Microanatomy and growth of the mesosaurs <i>Stereosternum tumidum</i> and <i>Brazilosaurus sanpauloensis</i> (Reptilia, Parareptilia)

Klein, Nicole; Verrière, Antoine; Sartorelli, Heitor; Wintrich, Tanja; Fröbisch, Jörg

Histology and microanatomy of vertebrae, ribs, haemal arch, and humeri and femora of 10 individuals of Stereosternum and two dorsal ribs of 1 individual of Brazilosaurus were studied. All individuals had achieved a body length of 50 cm (equal to 65 % of the maximum known body length) or larger. All sampled bones are highly osteosclerotic due to the reduction of medullary cavities and the filling of medullary regions by endosteal bone. Calcified cartilage occurs – if at all – only locally in small clusters in the medullary regions of midshaft and in higher amounts only in non-midshaft sections of long bones and towards the medio-distal rib shaft, respectively. The primary bone tissue consists of highly organized parallel-fibred tissue and/or lamellar tissue, which is in most samples relatively lightly vascularized or even avascular. If present, vascular canals are mainly longitudinally oriented; some show a radial orientation. Simple vascular canals as well as primary osteons occur. Some of the latter are secondarily altered, i.e. widened. Remodelling of the periosteal cortex is only documented by few scattered erosion cavities and secondary osteons. The tissue is regularly stratified by lines of arrested growth (LAGs), which usually appear as double or multiple rest lines, indicating strong dependence on exogenous and endogenous factors. Because of the inhibition of periosteal remodelling the growth record is complete and no inner cycles are lost. Individuals of Stereosternum show a poor correlation of body size and number of growth marks, which might be the result of developmental plasticity. Brazilosaurus shows a highly organized, avascular lamellar tissue and a high number of regularly deposited rest lines throughout the cortex of the ribs. The medullary region in the ribs of Brazilosaurus is distinctly larger when compared to ribs of Stereosternum. However, strong osteosclerosis is obvious in both taxa, pointing to a high degree of aquatic adaption. Ribs of Stereosternum, Brazilosaurus, and Mesosaurus are clearly distinguishable from each other by the distribution of the periosteal and endosteal territory. Furthermore, Brazilosaurus differs in its growth pattern (i.e. spacing of rest lines) when compared to Stereosternum and Mesosaurus.

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Klein, Nicole / Verrière, Antoine / Sartorelli, Heitor / et al: Microanatomy and growth of the mesosaurs <i>Stereosternum tumidum</i> and <i>Brazilosaurus sanpauloensis</i> (Reptilia, Parareptilia). 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Nicole Klein et al.

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