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Research Article

Life History of Rhamphorhynchus Inferred from Bone Histology and the Diversity of Pterosaurian Growth Strategies

  • Edina Prondvai mail,

    edina.prondvai@gmail.com

    Affiliation: Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Eötvös Loránd University “Lendület” Dinosaur Research Group, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

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  • Koen Stein,

    Affiliation: Steinmann Institut für Geologie, Mineralogie und Paläontologie, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

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  • Attila Ősi,

    Affiliation: Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Eötvös Loránd University “Lendület” Dinosaur Research Group, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

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  • Martin P. Sander

    Affiliation: Steinmann Institut für Geologie, Mineralogie und Paläontologie, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

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  • Published: February 15, 2012
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031392
  • Published in PLOS ONE

Reader Comments (2)

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Were these five study specimens an ontogenetic or distinct species within the genus Rhamphorhynchus?

Posted by DavidPeters1247 on 17 Feb 2012 at 23:23 GMT

Embryo pterosaurs and known juveniles were nearly identical to adults, so small and tiny Rhamphorhynchus specimens with distinct morphologies were not juveniles of large adults, but adults themselves, despite their small size. No cladistic analysis involving dozens of Rhamphorhynchus specimens, including the five chosen for the Prondvai et al. (2012) study, was provided. Therefore we don't know whether or not these five represented an ontogenetic sequence or a phylogenetic series. Analysis demonstrates that phylogenetic size reduction is coincident with immature bone texture and lack of bone fusion. More details can be found at www.pterosaurheresies.com for February 18 and links therein.

No competing interests declared.