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, 283 (5401), 514-6

Pulmonary Function and Metabolic Physiology of Theropod Dinosaurs

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Pulmonary Function and Metabolic Physiology of Theropod Dinosaurs

JA Ruben et al. Science.

Abstract

Ultraviolet light analysis of a fossil of the theropod dinosaur Scipionyx samniticus revealed that the liver subdivided the visceral cavity into distinct anterior pleuropericardial and posterior abdominal regions. In addition, Scipionyx apparently had diaphragmatic musculature and a dorsally attached posterior colon. These features provide evidence that diaphragm-assisted lung ventilation was present in theropods and that these dinosaurs may have used a pattern of exercise physiology unlike that in any group of living tetrapods.

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