Field of Science

Evidence of Avian-like Behavior in a Basal Saurischian Dinosaur

There has been a rash of Triassic vertebrate papers in the last two weeks.  Here is one that looks at the taphonomy of a specimen of the basal saurischian Guaibasaurus and suggests that it had a avian style of resting.

Agnolin, F., and Martinelli, A.G. 2012. Guaibasaurus candelariensis (Dinosauria, Saurischia) and the early origin of avian-like resting posture. Alcheringa (1–5) [advance online] DOI:10.1080/03115518.2012.634203

Abstract - A specimen of the basal saurischian Guaibasaurus candelariensis Bonaparte, Ferigolo and Ribeiro (UFRGS-PV-0725-T) from the Faxinal do Soturno locality, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil (Caturrita Formation; Late Triassic) lacks any sign of post-mortem transport and burial deformation, and exhibits features (flexed forelimbs, folded hindlimbs under the body and curved neck) that indicate a typical avian-like resting position. The presence in Guaibasaurus of an avian-like resting posture and related physiological implications would extend this unique trait, previously considered restricted to derived maniraptoran theropods, to the base of the Theropoda (or even
Saurischia) clade.

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