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Title: Evolution of dinosaur epidermal structures
Contributor(s): Barrett, Paul M (author); Evans, David C (author); Campione, Nicolas E  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2015-06-30
Early Online Version: 2015-06-01
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0229Open Access Link
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Abstract: Spectacularly preserved non-avian dinosaurs with integumentary filaments/ feathers have revolutionized dinosaur studies and fostered the suggestion that the dinosaur common ancestor possessed complex integumentary structures homologous to feathers. This hypothesis has major implications for interpreting dinosaur biology, but has not been tested rigorously. Using a comprehensive database of dinosaur skin traces, we apply maximum-likelihood methods to reconstruct the phylogenetic distribution of epidermal structures and interpret their evolutionary history. Most of these analyses find no compelling evidence for the appearance of protofeathers in the dinosaur common ancestor and scales are usually recovered as the plesiomorphic state, but results are sensitive to the outgroup condition in pterosaurs. Rare occurrences of ornithischian filamentous integument might represent independent acquisitions of novel epidermal structures that are not homologous with theropod feathers.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Biology Letters, 11(6), p. 1-4
Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1744-9561
Field of Research (FOR): 040308 Palaeontology (incl. Palynology)
060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis
060807 Animal Structure and Function
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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