Comparative analysis of the vertebral pneumatization in pterosaurs (Reptilia: Pterosauria) and extant birds (Avialae: Neornithes)

  title={Comparative analysis of the vertebral pneumatization in pterosaurs (Reptilia: Pterosauria) and extant birds (Avialae: Neornithes)},
  author={Richard Buchmann and Leonardo dos Santos Avilla and Taissa Rodrigues},
  journal={PLoS ONE},
Birds and pterosaurs have pneumatic bones, a feature likely related to their flight capabilities but whose evolution and origin is still poorly understood. Pneumatic foramina are present on the external surface of the bone and are reliable indicators of post-cranial skeletal pneumatization present in Pterosauria, Eusauropoda, and Neotheropoda. Here, we carried out a qualitative analysis of the position, size and number of pneumatic foramina of the cervical and thoracic/dorsal vertebrae of… 
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Quantitative assessment of the vertebral pneumaticity in an anhanguerid pterosaur using micro-CT scanning
The results point to a pattern in the distribution of the air space, which shows an increase in the area occupied by the trabecular bone in the craniocaudal direction of the vertebral series and, in each vertebra, an increase of the thickness of thetrabeculae in the zygapophyses, indicating that the distributionof pneumatic diverticula in anhanguerine vertebrae may not be associated with stochastic patterns.
Assessing ontogenetic maturity in extinct saurian reptiles
The various methods that have been used to assess maturity in every major saurian group are described, integrating data from both extant and extinct taxa to give a full account of the current state of the field and providing method‐specific pitfalls, best practices, and fruitful directions for future research.


The Evolution of Pneumatic Foramina in Pterosaur Vertebrae.
The mapping performed identified that most pneumatic foramina evolved independently in several lineages, and only two of the eight added characters appeared once in the evolution of pterosaurs.
Postcranial pneumaticity: An evaluation of soft‐tissue influences on the postcranial skeleton and the reconstruction of pulmonary anatomy in archosaurs
An examination of regional pneumaticity in extant avians reveals remarkably consistent patterns of diverticular invasion of bone, and thus provides increased resolution for inferring specific components of the pulmonary air sac system in their nonavian theropod ancestors.
The detailed anatomy of Rhamphorhynchus: axial pneumaticity and its implications
It is concluded that evolution of this suite of advanced features in the juvenile Rhamphorhynchus muensteri was among the earliest events in the ornithodiran lineage soon after it split off from its crocodilian sister-group.
Pulmonary pneumaticity in the postcranial skeleton of extant Aves: A case study examining Anseriformes
The relative effects of phylogeny, body size, and behavioral specializations that have been postulated to influence the extent of postcranial skeletal pneumaticity are extricated to extricate.
Caudal Pneumaticity and Pneumatic Hiatuses in the Sauropod Dinosaurs Giraffatitan and Apatosaurus
The erratic patterns of caudal pneumatization in Giraffatitan and Apatosaurus show that pneumatic diverticula were more broadly distributed in the bodies of the living animals than are their traces in the skeleton.
Comments on the cervical vertebrae of the Tapejaridae (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) with description of new specimens
Comparison studies refer AMNH 22568 and MN 4728-V to the Thalassodrominae and AMNH 24445 to the Tapejarinae, helping to differentiate the cervical elements of these clades.
Reassessment of the Evidence for Postcranial Skeletal Pneumaticity in Triassic Archosaurs, and the Early Evolution of the Avian Respiratory System
It is proposed that pulmonary air sacs were present in the common ancestor of Ornithodira and may have been subsequently lost or reduced in some members of the clade (notably in ornithischian dinosaurs), and was potentially primitive for Archosauria as a whole.
Possible postcranial pneumaticity in the last common ancestor of birds and crocodilians: evidence from Erythrosuchus and other Mesozoic archosaurs
  • D. Gower
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • 2001
The presence of apparent osteological correlates of postcranial pneumaticity is reported in some non-crown-group archosaurs, and some of the fossil taxa more closely related to crocodilians than to birds, which suggests that the last common ancestor of birds and crocodilian might have had a pneumatized postCranium.
A Nomenclature for Vertebral Fossae in Sauropods and Other Saurischian Dinosaurs
The proposed nomenclatural system for lamina-bounded fossae adds clarity to descriptions of complex vertebrae and allows these structures to be sourced as character data for phylogenetic analyses.
Air‐filled postcranial bones in theropod dinosaurs: physiological implications and the ‘reptile’–bird transition
It is hypothesised that skeletal density modulation in small, non‐volant, maniraptorans resulted in energetic savings as part of a multi‐system response to increased metabolic demands, and Acquisition of extensive postcranial pneumaticity in small‐bodied manirptorans may indicate avian‐like high‐performance endothermy.