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Waskow, K., & Mateus O. (2017).  Dorsal rib histology of dinosaurs and a crocodylomorph from western Portugal: Skeletochronological implications on age determination and life history traits. Comptes Rendus Palevol. 16, 425-439. Abstractwaskowmateus2017_histology.pdfWebsite

Abstract Bone histology is an important tool for uncovering life history traits of extinct animals, particularly those that lack modern analogs, such as the non-avian dinosaurs. In most studies, histological analyses preferentially focus on long bones for understanding growth rates and determining age. Here we show, by analyzing ornithischians (a stegosaur and an ornithopod), saurischians (a sauropod and a theropod), and a crocodile, rib histology is a suitable alternative. The estimated age for all sampled taxa ranges between 14 to 17 years for Lourinhanosaurus antunesi and 27 to 31 years estimated for Draconyx loureiroi. The theropod Baryonyx was skeletally mature around 23–25 years of age but showed unfused neurocentral sutures, a paedomorphic feature possibly related to aquatic locomotion. Our results show that ribs can contain a nearly complete growth record, and reveal important information about individual age, point of sexual maturity, and, in some cases, sex. Because ribs are more available than long bones, this method opens new possibilities for studying rare and incomplete fossils, including holotypes.

Waskow, K., & Mateus O. (2016).  What is your age? Dorsal rib histology as tool for individual age determination and analysis of life history traits in dinosaurs and other vertebrates. Annual Meeting of the Paleontological Society of Germany (PalGes). 87.
Sander, P. M., Mateus O., Laven T., & Knotschke N. (2006).  Bone histology indicates insular dwarfism in a new Late Jurassic sauropod dinosaur. Nature. 441, 739-741., Jan Abstractsander_mateus_et_al_2006_europasaurus_sauropod_histology_drwarfism_nature.pdf

Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest animals ever to inhabit the land, with truly gigantic forms in at least three lineages1, 2, 3. Small species with an adult body mass less than five tonnes are very rare4, 5, and small sauropod bones generally represent juveniles. Here we describe a new diminutive species of basal macronarian sauropod, Europasaurus holgeri gen. et sp. nov., and on the basis of bone histology we show it to have been a dwarf species. The fossils, including excellent skull material, come from Kimmeridgian marine beds of northern Germany6, 7, and record more than 11 individuals of sauropods 1.7 to 6.2 m in total body length. Morphological overlap between partial skeletons and isolated bones links all material to the same new taxon. Cortical histology of femora and tibiae indicates that size differences within the specimens are due to different ontogenetic stages, from juveniles to fully grown individuals. The little dinosaurs must have lived on one of the large islands around the Lower Saxony basin8. Comparison with the long-bone histology of large-bodied sauropods suggests that the island dwarf species evolved through a decrease in growth rate from its larger ancestor.

de Ricqlès, A., Mateus O., Antunes M. T., & Taquet P. (2001).  Histomorphogenesis of embryos of Upper Jurassic Theropods from Lourinha (Portugal). Comptes Rendus De L Academie Des Sciences Serie Ii Fascicule a-Sciences De La Terre Et Des Planetes. 332, 647-656., Jan Abstractricqles_mateus_et_al_2011_histomorphogenesis_of_embryos_of_upper_jurassic_theropods_from_lourinha_portugal.pdfWebsite

Remains of dinosaurian embryos, hatchlings and early juveniles are currently the subject of increasing interest, as new discoveries and techniques now allow to analyse palaeobiological subjects such as growth and life history strategies of dinosaurs. So far, available ‘embryonic’ material mainly involved Ornithopods and some Theropods of Upper Cretaceous age. We describe here the histology of several bones (vertebrae, limb bones) from the tiny but exceptionally well preserved in ovo remains of Upper Jurassic Theropod dinosaurs from the Paimogo locality near Lourinhã (Portugal). This Jurassic material allows to extend in time and to considerably supplement in great details our knowledge of early phases of growth in diameter and in length of endoskeletal bones of various shape, as well as shape modelling among carnivorous dinosaurs. Endochondral ossification in both short and long bones involves extensive pads of calcified cartilages permeated by marrow buds. We discuss the likely occurrence of genuine cartilage canals in dinosaurs and of an avian-like ‘medullary cartilaginous cone’ in Theropods. Patterns of periosteal ossification suggest high initial growth rates (20 μ m·day−1 or more), at once modulated by precise and locally specific changes in rates of new bone deposition. The resulting very precise shape modelling appears to start early and to involve at once some biomechanical components.