Bone Histology of Fossil Tetrapods
Advancing Methods, Analysis, and Interpretation
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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This book was conceived thanks to Dr. Susan Williams, Drew Lee’s former col-league at Ohio University in Athens. We were discussing with Susan the explosion of histological studies of fossil bone that had occurred in the past two decades, and we thought that it might be helpful to provide guidance to people new to the field about how to select, process, and image specimens, and about the questions and ...
Authors and Contributors
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1 Why Study the Bone Microstructure of Fossil Tetrapods?
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In the nineteenth century, when morphology was the queen of the biological sciences, every student of the living world had to know the intimate details of plant and ani-mal anatomy, including microscopic anatomy, as well as the theories of the generation and determination of form and structure that underpinned the science of morphology (Sloan 1992; Desmond 1982, 1989). As a matter of routine, Richard Owen took a thin ...
2 The Biology of Bone
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This chapter examines the topic that, with elegant simplicity, Hancox (1972) called “Biology of Bone.” Whereas cartilage may be found in vertebrates and in many inver-tebrates, bone is a unique, typically vascularized skeletal tissue found only in vertebrate animals (Hall, 2005). In this section, we discuss the complex hierarchical structure of bone and highlight research into its structural evolution and development. The ...
3 Selection of Specimens
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For the student of histology, there is always something interesting to be found in the examination of the microscopic structure of any tissue. In consideration of the time and energy it takes to produce thin-section slides, as well as the use of a limited resource when sectioning fossil material, it is important to define your questions and plan the details and full scope of all projects in advance of ...
4 Preparation and Sectioning of Specimens
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After following the guidelines in Chapter 3 on how to select specimens for histo-logical study, you now have specimens chosen and are ready to begin processing. staying safe while working with chemical and equipment hazards.This is not intended to be an exhaustive guide, and most people will need hands-on training from an experienced technician to get the best results. However, we ...
5 Image Standardization in Paleohistology
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Workstations for digital photomicrography of the 1970s included a microscope, a video camera, and a computer-controlled image analyzer the size of an American refrigerator! Since that time, the microscopes have changed little, but tremendous advances in computer and camera digitalization technologies allow microscopists to record their images with increased ease and at higher resolution for all of their ...
6 Database Standardization
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Natural history collection repositories are important for safeguarding and preserving not only physical specimens but also their associated data and metadata. Common data include locality and geologic information that describe where a specimen was collected, its taxonomic identification, what skeletal elements are preserved, and its assigned catalog number. Once a fossil is curated and accessioned ...
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It is evident from previous chapters that not all bones in a skeleton grow at the same rate, that a single bone changes its growth rate through time, and that even parts of the same bone grow at different rates over an individual’s lifetime. This is as true of teeth as it is of bones and cartilage, depending on the animal. Still, an animal can have only one growth trajectory, and the purpose of this chapter is to ...
8 Analysis of Growth Rates
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Recent advances in histological methods and approaches have improved the scope and reliability of our understanding of growth rates in extinct vertebrates. For di-nosaur paleobiology in particular, studies can now test the following questions:1. how quickly dinosaurs grew (e.g., Padian et al. 2001, Erickson 2005),2. how different body sizes evolved (Erickson et al. 2004, Sander et al. 2006, ...
9 Evolution of Growth Rates and Their Implications
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To study the evolution of growth rates, it is necessary to develop two things: a sense of the ontogenetic patterns of individual species, and a phylogeny of the spe-cies in question. Studying ontogenies in phylogenetic context is the best approach Growth rates can be compared among taxa in several ways. The simplest is to choose a single point or stage in ontogeny that can be assessed for each taxon ...
10 Research Applications and Integration
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The point of providing all the information in the previous chapters is to stimulate readers with questions that fuel new research insights and integrative collabora-tions. Our goal has been to provide information about selecting, processing, re-cording, and interpreting samples of fossil bone and other tissues that can help us understand the variation displayed in fossil tissues and structure and to test ...
Page Count: 298
Publication Year: 2013