Growth and life habits of the Triassic cynodont Trirachodon, inferred from bone histology
Permanent link to this Item
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica
Link to Journal
University of Cape Town
Growth pattern and lifestyle habits of the Triassic non−mammalian cynodont Trirachodon are deduced from bone histol−ogy and cross−sectional geometry. Several skeletal elements of Trirachodon were examined in order to document histological changes during ontogeny, as well as histovariability in the skeleton. The bone histology of all the elements consists of a moderately vascularized, periodically interrupted, fibro−lamellar bone tissue. This suggests that the overall growth of Trirachodon was probably rapid during the favourable season, but decreased or ceased during the unfavourable season. As the environment is thought to have been semi−arid with seasonal rainfall, it is possible that Trirachodon was sensitive to such environmental fluctuations. Some inter−elemental histovariability was noted where the number and prominence of growth rings varied. Limb bone cross−sectional geometry revealed a relatively thick bone wall and sup−ports earlier proposals that Trirachodon was fossorial.
Botha, J., & Chinsamy, A. (2004). Growth and life habits of the Triassic cynodont Trirachodon, inferred from bone histology. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 49(4), 619-627.