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Fossil Record A palaeontological open-access journal of the Museum für Naturkunde
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Volume 20, issue 2
Foss. Rec., 20, 279–290, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-20-279-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Special issue: Secondary adaptation of tetrapods to life in water...

Foss. Rec., 20, 279–290, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/fr-20-279-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 19 Dec 2017

Research article | 19 Dec 2017

Foramina in plesiosaur cervical centra indicate a specialized vascular system

Tanja Wintrich et al.

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Plesiosaurians retain a very long neck but greatly reduce neck flexibility, and the cervicals have large, paired, and highly symmetrical foramina on the ventral side of the centrum, traditionally termed subcentral foramina, and on the floor of the neural canal. We found that these dorsal and the ventral foramina are connected by a canal. The foramen are not for nutrient transfer; they are the osteological correlates of a highly paedomorphic vascular system in the neck of plesiosaurs.
Plesiosaurians retain a very long neck but greatly reduce neck flexibility, and the cervicals...
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