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Skin of the Cretaceous mosasaur Plotosaurus: implications for aquatic adaptations in giant marine reptiles.

Lindgren, Johan LU ; Alwmark, Carl LU ; Caldwell, Michael W and Fiorillo, Anthony R (2009) In Biology Letters 5. p.528-531
Abstract
The physical nature of water and the environment it presents to an organism have long been recognized as important constraints on aquatic adaptation and evolution. Little is known about the dermal cover of mosasauroids (a group of secondarily aquatic reptiles that occupied a wide array of predatory niches in the Cretaceous marine ecosystems 92-65 Myr ago), a lack of information that has hindered inferences about the nature and level of their aquatic adaptations. A newly discovered Plotosaurus skeleton with integument preserved in three dimensions represents not only the first documented squamation in a mosasaurine mosasaur but also the first record of skin in an advanced member of the Mosasauroidea. The dermal cover comprises keeled and... (More)
The physical nature of water and the environment it presents to an organism have long been recognized as important constraints on aquatic adaptation and evolution. Little is known about the dermal cover of mosasauroids (a group of secondarily aquatic reptiles that occupied a wide array of predatory niches in the Cretaceous marine ecosystems 92-65 Myr ago), a lack of information that has hindered inferences about the nature and level of their aquatic adaptations. A newly discovered Plotosaurus skeleton with integument preserved in three dimensions represents not only the first documented squamation in a mosasaurine mosasaur but also the first record of skin in an advanced member of the Mosasauroidea. The dermal cover comprises keeled and possibly osteoderm-reinforced scales that presumably contributed to an anterior-posterior channelling of the water flow and a reduction of microturbulent burst activities along the surface of the skin. Thus, hydrodynamic requirements of life in the water might have influenced the evolution of multiple-keeled body scales in advanced mosasauroids. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Biology Letters
volume
5
pages
528 - 531
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000267881700026
  • pmid:19364713
  • scopus:67749089226
ISSN
1744-9561
DOI
10.1098/rsbl.2009.0097
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1a658785-cc23-41f5-8d03-11771d303121 (old id 1392130)
date added to LUP
2009-05-12 09:34:09
date last changed
2017-02-05 03:34:47
@article{1a658785-cc23-41f5-8d03-11771d303121,
  abstract     = {The physical nature of water and the environment it presents to an organism have long been recognized as important constraints on aquatic adaptation and evolution. Little is known about the dermal cover of mosasauroids (a group of secondarily aquatic reptiles that occupied a wide array of predatory niches in the Cretaceous marine ecosystems 92-65 Myr ago), a lack of information that has hindered inferences about the nature and level of their aquatic adaptations. A newly discovered Plotosaurus skeleton with integument preserved in three dimensions represents not only the first documented squamation in a mosasaurine mosasaur but also the first record of skin in an advanced member of the Mosasauroidea. The dermal cover comprises keeled and possibly osteoderm-reinforced scales that presumably contributed to an anterior-posterior channelling of the water flow and a reduction of microturbulent burst activities along the surface of the skin. Thus, hydrodynamic requirements of life in the water might have influenced the evolution of multiple-keeled body scales in advanced mosasauroids.},
  author       = {Lindgren, Johan and Alwmark, Carl and Caldwell, Michael W and Fiorillo, Anthony R},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {528--531},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Biology Letters},
  title        = {Skin of the Cretaceous mosasaur Plotosaurus: implications for aquatic adaptations in giant marine reptiles.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2009.0097},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2009},
}