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Developmental Plasticity in the Life History of a Prosauropod Dinosaur

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Science  16 Dec 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5755, pp. 1800-1802
DOI: 10.1126/science.1120125

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  1. Fig. 1.

    Histology of P. engelhardti long bones, polished sections, normal light. (A) Cross section of a humerus shaft (right humerus NAA F 88/B640, 44.5 cm long, Frick). Arrows mark LAGs. Note the decrease in LAG spacing toward the periphery of the bone. Scale bar, 1 cm. (B) Core section (left femur IFG compactus, 74 cm long, Trossingen) with growth-mark count. Numbers mark LAGs. IFG, Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Tübingen, Germany; NAA, Naturama, Aarau, Switzerland. Scale bar, 3 mm.

  2. Fig. 2.

    Ontogenetic stages in the histology of P. engelhardti long bones. (A) Polished section (left femur IFG compactus, 74 cm long, Trossingen) showing laminar fibrolamellar complex with LAGs. This tissue type indicates fast growth of the cortex. (B) Thin section from the same specimen showing the same bone tissue. (C) Polished section (right humerus NAA F 88/B640, 44.5 cm long, Frick) showing fibrolamellar bone with LAGs followed by lamellar-zonal bone in the outer cortex. This tissue type indicates slow growth. (D) Thin section (left tibia MSF 1, 51 cm long, Frick) with closely spaced LAGs in outermost cortex. This tissue type indicates that the animal was fully grown. Bone surface is beyond [(A) to (C)] or at top (D) of image. IFG, Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Tübingen, Germany; MSF, Sauriermuseum, Frick, Switzerland; NAA, Naturama, Aarau, Switzerland. Scale bars, 1 mm.

  3. Fig. 3.

    Relation between body size, age, and ontogenetic stage in specimens of P. engelhardti, based on bone histology. Proxy for body size is femur length. Data for plots are in table S1. (A) Relation between age and body size in the Trossingen specimens. For each specimen, observed LAG count (black symbols) and estimated total LAG count (blue symbols) are plotted. Estimated total LAG count is equivalent to individual age in years. Note poor correlation between age and size. (B and C) Relation between growth stage and body size in the samples from Trossingen (B) and Frick (C). Note poor correlation between growth stage and size in both samples. The large variation in final body size is best appreciated if the slow growth individuals, which would not have grown much larger, are considered together with the fully grown individuals.