Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation
 

New insight into the morphology and physiology of Mesozoic archosaurs

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pr76f559q

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  • Inferences regarding the biology of extinct taxa are often founded primarily on cladistically-based phylogenetic hypotheses. However, these inferences are frequently inconsistent with the morphology and physiology of modern animals. I suggest that reference to the biology of modern animals might be a more appropriate tool to aid in the reconstruction of the morphology and physiology of extinct animals. Here, this methodology is applied to: (1) reconstruction of the respiratory anatomy and physiology of some Paleozoic archosaurs (dinosaurs, early birds, pterosaurs, and early crocodilians), (2) understanding cursorial locomotion in birds and bipedal dinosaurs, and (3) a reinterpretation of an enigmatic archosaur, Longisquama. The conclusions drawn from these data raise questions regarding current thinking regarding relationships between birds and dinosaurs.
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