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Title: Standardized Terminology and Potential Taxonomic Utility for Hadrosaurid Skin Impressions: A Case Study for 'Saurolophus' from Canada and Mongolia
Contributor(s): Bell, Phil  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031295Open Access Link
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Abstract: The characterization of palaeospecies typically relies on hard-tissue anatomy, such as bones or teeth that is more readily fossilized than soft parts. Among dinosaurs, skin impressions are commonly associated with partial and complete hadrosaurid skeletons, and consist of non-imbricating tubercles or scales. Skin impressions from various parts of the body of two species of the hadrosaurine 'Saurolophus' ('S. angustirostris' from Mongolia and 'S. osborni' from Canada) are described from multiple specimens. These species, recently validated on osteological grounds, can be differentiated based solely on soft-tissue anatomy, namely scale shape and pattern. This study demonstrates for the first time the applicability of soft-tissue (i.e., scale impressions) as a means to differentiate species within the Dinosauria. Differences are most spectacular in the tail, where 'S. angustirostris' is differentiated by the presence of vertical bands of morphologically distinct scales, a grid-like arrangement of circular feature-scales, and tabular scales along the dorsal midline. Preliminary results indicate scale architecture remained consistent throughout ontogeny in S. angustirostris. These results support previous assertions that hadrosaurid scale architecture has a positive phylogenetic signal. As such, future taxonomic descriptions should include, where possible, the standardized description of skin impressions including the position and orientation of these impressions on the body.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: PLoS One, 7(2), p. 1-12
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1932-6203
Field of Research (FOR): 060301 Animal Systematics and Taxonomy
040308 Palaeontology (incl Palynology)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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School of Environmental and Rural Science

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