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[dinosaur] Sacisaurus (Silesauridae) osteohistology and dinosauriform growth (free pdf)
A new paper in open access:
The non-dinosaurian dinosauriform silesaurids are the closest relatives of crown-group dinosaurs and are thus, important for understanding the origins of that group. Here, we describe the limb bone histology of the Late Triassic silesaurid Sacisaurus agudoensis from the CandelÃria Sequence of the Santa Maria Supersequence, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. The sampled bones comprise eight femora and one fibula from different individuals. The microscopic analysis of all elements reveals uninterrupted fibrolamellar bone tissue indicating rapid growth. A transition to slower growing peripheral parallel-fibered bone tissue in some individuals indicates a decrease in growth rate, suggesting ontogenetic variation within the sample. The osteohistology of Sacisaurus agudoensis is similar to that of other silesaurids and supports previous hypotheses that rapid growth was attained early in the dinosauromorph lineage. However, silesaurids lack the complex vascular arrangements seen in saurischian dinosaurs. Instead, they exhibit predominantly longitudinally-oriented primary osteons with few or no anastomoses, similar to those of some small early ornithischian dinosaurs. This simpler vascular pattern is common to all silesaurids studied to date and indicates relatively slower growth rates compared to most Dinosauria.