Assessing dinosaur growth patterns: a microscopic revolution.

@article{Erickson2005AssessingDG,
  title={Assessing dinosaur growth patterns: a microscopic revolution.},
  author={Gregory M. Erickson},
  journal={Trends in ecology \& evolution},
  year={2005},
  volume={20 12},
  pages={
          677-84
        }
}
  • G. Erickson
  • Published 1 December 2005
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • Trends in ecology & evolution

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Long-bone histology indicates that the most common early dinosaur, the prosauropod Plateosaurus engelhardti from the Upper Triassic of Central Europe, had variable life histories, and was influenced by environmental factors, as in modern ectothermic reptiles, but not in mammals, birds, or other dinosaurs.

Growth Dynamics of Australia's Polar Dinosaurs

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Bone microstructure similarities between the ornithopod and theropods, including the presence of LAGs in each group, suggest there is no osteohistologic evidence supporting the hypothesis that polar theropod hibernated seasonally, and results suggest high-latitude dinosaurs had growth trajectories similar to their lower-latitudes relatives.

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Investigations of the bone microstructure of dinosaurs suggest that the growth strategies of dinosaurs varied: some dinosaurs grew rapidly and uninterruptedly, whereas others experienced periodic pauses in growth.

Osteohistological analyses reveal diverse strategies of theropod dinosaur body-size evolution

TLDR
The first evidence of a lack of strong mechanistic or physiological constraints on size evolution in the largest bipeds in the fossil record is provided and evidence of one of the longest-living individual dinosaurs ever documented is provided.

The interpretation of dinosaur growth patterns.

Developmental palaeontology of Reptilia as revealed by histological studies.

On Dinosaur Growth

TLDR
From the recent development of means to study tissue-level growth, age these animals, and make growth curves, it is now understood that dinosaurs grew both disruptively and determinately, and that basal birds retained dinosaurian physiology.

Longevity and growth rate estimates for a polar dinosaur: a Pachyrhinosaurus (Dinosauria: Neoceratopsia) specimen from the North Slope of Alaska showing a complete developmental record

Our knowledge of growth dynamics in large ceratopsian dinosaurs is very poor, in part, due to the paucity of quantifiable age markers such as growth lines in their bones. We sought marker-based,

Extreme growth plasticity in the early branching sauropodomorph Massospondylus carinatus

TLDR
Find major variability in the spacing of the LAGs and infer disparate body masses for M. carinatus individuals at given ontogenetic ages, contradicting previous studies, but findings are consistent with a high degree of growth plasticity in M.Carinatus.
...

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Growth patterns within the Tyrannosauridae are studied and it is determined that Tyrannosaurus rex's great stature was primarily attained by accelerating growth rates beyond that of its closest relatives.

Growth curve of Psittacosaurus mongoliensis Osborn (Ceratopsia: Psittacosauridae) inferred from long bone histology

TLDR
The first reconstruction of a growth curve (mass vs. age) for a dinosaur was made for this taxon using a new method called Developmental Mass Extrapolation, and the results suggest P. mongoliensis had an S-shaped growth curve characteristics of most extant vertebrates, and had maximal growth rates that exceeded extant reptiles and marsupials, but were slower than most avian and eutherian taxa.

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  • 1978
If the dinosaurs Protoceratops grangeri and Hypselosaurus sp. grew at rates predicted for their body size from extant reptiles, their expected ages at reproductive maturity would be about 20 and 62

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TLDR
A new sampling technique for fossil bone (coring with a 5/8” bit) was used to sample longbones of all four sauropod genera from the Upper Jurassic Tendaguru beds of Tanzania for paleohistological study, showing a common growth pattern in which growth is determinate but sexual maturity is achieved well before maximum size is reached.
...