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Title: Crocodile-like sensory scales in a Late Jurassic theropod dinosaur
Contributor(s): Bell, Phil R  (author)orcid ; Hendrickx, Christophe (author)
Publication Date: 2020-10-05
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.08.066
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Abstract: Early in amniote evolution, epidermal scales evolved in stem reptiles as an efficient barrier against water loss and ultraviolet radiation, making them a key development in the transition to a fully terrestrial existence [1]. Accordingly, epidermal scales are not simple inert structures but highly-evolved organs suited to perform a broad suite of functions. Here, we provide new data on the epidermal complexity of a non-avian theropod, Juravenator starki, from the Torleite Formation (upper Kimmeridgian), Bavaria, Germany [2]. Although epidermal scales have been noted previously on the tail of Juravenator, we report a unique scale type with distinctive circular nodes that we identify as integumentary sense organs, analogous to those in modern crocodylians. The surprising presence of such structures suggests the tail had a sensory function, which is nevertheless congruent with the inferred ecology of Juravenator and the evolution of integumentary sense organs among archosaurs.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Current Biology, 30(19), p. R1068-R1070
Publisher: Cell Press
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1879-0445
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 040308 Palaeontology (incl. Palynology)
060801 Animal Behaviour
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 370506 Palaeontology (incl. palynology)
310901 Animal behaviour
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280107 Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
280102 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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