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Tschopp, E., & Mateus O. (2013).  Clavicles, interclavicles, gastralia, and sternal ribs in sauropod dinosaurs: new reports from Diplodocidae and their morphological, functional and evolutionary implications. Journal of Anatomy. 222, 321-340. Abstracttschopp__mateus_2013_clavicles_interclavicles_gastralia_and_sternal_ribs_in_diplodocid.pdfWebsite

Ossified gastralia, clavicles and sternal ribs are known in a variety of reptilians, including dinosaurs. In sauropods, however, the identity of these bones is controversial. The peculiar shapes of these bones complicate their identification, which led to various differing interpretations in the past. Here we describe different elements from the chest region of diplodocids, found near Shell, Wyoming, USA. Five morphotypes are easily distinguishable: (A) elongated, relatively stout, curved elements with a spatulate and a bifurcate end resemble much the previously reported sauropod clavicles, but might actually represent interclavicles; (B) short, L-shaped elements, mostly preserved as a symmetrical pair, probably are the real clavicles, as indicated by new findings in diplodocids; (C) slender, rod-like bones with rugose ends are highly similar to elements identified as sauropod sternal ribs; (D) curved bones with wide, probably medial ends constitute the fourth morphotype, herein interpreted as gastralia; and (E) irregularly shaped elements, often with extended rugosities, are included into the fifth morphotype, tentatively identified as sternal ribs and/or intercostal elements. To our knowledge, the bones previously interpreted as sauropod clavicles were always found as single bones, which sheds doubt on the validity of their identification. Various lines of evidence presented herein suggest they might actually be interclavicles – which are single elements. This would be the first definitive evidence of interclavicles in dinosauromorphs. Previously supposed interclavicles in the early sauropodomorph Massospondylus or the theropods Oviraptor and Velociraptor were later reinterpreted as clavicles or furculae. Independent from their identification, the existence of the reported bones has both phylogenetic and functional significance. Their presence in non-neosauropod Eusauropoda and Flagellicaudata and probable absence in rebbachisaurs and Titanosauriformes shows a clear character polarity. This implicates that the ossification of these bones can be considered plesiomorphic for Sauropoda. The proposed presence of interclavicles in sauropods may give further support to a recent study, which finds a homology of the avian furcula with the interclavicle to be equally parsimonious to the traditional theory that furcula were formed by the fusion of the clavicles. Functional implications are the stabilizing of the chest region, which coincides with the development of elongated cervical and caudal vertebral columns or the use of the tail as defensive weapon. The loss of ossified chest bones coincides with more widely spaced limbs, and the evolution of a wide-gauge locomotor style.

Tschopp, E., & Mateus O. (2012).  Evidence for presence of clavicles and interclavicles in sauropod dinosaurs and its implications on the furcula-clavicle homology. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2012, 184. ISSN 1937-2809 . 184. Abstracttschopp__mateus_2012_interclavicles_clavicles_svp_2012_abstract.pdf

Clavicles and interclavicles are plesiomorphically present in Reptilia. However, several groups show reduction or even loss of these elements. Crocodylimorpha, e.g., lost the clavicles, whereas dinosaurs are generally interpreted to only preserve the clavicles, the theropod furcula representing an unique case of fused clavicles. In sauropods, reports of clavicles are relatively frequent in non-titanosauriforms. These elements are elongated, curved, and rather stout bones with a spatulate and a bifurcate end. However, they were always found as single bones, and differ from the relatively short and unbifurcated clavicles found articulated with the scapulae of basal sauropodomorphs.
Elements from the Howe Quarry (Late Jurassic; Wyoming, USA) shed new light on these interpretations. Besides the elongated, curved bones (herein named morphotype A), also pairs of symmetric, L-shaped bones were recovered (morphotype B), associated with diplodocid dorsal and cervical vertebrae. Elements resembling morphotype B - articulated between the scapulae - have recently been reported from a diplodocid found near Tensleep, Wyoming. Taphonomic evidence, as well as the fact that they were preserved in symmetrical pairs, therefore implies that morphotype B represents the true sauropod clavicles.
Contrary to earlier reports, morphotype A elements from the Howe Quarry, as well as of previously reported specimens show a symmetry plane following the long axis of the elements. It is thus possible that the morphotype A elements were single bones from the body midline. The only such element present in the pectoral girdle of tetrapods are the interclavicle and the furcula. Comparison with crocodilian and lacertiform interclavicles indicates that the bifurcate end of the sauropod elements might represent the reduced transverse processes of the anterior end, and the spatulate end would have covered the coracoids or sternal plates ventrally.
The presence of both clavicles and interclavicles in the pectoral girdle stiffens the anterior trunk, and enhances considerably its stability. Such an enforcement might have been needed in diplodocids due to the strong lateral forces induced to the fore-limbs by the posteriorly placed center of mass (due to shorter fore- than hind-limbs), as well as lateral movements of the enormously elongated necks and tails. The absence of clavicles and interclavicles in titanosauriforms coincides with the development of wide-gauge locomotion style.
The presence of interclavicles in sauropods supports the recently proposed homology of the furcula with the interclavicle, instead of representing fused clavicles. Interclavicles were thus not lost, but may have remained cartilaginous or have yet to be found in basal dinosauriforms.