Willem J . Hillenius

Learn More
Understanding of the regeneration of feathers, despite a 140 year tradition of study, has remained substantially incomplete. Moreover, accumulated errors and mis-statements in the literature have confounded the intrinsic difficulties in describing feather regeneration. Lack of allusion to Rudall's (Rudall [1947] Biochem Biophys Acta 1:549-562) seminal X-ray(More)
Avian and mammalian endothermy results from elevated rates of resting, or routine, metabolism and enables these animals to maintain high and stable body temperatures in the face of variable ambient temperatures. Endothermy is also associated with enhanced stamina and elevated capacity for aerobic metabolism during periods of prolonged activity. These(More)
Longisquama insignis was an unusual archosaur from the Late Triassic of central Asia. Along its dorsal axis Longisquama bore a series of paired integumentary appendages that resembled avian feathers in many details, especially in the anatomy of the basal region. The latter is sufficiently similar to the calamus of modern feathers that each probably(More)
Modern birds have markedly foreshortened tails and their body mass is centred anteriorly, near the wings. To provide stability during powered flight, the avian centre of mass is far from the pelvis, which poses potential balance problems for cursorial birds. To compensate, avians adapted to running maintain the femur subhorizontally, with its distal end(More)
The nictitans and Harderian glands are enigmatic glands situated in the anterior aspect of the orbit. Traditionally, the nictitans and Harderian glands of mammals have been considered to be two fundamentally distinct glands. However, a consistent, unambiguous distinction between these two glands has remained elusive due to conflicting anatomical and(More)
The structure and function of the nasal conchae of extant reptiles, birds, and mammals are reviewed, and the relationships to endothermy of the mammalian elements are examined. Reptilian conchae are relatively simple, recurved structures, which bear primarily sensory (olfactory) epithelium. Conversely, the conchae, or turbinates, of birds and mammals are(More)
The anterior orbital glands of tetrapods, which include the Harderian and nictitans glands, can usually be differentiated either anatomically (nictitans gland is more anterior) or histochemically (Harderian gland secretes lipids). However, conflicting statements exist in the literature about the presence and identity of these glands. Two previous studies on(More)
The function of the septomaxilla of nonmammalian synapsids has long been problematic. Distinctive features of this bone, including a prominent intranarial process and a septomaxillary canal and foramen, are characteristic of pelycosaurs and nonmammalian therapsids, but are lost in their mammalian descendants. Numerous contradictory reconstructions have been(More)
Pterosaurs were the first vertebrates to achieve active flight, with some derived forms reaching enormous size. Accumulating fossil evidence confirms earlier indications that selection for large size in these flying forms resulted in a light, yet strong skeleton characterized by fusion of many bones of the trunk. However, this process also added mechanical(More)