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Bone microstructures and mode of skeletogenesis in osteoderms of three pareiasaur taxa from the Permian of South Africa


Scheyer, T M; Sander, P M (2009). Bone microstructures and mode of skeletogenesis in osteoderms of three pareiasaur taxa from the Permian of South Africa. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22(6):1153-1162.

Abstract

The extinct parareptilian clade of pareiasaurs was in the past often presented to constitute a morphocline from larger, less armoured forms to smaller, well armoured forms, indicating that the osteoderm cover became an increasingly prominent aspect in the post-cranial skeleton of these animals. Here, we describe microanatomical and microstructural aspects of osteoderms of the three pareiasaur taxa Bradysaurus, Pareiasaurus and Anthodon from the Permian of South Africa. A generalized mode of osteoderm formation, consistent with intramembraneous skeletogenesis, is hypothesized to be present in all pareiasaurs. Few characters are shared between pareiasaur dermal armour and turtle shell bones and osteoderms. Otherwise, there is strong evidence from microanatomy and histology (i.e. absence of structures that formed via metaplasia of dermal tissue) that indicates nonhomology between pareiasaur dermal armour and the armour of living eureptiles. Analysis with bone profiler revealed no clear connection between bone compactness and lifestyle in the amniote osteoderm sample.

Abstract

The extinct parareptilian clade of pareiasaurs was in the past often presented to constitute a morphocline from larger, less armoured forms to smaller, well armoured forms, indicating that the osteoderm cover became an increasingly prominent aspect in the post-cranial skeleton of these animals. Here, we describe microanatomical and microstructural aspects of osteoderms of the three pareiasaur taxa Bradysaurus, Pareiasaurus and Anthodon from the Permian of South Africa. A generalized mode of osteoderm formation, consistent with intramembraneous skeletogenesis, is hypothesized to be present in all pareiasaurs. Few characters are shared between pareiasaur dermal armour and turtle shell bones and osteoderms. Otherwise, there is strong evidence from microanatomy and histology (i.e. absence of structures that formed via metaplasia of dermal tissue) that indicates nonhomology between pareiasaur dermal armour and the armour of living eureptiles. Analysis with bone profiler revealed no clear connection between bone compactness and lifestyle in the amniote osteoderm sample.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Uncontrolled Keywords:Anthodon bone histology bone profiler Bradysaurus dermal armour Pareiasauria Pareiasaurus
Language:English
Date:26 March 2009
Deposited On:13 May 2009 08:02
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:14
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1010-061X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01732.x

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