The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Data from: Does postcranial palaeoneurology provide insight into pterosaur behaviour and lifestyle? New data from the azhdarchoid Vectidraco and the ornithocheirids Coloborhynchus and Anhanguera

Data from: Does postcranial palaeoneurology provide insight into pterosaur behaviour and lifestyle? New data from the azhdarchoid Vectidraco and the ornithocheirids Coloborhynchus and Anhanguera
Data from: Does postcranial palaeoneurology provide insight into pterosaur behaviour and lifestyle? New data from the azhdarchoid Vectidraco and the ornithocheirids Coloborhynchus and Anhanguera
The postcranial palaeoneurology of fossil reptiles is understudied, and those studies that exist focus predominantly on crocodyliforms and dinosaurs. The intervertebral foramina of the spine house nerves that exit to innervate surrounding tissues and the extremities. In the heavily fused (and typically distorted or poorly preserved) pterosaurian sacrum, intervertebral foramina can be difficult to observe and are rarely identified. The Early Cretaceous azhdarchoid Vectidraco from the Isle of Wight, UK, exhibits large, paired foramina on each sacral vertebra, originally identified as pneumatic foramina. Micro‐computed tomography imaging reveals these communicate with the neural canal and are intervertebral foramina for sacral nerves. The sacral vertebrae of Vectidraco are fused, and intervertebral foramina occur dorsolaterally on the centra. We identified these structures in other pterosaur sacra, including those of the ornithocheiroids Anhanguera and Coloborhynchus. The sizes of the sacral and notarial neural canals are compared and considered within interpretations of palaeoecology and locomotion, following previous studies. The relatively large sacral neural canal of Vectidraco implies a sacral enlargement for innervation of the legs and lumbosacral plexus. When compared with Anhanguera, this supports indications that azhdarchoids were more hindlimb‐proficient than ornithocheiroids. Neural canal size in the Coloborhynchus notarium suggests that ornithocheirids spent less time on the ground, their brachial enlargement and small sacral region indicating enhanced innervation of the wings and poor innervation of the sacrum and legs. This is the first study focusing on pterosaur postcranial palaeoneurology; more studies on other taxa are needed to reveal patterns across Pterosauria as a whole.
sacrum, pterosaurs, computed tomography, Pterosauria, Brazil, nerve foramina, Vectidraco daisymorrisae, Cretaceous, Azhdarchoidea, palaeoneurology, United Kingdom
Dryad Digital Repository
Martin-Silverstone, Elizabeth
4f87b172-3ce1-42d5-ad23-68a48169f2a3
Sykes, Daniel
4c302d69-1c7b-43bb-a22e-b60cb0d6b0a2
Naish, Darren W
aa6bd7f8-86e4-4965-bd94-20b1573b194d
Martin-Silverstone, Elizabeth
4f87b172-3ce1-42d5-ad23-68a48169f2a3
Sykes, Daniel
4c302d69-1c7b-43bb-a22e-b60cb0d6b0a2
Naish, Darren W
aa6bd7f8-86e4-4965-bd94-20b1573b194d

Martin-Silverstone, Elizabeth, Sykes, Daniel and Naish, Darren W (2018) Data from: Does postcranial palaeoneurology provide insight into pterosaur behaviour and lifestyle? New data from the azhdarchoid Vectidraco and the ornithocheirids Coloborhynchus and Anhanguera. Dryad Digital Repository doi:10.5061/DRYAD.RQ4B2N6 [Dataset]

Record type: Dataset

Abstract

The postcranial palaeoneurology of fossil reptiles is understudied, and those studies that exist focus predominantly on crocodyliforms and dinosaurs. The intervertebral foramina of the spine house nerves that exit to innervate surrounding tissues and the extremities. In the heavily fused (and typically distorted or poorly preserved) pterosaurian sacrum, intervertebral foramina can be difficult to observe and are rarely identified. The Early Cretaceous azhdarchoid Vectidraco from the Isle of Wight, UK, exhibits large, paired foramina on each sacral vertebra, originally identified as pneumatic foramina. Micro‐computed tomography imaging reveals these communicate with the neural canal and are intervertebral foramina for sacral nerves. The sacral vertebrae of Vectidraco are fused, and intervertebral foramina occur dorsolaterally on the centra. We identified these structures in other pterosaur sacra, including those of the ornithocheiroids Anhanguera and Coloborhynchus. The sizes of the sacral and notarial neural canals are compared and considered within interpretations of palaeoecology and locomotion, following previous studies. The relatively large sacral neural canal of Vectidraco implies a sacral enlargement for innervation of the legs and lumbosacral plexus. When compared with Anhanguera, this supports indications that azhdarchoids were more hindlimb‐proficient than ornithocheiroids. Neural canal size in the Coloborhynchus notarium suggests that ornithocheirids spent less time on the ground, their brachial enlargement and small sacral region indicating enhanced innervation of the wings and poor innervation of the sacrum and legs. This is the first study focusing on pterosaur postcranial palaeoneurology; more studies on other taxa are needed to reveal patterns across Pterosauria as a whole.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

Published date: 2018
Keywords: sacrum, pterosaurs, computed tomography, Pterosauria, Brazil, nerve foramina, Vectidraco daisymorrisae, Cretaceous, Azhdarchoidea, palaeoneurology, United Kingdom

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 436520
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/436520
PURE UUID: f30d81e0-26bf-47f3-ba78-93ce094d8c24

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Dec 2019 17:31
Last modified: 21 Jun 2022 18:21

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Creator: Elizabeth Martin-Silverstone
Creator: Daniel Sykes
Creator: Darren W Naish

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×