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Unexpected bird-like features and high intraspecific variation in the braincase of the Triassic relative of dinosaurs
Polish Acad Sci, Inst Paleobiol, Warsaw, Poland;Univ Warsaw, Dept Palaeobiol & Evolut, Biol & Chem Res Ctr, Fac Biol, Warsaw, Poland.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Evolution and Developmental Biology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4775-5254
Univ Warsaw, Dept Palaeobiol & Evolut, Biol & Chem Res Ctr, Fac Biol, Warsaw, Poland.
2019 (English)In: Historical Biology, ISSN 0891-2963, E-ISSN 1029-2381, Vol. 31, no 8, p. 1065-1081Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Silesaurus opolensis Dzik, 2003 from the Late Triassic (late Carnian) of Poland is a key taxon for understanding the evolution of early dinosaurs. High intraspecific variation observed in the S. opolensis braincase brings caution in taxonomic and diversity studies of early dinosauromorphs. The external and internal osteology of three almost complete braincases of S. opolensis show that this taxon shares several similarities with other early dinosauriforms, which supports a close relationship among these forms. However, the paroccipital processes of S. opolensis are directed ventrally like in birds, reaching the level of the ventral margin of the basioccipital condyle. In dinosauromorphs, these processes usually have an almost horizontal orientation (presumed to be the plesiomorphic condition). Modifications observed in birds and S. opolensis have resulted in the dorsoventral expansion of M. complexus and M. depressor mandibulae, which occupy the dorsolateral part of the posterior side of the skull. In adult birds, these muscles act strongly on the initial upstroke of the head during drinking. Therefore, the inferred condition of these muscles in S. opolensis may imply that Silesauridae evolved toward bird-like feeding behaviour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2019. Vol. 31, no 8, p. 1065-1081
Keywords [en]
Silesaurus, dinosauriforms, archosauria, neuroanatomy, Carnian, Late Triassic
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-391276DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2017.1418339ISI: 000476682900007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-391276DiVA, id: diva2:1345031
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-08-22Bibliographically approved

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Niedzwiedzki, Grzegorz

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