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Bone Histology of Fossil TetrapodsAdvancing Methods, Analysis, and Interpretation$
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Kevin Padian and Ellen-Therese Lamm

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273528

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273528.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 October 2019

Why Study the Bone Microstructure of Fossil Tetrapods?

Why Study the Bone Microstructure of Fossil Tetrapods?

Chapter:
(p.xii) (p.1) 1 Why Study the Bone Microstructure of Fossil Tetrapods?
Source:
Bone Histology of Fossil Tetrapods
Author(s):

Padian Kevin

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520273528.003.0001

This chapter discusses the “four signals” of bone histology: ontogeny, phylogeny, mechanics, and environment. These “signals” help us to make sense of the kinds of variation seen in the bone tissues of extinct tetrapods. They have been shown empirically to be reliable guides to the interpretation of the most basic question in the paleohistology of bone: Why is this tissue formed the way it is, and why does it differ from the tissue of this other animal? Along with some calibration methods based on teeth in many mammalian groups, bone histology forms the basis of skeletochronology, the only currently available universal line of evidence that provides an absolute age on the skeletons of extinct vertebrates.

Keywords:   bone histology, ontogeny, phylogeny, mechanics, environment, paleohistology, skeletochronology, extinct vertebrates

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