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Allometric growth in tyrannosaurids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of North America and Asia

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Many tyrannosaurid skeletons have been collected in Canada, the United States, and Mongolia. These fossils tend to represent mature individuals, but juveniles are also known. Skeletons of five genera of tyrannosaurids representing two distinct clades (albertosaurines and tyrannosaurines) were measured, and bivariate analysis was done on 85 dimensions. Allometric differences among mature specimens of different species are shown to be trivial when compared with the allometric differences associated with growth. Nevertheless, albertosaurines tend to be more lightly built than tyrannosaurines. When compared with a tyrannosaurine of the same absolute size, albertosaurines had slightly shorter, lower skulls, shorter ilia, longer tibiae, longer metatarsals, and longer toes. The arms of albertosaurines and tyrannosaurines are the same size, with the exception of Tarbosaurus, which has shorter front limb elements. Tooth counts show individual and interspecific variation, but there is no evidence that tooth numbers are controlled by the size or age of an animal. Dinotyrannus, Jenghizkhan, Maleevosaurus, Shanshanosaurus, Stygivenator, and possibly Nanotyrannus have proportions that suggest they are ontogenetic stages of either Tarbosaurus or Tyrannosaurus.

Plusieurs squelettes de tyrannosauridés ont été recueillis au Canada, aux États-Unis et en Mongolie. Ces fossiles tendent à représenter des individus adultes, mais des juvéniles sont aussi reconnus. Les squelettes de cinq genres de tyrannosauridés représentant deux clades distincts (albertosaurines et tyrannosaurines) ont été mesurés et des analyses à deux variables ont été effectuées sur 85 dimensions. Des différences allométriques entre les spécimens adultes de différentes espèces se sont montrées peu significatives lorsque comparées aux différences allométriques associées à la croissance. Néanmoins, les albertosaurines tendent à être de construction plus frêle que les tyrannosaurines. Lorsque comparés à un tyrannosaurine de même taille absolue, les albertosaurines ont un crâne légèrement plus court et plus bas, des iliaques plus courts, des tibias plus longs, des métatarses plus longs et des orteils plus longs. Les bras des albertosaurines et des tyrannosaurines sont de même taille à l'exception de Tarbosaurus, qui a les éléments des membres antérieurs plus courts. Le compte des dents montre des variations individuelles et interspécifiques, mais il n'y a aucune évidence que le nombre de dents est contrôlé par la taille ou l'âge d'un animal. Dinotyrannus, Jenghizkhan, Maleevosaurus, Shanshanosaurus, Stygivenator et probablement Nanotyrannus ont des proportions qui suggèrent qu'ils soient des stades ontogéniques de Tarbosaurus ou de Tyrannosaurus.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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