Assessing dinosaur growth patterns: a microscopic revolution.

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

Developmental Plasticity in the Life History of a Prosauropod Dinosaur

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

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.

Dinosaur Growth – Egg to Adult

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

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

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

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.



Gigantism and comparative life-history parameters of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs

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

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.

Variation in dinosaur skeletochronology indicators: implications for age assessment and physiology

Twelve different bones from the skeleton of the holotype specimen of the hadrosaurian dinosaur Hypacrosaurus stebingeri were thin-sectioned to evaluate the significance of lines of arrested growth (LAGs) in age assessments, finding the tibia was found to have experienced the least amount of reconstruction, but was still not optimal for skeletochronology.

Ontogenetic histology of Apatosaurus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda): New insights on growth rates and longevity

All Apatosaurus bones sampled corroborate the hypothesis of sustained rapid growth rates for most of ontogeny, followed by gradual decline with attainment of maximum size, as well as regular variation in speeds of osteogenesis.

Bone microstructure and developmental plasticity in birds and other dinosaurs

It is concluded that bone deposition rates measured in extant birds cannot simply be extrapolated to their fossil relatives, and developmental plasticity in modern birds may be reduced in association with the shortened developmental time during the later evolution of the ornithurine birds.

Polar dinosaur bone histology

ABSTRACT We report on the bone microstructure of a hypsilophodont and an ornithomimosaur from the Early Cretaceous, Otway Group of Dinosaur Cove in south-eastern Australia, which at the time lay well


The evolution of life history strategies in dinosaurs and pterosaurs, as they relate to rates of growth and adult body sizes, will be better understood as more complete histological studies place these data into phylogenetic and ontogenetic contexts.

Speculations on the growth rate and reproduction of some dinosaurs

  • T. Case
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 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

Longbone histology of the Tendaguru sauropods: implications for growth and biology

  • P. M. Sander
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • 2000
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.