Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks.

@article{Wang2017HeterochronicTO,
  title={Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks.},
  author={Shuo Wang and J. Stiegler and Ping Wu and Cheng-Ming Chuong and Dongyu Hu and Amy M. Balanoff and Yachun Zhou and Xing Xu},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  year={2017},
  volume={114 41},
  pages={
          10930-10935
        }
}
Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird… CONTINUE READING
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