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April 5, 2012

Palaeontology Department Seminar


Taking a deep breath: bones, air sacs and the evolution of archosaur respiratory systems


Dr. Paul Barrett, Department of Palaeontology, NHM


Thursday 12th April
Neil Chalmers Seminar Room, DC2,




Birds have highly specialised respiratory systems that involve unidirectional movement of air through stiff, small lungs and a complex system of associated air sacs. These air sacs invade many postcranial skeletal elements during development, leaving characteristic traces. Similar features are present in many saurischian dinosaurs, and it seems likely that the accompanying soft-tissue features were present in these animals too. More vexed is the question of how ancient these features are and whether they had a wider distribution among archosaurs. A survey of numerous extinct and extant archosaurs shows unambiguous evidence for an ancient origin of these bird-like features, with their presence in many bird-line archosaurs. The possession of air sacs in crocodile-line archosaurs is more difficult to determine, but some features of the bony anatomy, and recently published work on the physiology of living crocodiles, suggests that many features formerly considered to be unique to birds actually had a much wider distribution. This has several interesting implications for the evolution of activity levels and locomotion in both bird- and croc-line archosaurs.




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Recent Publications - March

Posted by C Lowry Apr 5, 2012

Publications for last 4 Weeks to (Search done on 20th March.)

(Search on the basis of ‘Nat SAME Hist SAME Mus* SAME Lon*

Web of Science + TRING)


Levkov, Z. & WILLIAMS, D.M. 2011. Fifteen new diatom (Bacillariophyta) species from Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. Phytotaxa, 30: 1-41.       

Prieto, M., Martinez, I., Aragon, G., GUEIDAN, C. & Lutzoni, F. 2012. Molecular phylogeny of Heteroplacidium, Placidium, and related catapyrenioid genera (Verrucariaceae, lichen-forming Ascomycota. American Journal of Botany, 99(1): 23-35.       


Aristov, D.S. & RASNITSYN, A.P. 2012. Revision of the family Idelinellidae, with a review of the Permian Eoblattida (Insecta). Paleontological Journal, 46(1): 49-60.       

Khalaim, A.I. & BROAD, G.R. 2012. Tersilochinae (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) of Costa Rica, part 1. Genera Allophrys Forster, Barycnemis Forster and Meggoleus Townes. Zootaxa(3185): 36-52.       

PERCY, D.M., Rung, A. & Hoddle, M.S. 2012. An annotated checklist of the psyllids of California (Hemiptera: Psylloidea). Zootaxa(3193): 1-27.       


Biske, Y.S., Alexeiev, D.V., Wang, B., Wang, F., Getman, O.F., Jenchuraeva, A.V., SELTMANN, R. & Aristov, V.A. 2012. Structures of the late palaeozoic thrust belt in the Chinese South Tian Shan. Doklady Earth Sciences, 442(1): 8-12.       


Crompton, R.H., Pataky, T.C., Savage, R., D'Aout, K., Bennett, M.R., DAY, M.H., Bates, K., Morse, S. & Sellers, W.I. 2012. Human-like external function of the foot, and fully upright gait, confirmed in the 3.66 million year old Laetoli hominin footprints by topographic statistics, experimental footprint-formation and computer simulation. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 9(69): 707-719.       

LLOYD, G.T., Young, J.R. & SMITH, A.B. 2012. Comparative quality and fidelity of deep-sea and land-based nannofossil records. Geology, 40(2): 155-158.       

POTTER, T.L., PEDDER, B.E. & Feist-Burkhardt, S. 2012. Cambrian Furongian Series acritarchs from the Comley area, Shropshire, England. Journal of Micropalaeontology, 31: 1-28.       

RUSHTON, A.W.A. 2011. Deflexed didymograptids from the Lower Ordovician Skiddaw Group of northern England. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 58: 319-327.       


BOXSHALL, G.A. & Jaume, D. 2012. Three new species of copepods (Copepoda: Calanoida and Cyclopoida) from anchialine habitats in Indonesia. Zootaxa(3150): 36-58.       

BRITZ, R., Kottelat, M. & Hui, T.H. 2011. Fangfangia spinicleithralis, a new genus and species of miniature cyprinid fish from the peat swamp forests of Borneo (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 22(4): 327-335.       

GRAVES, C. 2012. Mamilloecia indica (Halocyprididae: Ostracoda) a new genus and species from the Northwest Indian Ocean. Journal of Natural History, 46(9-10): 517-556.       

Jones, R., Brown, D.S., HARRIS, E., JONES, J., Symondson, W.O.C., Bruford, M.W. & Cable, J. 2012. First record of Neoxysomatium brevicaudatum through the non-invasive sampling of Anguis fragilis: complementary morphological and molecular detection. Journal of Helminthology, 86(1): 125-129.       

Kabatereine, N.B., STANDLEY, C.J., SOUSA-FIGUEIREDO, J.C., Fleming, F.M., STOTHARD, J.R., Talisuna, A. & Fenwick, A. 2011. Integrated prevalence mapping of schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis and malaria in lakeside and island communities in Lake Victoria, Uganda. Parasites & Vectors, 4.       

KHAN, F.R., Bury, N.R. & Hogstrand, C. 2012. Copper and zinc detoxification in Gammarus pulex (L.). Journal of Experimental Biology, 215(5): 822-832.       

KHAN, F.R., Keller, W., Yan, N.D., Welsh, P.G., Wood, C.M. & McGeer, J.C. 2012. Application of Biotic Ligand and Toxic Unit Modeling Approaches to Predict Improvements in Zooplankton Species Richness in Smelter-Damaged Lakes near Sudbury, Ontario. Environmental Science & Technology, 46(3): 1641-1649.       

Meijer, H.J.M., Gill, A., de Louw, P.G.B., Ostende, L., HUME, J.P. & Rijsdijk, K.F. 2012. Dodo remains from an in situ context from Mare aux Songes, Mauritius. Naturwissenschaften, 99(3): 177-184.       

Oliver, P.G. & TAYLOR, J.D. 2012. Bacterial symbiosis in the Nucinellidae (Bivalvia: Solemyida) with descriptions of two new species. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 78: 81-91.