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Nat Commun:美国学者发现巨型恐龙头骨存在装饰物

摘要 : 2016年9月27日,国际学术权威刊物自然出版集团旗下子刊《Nature Communications》杂志在线发表了北卡罗莱纳州立大学Terry A. Gates研究员的一篇研究论文,研究显示兽脚类恐龙在快速演化出巨大的体型的同时,也演化除了骨质颅骨装饰物。

 2016年9月27日,国际学术权威刊物自然出版集团旗下子刊《Nature Communications》杂志在线发表了北卡罗莱纳州立大学Terry A. Gates研究员的一篇研究论文,研究显示兽脚类恐龙在快速演化出巨大的体型的同时,也演化除了骨质颅骨装饰物。大型兽脚类恐龙(如霸王龙,Tyrannosaurus rex)的头上有骨质冠状物或突出物,可能起到了面向潜在配偶或竞争者的信号的作用。


Terry Gates及同事研究了兽脚类恐龙的体型与颅骨装饰物之间的关系。他们发现,对于具有骨质颅骨装饰物的恐龙谱系而言,演化出巨大体型的速度快于没有这种结构的恐龙谱系。但是,在有羽毛的兽脚类恐龙中,不存在这种关系,它们其中一部分具有由羽毛或其它软组织形成的头冠,但没有骨质冠状物。



Bony cranial ornamentation linked to rapid evolution of gigantic theropod dinosaurs


Exaggerated cranial structures such as crests and horns, hereafter referred to collectively as ornaments, are pervasive across animal species. These structures perform vital roles in visual communication and physical interactions within and between species. Yet the origin and influence of ornamentation on speciation and ecology across macroevolutionary time scales remains poorly understood for virtually all animals. Here, we explore correlative evolution of osseous cranial ornaments with large body size in theropod dinosaurs using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We find that body size evolved directionally toward phyletic giantism an order of magnitude faster in theropod species possessing ornaments compared with unadorned lineages. In addition, we find a body mass threshold below which bony cranial ornaments do not originate. Maniraptoriform dinosaurs generally lack osseous cranial ornaments despite repeatedly crossing this body size threshold. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for a shift in selective pressures on socio-sexual display mechanisms in theropods coincident with the evolution of pennaceous feathers.

来源: Nature Communications 浏览次数:0


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