblique but mainly longitudinal vascular canals. Three juvenile specimens of the dwarf island hippopotamid Hippopotamus minor from the Late Pleistocene of Cyprus show reticular to plexiform fibrolamellar bone. The island murid Mikrotia magna from the Late Miocene of Gargano, Italy displays parallel-fibred primary bone with reticular vascularisation and strong remodelling in the middle part of the cortex. Leithia sp., the dormouse from the Pleistocene of Sicily, is characterised by a primary bone cortex consisting of lamellar bone and a high amount of compact coarse cancellous bone. The bone cortex of the fossil continental lagomorph Prolagus oeningensis and three fossil species of insular Prolagus displays mainly parallel-fibred primary bone and reticular, radial as well as longitudinal vascularisation. Typical for large mammals, secondary bone in the giant rhinocerotoid Paraceratherium sp. from the Late Oligocene of Turkey is represented by dense Haversian bone. The skeletochronological features of Sinomegaceros yabei, a large-sized deer from the Pleistocene of Japan closely related to Megaloceros, indicate a high growth rate. These examples and the synthesis of existing data show the potential of bone microstructure to reveal essential information on life history evolution. The bone tissue and the skeletochronological data of the sampled island species suggest the presence of various modes of bone histological modification and mammalian life history evolution on islands to depend on factors of island evolution such as island size, distance from mainland, climate, phylogeny, and time of evolution.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:03 Nov 2015 13:58
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 14:32
Publisher:PeerJ, Ltd.
ISSN:2167-8359
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1358

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