Turner F.,Leibniz University of Hanover |
Tolksdorf J.F.,University of Marburg |
Viehberg F.,University of Cologne |
Schwalb A.,TU Braunschweig |
And 7 more authors.
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2013
Mechanisms of climatic control on river system development are still only partially known. Palaeohydrological investigations from river valleys often lack a precise chronological control of climatic processes and fluvial dynamics, which is why their specific forces remain unclear. In this multidisciplinary case study from the middle Elbe river valley (northern Germany) multiple dating of sites (palynostratigraphy, radiocarbon- and OSL-dating) and high-resolution analyses of environmental and climatological proxies (pollen, plant macro-remains and ostracods) reveal a continuous record of the environmental and fluvial history from the Lateglacial to the early Holocene. Biostratigraphical correlation to northwest European key sites shows that river system development was partially out of phase with the main climatic shifts. The transition from a braided to an incised channel system predated the main phase of Lateglacial warming (∼14.6 ka BP), and the meandering river did not change its drainage pattern during the cooling of the Younger-Dryas period. Environmental reconstructions suggest that river dynamics were largely affected by vegetation cover, as a vegetation cover consisting of herbs, dwarf-shrubs and a few larger shrubs seems to have developed before the onset of the main Lateglacial warming, and pine forests appear to have persisted in the river valley during the Younger Dryas. In addition, two phases of high fluvial activity and new channel incision during the middle part of the Younger Dryas and during the Boreal were correlated with changes from dry towards wet climatic conditions, as indicated by evident lake level rises. Lateglacial human occupation in the river valley, which is shown by numerous Palaeolithic sites, forming one of the largest settlement areas of that period known in the European Plain, is assigned to the specific fluvial and environmental conditions of the early Allerød. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Wings O.,Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover |
Tutken T.,University Mainz |
Fowler D.W.,Museum of the Rockies |
Martin T.,University of Bonn |
And 3 more authors.
Palaontologische Zeitschrift | Year: 2014
The Middle and early Late Jurassic Qigu and Shishugou Formations of the southern and central Junggar Basin yielded teeth of theropods (Theropoda indet.), sauropods (Eusauropoda indet.), and stegosaurs. The dinosaur assemblage of the southern Junggar Basin is less diverse and is represented by smaller forms than in the central part of the basin. The microwear of the teeth of Eusauropoda indet. resembles that observed in Camarasaurus and may have formed as a result of biting through resistant woody materials. Carbon and oxygen isotope data of the sauropod and theropod teeth indicate feeding within a C3-plant ecosystem in a continental setting. Differences in enamel δ13C and δ18O values between Eusauropoda indet. and the theropod teeth are comparable to those observed in other herbivorous and carnivorous vertebrates, and suggest at least partial preservation of original dietary signals. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Tschopp E.,New University of Lisbon |
Tschopp E.,University of Turin |
Wings O.,Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover |
Frauenfelder T.,University of Zürich |
And 3 more authors.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica | Year: 2016
Several types of pathological bony overgrowth are known from various dinosaur taxa but, except for stress fractures, are rarely reported from appendicular elements. Herein we describe pathological manual and pedal phalanges of a camarasaurid sauropod (SMA 0002), which show features rarely recognised in non-avian dinosaurs. They include lateral osteophytes and smoothing of phalangeal articular surfaces, a deep pit, proximal enthesophytes in pedal unguals, distal overgrowth associated with a fracture, and a knob-like overgrowth lateral to the distal condyles of a pedal phalanx. Their causes were assessed by means of visual examination, CT scans, and bone histology, where possible. The lateral osteophytes are interpreted as symptoms of osteoarthritis. The ossified tendon insertions in the unguals are most probably the result of prolonged, heavy use of the pedal claws, possibly for scratch-digging. The distal overgrowth is interpreted to have developed due to changed stress regimes, and to be the cause for the fracture. The deep pit represents most likely a case of osteochondrosis, whereas the knob-like overgrowth likely represents a post-traumatic phenomenon not previously reported in dinosaurs. The study confirms that a rigorous assessment of pathologies can yield information about behaviour in long-extinct animals. Copyright © 2016 E. Tschopp et al.
Redelstorff R.,University of Cape Town |
Hubner T.R.,Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover |
Chinsamy A.,University of Cape Town |
Sander P.M.,University of Bonn
Anatomical Record | Year: 2013
Using bone histology, a slow growth rate, uncommon for most dinosaurs, has been interpreted for the highly derived stegosaur Stegosaurus (Ornithischia: Thyreophora) and the basal thyreophoran Scutellosaurus. In this study, we examine whether this slow growth rate also occurs in the more basal stegosaur Kentrosaurus from the Tendaguru beds of Tanzania. The bone histology of six femora of Kentrosaurus representing an ontogenetic series from subadult to adult was studied, as well as one scapula. The primary bone is mainly highly vascularized fibro-lamellar bone with some reticular organization of the vascular canals. In addition to LAGs and annuli, distinctive shifts in the pattern of vascularization occur, which have been interpreted as potential growth marks. The variation in the development of growth marks may reflect annual climatic fluctuations. The overall bone depositional rate, and hence growth rate in Kentrosaurus appears to be higher than in Stegosaurus and Scutellosaurus. Considering that Stegosaurus is the larger-sized of the two stegosaurs, this would be contrary to an earlier supposition that small-bodied dinosaurs have slower growth rates than larger ones. Our finding of rapid rates of bone deposition in Kentrosaurus suggests that slow growth rates previously reported in Scutellosaurus and Stegosaurus are not a phylogenetic characteristic of the Thyreophora. Thus, slow growth rates are not plesiomorphic for the Thyreophora. We propose that the slow growth rates documented in the highly derived Stegosaurus could have been secondarily derived or alternatively that Kentrosaurus is the exception having increased growth rates. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Rabi M.,University of Tübingen |
Rabi M.,Eötvös Loránd University |
Zhou C.-F.,Shenyang Normal University |
Wings O.,Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover |
And 2 more authors.
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2013
Background: Most turtles from the Middle and Late Jurassic of Asia are referred to the newly defined clade Xinjiangchelyidae, a group of mostly shell-based, generalized, small to mid-sized aquatic froms that are widely considered to represent the stem lineage of Cryptodira. Xinjiangchelyids provide us with great insights into the plesiomorphic anatomy of crown-cryptodires, the most diverse group of living turtles, and they are particularly relevant for understanding the origin and early divergence of the primary clades of extant turtles. Results: Exceptionally complete new xinjiangchelyid material from the ?Qigu Formation of the Turpan Basin (Xinjiang Autonomous Province, China) provides new insights into the anatomy of this group and is assigned to Xinjiangchelys wusu n. sp. A phylogenetic analysis places Xinjiangchelys wusu n. sp. in a monophyletic polytomy with other xinjiangchelyids, including Xinjiangchelys junggarensis, X. radiplicatoides, X. levensis and X. latiens. However, the analysis supports the unorthodox, though tentative placement of xinjiangchelyids and sinemydids outside of crown-group Testudines. A particularly interesting new observation is that the skull of this xinjiangchelyid retains such primitive features as a reduced interpterygoid vacuity and basipterygoid processes. Conclusions: The homology of basipterygoid processes is confidently demonstrated based on a comprehensive review of the basicranial anatomy of Mesozoic turtles and a new nomenclatural system is introduced for the carotid canal system of turtles. The loss of the basipterygoid process and the bony enclosure of the carotid circulation system occurred a number of times independently during turtle evolution suggesting that the reinforcement of the basicranial region was essential for developing a rigid skull, thus paralleling the evolution of other amniote groups with massive skulls. © 2013 Rabi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Richter A.,Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover |
Wings O.,University of Tübingen |
Wings O.,Humboldt University of Berlin |
Pfretzschner H.-U.,University of Tübingen |
Martin T.,University of Bonn
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Year: 2010
Screen washing at the Liuhuanggou locality, a fossiliferous bone bed within the early Late Jurassic Qigu Formation, 40 km southwest of the city of Urumqi, yielded two lizard jaw fragments with teeth and two lizard osteoderm fragments, which together reveal the presence of Paramacellodidae. The same locality also yielded four tentative choristoderan jaw and tooth fragments. This find is the first record of Mesozoic lizards and probable choristoderes from the Junggar Basin and Northwest China and expands the palaeobiodiversity known from the Qigu Formation. © Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer 2010.
Hubner T.R.,Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012
Background: Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki is a small ornithopod dinosaur known from thousands of bones and several ontogenetic stages. It was found in a single locality within the Tendaguru Formation of southeastern Tanzania, possibly representing a single herd. Dysalotosaurus provides an excellent case study for examining variation in bone microstructure and life history and helps to unravel the still mysterious growth pattern of small ornithopods. Methodology/Principal Findings: Five different skeletal elements were sampled, revealing microstructural variation between individuals, skeletal elements, cross sectional units, and ontogenetic stages. The bone wall consists of fibrolamellar bone with strong variability in vascularization and development of growth cycles. Larger bones with a high degree of utilization have high relative growth rates and seldom annuli/LAGs, whereas small and less intensively used bones have lower growth rates and a higher number of these resting lines. Due to the scarcity of annuli/LAGs, the reconstruction of the life history of Dysalotosaurus was carried out using regularly developed and alternating slow and fast growing zones. Dysalotosaurus was a precocial dinosaur, which experienced sexual maturity at ten years, had an indeterminate growth pattern, and maximum growth rates comparable to a large kangaroo. Conclusions/Significance: The variation in the bone histology of Dysalotosaurus demonstrates the influence of size, utilization, and shape of bones on relative growth rates. Annuli/LAGs are not the only type of annual growth cycles that can be used to reconstruct the life history of fossil vertebrates, but the degree of development of these lines may be of importance for the reconstruction of paleobehavior. The regular development of annuli/LAGs in subadults and adults of large ornithopods therefore reflects higher seasonal stress due to higher food demands, migration, and altricial breeding behavior. Small ornithopods often lack regularly developed annuli/LAGs due to lower food demands, no need for migration, and precocial behavior. © 2012 Tom R. Hübner.
Wings O.,Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover
Fossil Record | Year: 2015
Occurrences of suspected sauropod geogastroliths and “exoliths” (exotic clasts) are compared with authentic finds of stomach stones in the sauropods Diplodocus, Cedarosaurus, and Camarasaurus. Sedimentological and taphonomical evidence from classic sauropod dinosaur localities in the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation (Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, Dry Mesa Dinosaur Quarry, Carnegie Quarry/Dinosaur National Monument, Howe Quarry, Como Bluff, and Bone Cabin Quarry) reveals very few sauropod finds with unambiguous gastroliths. The scarcity of clasts in the fine-grained sediments of most of the localities suggests that only a small number of sauropods possessed gastroliths. The occurrence of a hypothetical avian-style gastric mill in sauropods is not supported by taphonomical evidence. Exoliths that are abundant in the Early Cretaceous of the western USA are nearly absent in Late Jurassic sediments. Without an association with fossil bone, there is no convincing evidence that such clasts represent former gastroliths. It is more plausible that most exoliths have been transported in hyperclastic flows or that surface-collected stones are weathering relicts of former conglomerate layers. © Author(s) 2015.
Hornung J.J.,University of Gottingen |
Bohme A.,University of Gottingen |
van der Lubbe T.,Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover |
Reich M.,University of Gottingen |
Richter A.,Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover
Palaontologische Zeitschrift | Year: 2012
The northern German Lower Cretaceous Bückeberg Formation yields numerous dinosaur tracksites, some of which have produced material of impressive quality. Stratigraphically, the localities are concentrated in the Obernkirchen Sandstone, a thin subunit within this formation. The Obernkirchen Sandstone represents mainly a sandy barrier to back-barrier and lagoonal setting within a limnic deltaic facies complex, which was deposited during the late Berriasian (Cypridea alta formosa ostracod subzone) in the southeast of the Lower Saxony Basin, northwest Germany. A few tracksites occur more proximally in coeval fluvial deposits. Dinosaur footprint assemblages were left by ornithopods, theropods, sauropods, ankylosaurs, and small, bipedal ornithischians. Other vertebrate tracks are those of turtles and, possibly, crocodilians. Due to the decrease in sandstone quarrying in recent decades, many old tracksites are inaccessible today. Additionally, historical descriptions of the tracks were of highly variable quality and often published in remote and today nearly unobtainable sources. Here we provide a catalogue of 13 tracksites compiled from the literature and some new observations. Of these 13 tracksites, only five are still accessible and currently under study. Descriptions of each locality are provided, with a comprehensive compilation of existing data on lithofacies, stratigraphy, palaeogeography and palaeoecology of the Obernkirchen Sandstone and equivalent strata. A short review of the track-bearing lithofacies assemblage indicates that the outcrop areas have distinctly different facies and environments, and, therefore, track-bearing horizons can only be correlated stratigraphically between adjacent outcrops. For this reason, the identification of a megatracksite in the Obernkirchen Sandstone is currently regarded as premature and uncertain. © 2012 The Author(s).
PubMed | Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Hanover
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2012
Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki is a small ornithopod dinosaur known from thousands of bones and several ontogenetic stages. It was found in a single locality within the Tendaguru Formation of southeastern Tanzania, possibly representing a single herd. Dysalotosaurus provides an excellent case study for examining variation in bone microstructure and life history and helps to unravel the still mysterious growth pattern of small ornithopods.Five different skeletal elements were sampled, revealing microstructural variation between individuals, skeletal elements, cross sectional units, and ontogenetic stages. The bone wall consists of fibrolamellar bone with strong variability in vascularization and development of growth cycles. Larger bones with a high degree of utilization have high relative growth rates and seldom annuli/LAGs, whereas small and less intensively used bones have lower growth rates and a higher number of these resting lines. Due to the scarcity of annuli/LAGs, the reconstruction of the life history of Dysalotosaurus was carried out using regularly developed and alternating slow and fast growing zones. Dysalotosaurus was a precocial dinosaur, which experienced sexual maturity at ten years, had an indeterminate growth pattern, and maximum growth rates comparable to a large kangaroo.The variation in the bone histology of Dysalotosaurus demonstrates the influence of size, utilization, and shape of bones on relative growth rates. Annuli/LAGs are not the only type of annual growth cycles that can be used to reconstruct the life history of fossil vertebrates, but the degree of development of these lines may be of importance for the reconstruction of paleobehavior. The regular development of annuli/LAGs in subadults and adults of large ornithopods therefore reflects higher seasonal stress due to higher food demands, migration, and altricial breeding behavior. Small ornithopods often lack regularly developed annuli/LAGs due to lower food demands, no need for migration, and precocial behavior.