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Trends in embryonic and ontogenetic growth metabolisms in nonavian dinosaurs and extant birds, mammals, and crocodylians with implications for dinosaur egg incubation.

Lee, Scott A.
Phys Rev E; 99(5-1): 052405, 2019 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31212519
The embryonic metabolism of the saurischian dinosaur Troodon formosus and the ornithischian dinosaurs Protoceratops andrewsi and Hypacrosaurus stebingeri have been determined by using a mass growth model based on conservation of energy and found to be very similar. Embryonic and ontogenetic growth metabolisms are also evaluated for extant altricial birds, precocial birds, mammals, and crocodylians to examine for trends in the different groups of animals and to provide a context for interpreting our results for nonavian dinosaurs. This analysis reveals that the embryonic metabolisms of these nonavian dinosaurs were closer to the range observed in extant crocodylians than extant birds. The embryonic metabolisms of nonavian dinosaurs were in the range observed for extant mammals of similar masses. The measured embryonic metabolic rates for these three nonavian dinosaurs are then used to calculate the incubation times for eggs of 22 nonavian dinosaurs from both Saurischia and Ornithischia. The calculated incubation times vary from about 50 days for Archaeopteryx lithographica to about 150 days for Alamosaurus sanjuanensis.
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