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Paläontologisches Institut

Research projects

Overview by leaders > Project detail...

Prof. Dr. Torsten Scheyer
Bone microanatomy and microstructure of extinct reptiles (incl. archosauromorphs, lepidosauromorphs and turtles)
January 2007 to December 2024
Funding sources
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung), No project-specific funding
This is an ongoig research project including many (changing) collaborators, of which I added only a few. Please refer to individual co-PIs based on the individual publications. The project is partly funded by the SNF
Dr. Tyler Lyson (Denver Museum of Nature and Science) (United States)
Dr. Adán Pérez García (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) (Spain)
Dr. Igor Danilov (Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg) (Russia)
world map
The analysis of the microanatomy and microstructure of fossil hard tissues such as bones and teeth is often the only available means to address biological aspects like metabolism and life history traits of extinct tetrapod lifeforms. Here we adress the bone histology and microanatomy of dermal armour, plates of bone that develop within the skin of animals. The armour plates, socalled osteoderms, can often be used to describe the skin tissue the bones were growing in, as well as to indicate different life history traits in the extinct animals.
Bone microstructure, Diapsida, Reptiles, Mesozoic, Archosauromorpha, Testudinata
Cerda, I. A., J. B. Desojo, M. J. Trotteyn, and T. M. Scheyer. 2015. Osteoderm histology of Proterochampsia and Doswelliidae (Reptilia: Archosauriformes) and their evolutionary and paleobiological implications. Journal of Morphology [doi: 10.1002/jmor.20348].
Barrett, P. M., R. J. Butler, R. Mundil, T. M. Scheyer, R. B. Irmis, and M. R. Sánchez-Villagra. 2014. A palaeoequatorial ornithischian and new constraints on early dinosaur diversification. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281(1791):20141147 [doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1147].
Ezcurra, M. D., T. M. Scheyer, and R. J. Butler. 2014. The origin and early evolution of Sauria: reassessing the Permian saurian fossil record and the timing of the crocodile-lizard divergence. PLOS ONE 9(2):e89165 [doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089165].
Lyson, T. R., E. R. Schachner, J. Botha-Brink, T. M. Scheyer, M. Lambertz, G. S. Bever, B. Rubidge, and K. de Queiroz. 2014. Origin of the unique ventilatory apparatus of turtles. Nature Communications 5:5211 [doi: 10.1038/ncomms6211].
Scheyer, T. M., J. B. Desojo, and I. A. Cerda. 2014. Bone histology of phytosaur, aetosaur, and other archosauriform osteoderms (Eureptilia, Archosauromorpha). The Anatomical Record 297(2):240-260 [doi: 10.1002/ar.22849].
Scheyer, T. M., I. G. Danilov, V. B. Sukhanov, and E. V. Syromyatnikova. 2014. The shell bone histology of fossil and extant marine turtles revisited. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 112(4):701-718 [doi: 10.1111/bij.12265].
Cerda, I. A., J. B. Desojo, T. M. Scheyer, and C. L. Schultz. 2013. Osteoderm microstructure of "rauisuchian" archosaurs from South America. Geobios 46(4):273-283 [doi: 10.1016/j.geobios.2013.01.004].
Delfino, M., T. M. Scheyer, F. Chesi, T. Fletcher, R. Gemel, S. MacDonald, M. Rabi, and S. W. Salisbury. 2013. Gross morphology and microstructure of type locality ossicles of Psephophorus polygonus Meyer, 1847 (Testudines, Dermochelyidae). Geological Magazine 150(5):767-782 [doi:10.1017/S001675681200091X].
Lyson, T. R., G. S. Bever, T. M. Scheyer, A. Hsiang, and J. A. Gauthier. 2013. Evolutionary origin of the turtle shell. Current Biology 23(12):1113-1119 [doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.05.003].
Pérez-García, A., T. M. Scheyer, and X. Murelaga. 2013. The turtles from the uppermost Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of Galve (Iberian Range, Spain): anatomical, systematic, biostratigraphic and palaeobiogeographical implications. Cretaceous Research 44:64-82 [doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2013.03.011].
Scheyer, T. M., I. Werneburg, C. Mitgutsch, M. Delfino, and M. R. Sánchez-Villagra. 2013 (16. August 2012). Three ways to tackle the turtle: integrating fossils, comparative embryology, and microanatomy; pp. 63-70 in D. B. Brinkman, P. A. Holroyd, and J. D. Gardner (eds.), Morphology and Evolution of Turtles. Proceedings of the Gaffney Turtle Symposium (2009) in Honor of Eugene S Gaffney. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer, Dordrecht [ISBN 978-94-007-4308-3; 577 pp.].
Pérez-García, A., T. M. Scheyer, and X. Murelaga. 2012. New interpretations on Dortoka vasconica Lapparent de Broin and Murelaga, a freshwater turtle with an unusual carapace. Cretaceous Research 36:151-161 [doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2012.03.006].
Scheyer, T. M., T. Mörs, and E. Einarsson. 2012. First record of soft-shelled turtles (Cryptodira, Trionychidae) from the Late Cretaceous of Europe. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 32:1027-1032 [doi: 10.1080/02724634.2012.685036].
Scheyer, T. M., and J. B. Desojo. 2011. Palaeohistology and external microanatomy of rauisuchian osteoderms (Archosauria: Pseudosuchia). Palaeontology 54(6):1289-1302 [doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01098.x].
Hayashi, S., K. Carpenter, T. M. Scheyer, M. Watabe, and D. Suzuki. 2010. Function and evolution of ankylosaur dermal armor. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 55(2):213-228.
Scheyer, T. M., N. Klein, and P. M. Sander. 2010. Developmental palaeontology of Reptilia as revealed by histological studies. In: Developmental Vertebrate Palaeontology (Sánchez-Villagra, M. R., ed.). Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 21(4):462-470.
Scheyer, T. M. 2009. Conserved bone microstructure in the shells of long-necked and short-necked chelid turtles (Testudinata: Pleurodira). Fossil Record 12(1):47-57.
Scheyer, T. M., and J. Anquetin. 2008. Bone histology of the Middle Jurassic turtle shell remains from Kirtlington, Oxfordshire, England. Lethaia 41:85-96.
Scheyer, T. M., and M. R. Sánchez-Villagra. 2007. Carapace bone histology in the giant pleurodiran turtle Stupendemys geographicus: phylogeny and function. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 52:137-154.
Scheyer, T. M., and P. M. Sander. 2007. Shell bone histology indicates terrestrial palaeoecology of basal turtles. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 274:1885-1893.
Scheyer, T. M., P. M. Sander, W. G. Joyce, W. Böhme & U. Witzel. 2007. A plywood structure in the shell of fossil and living soft-shelled turtles (Trionychidae) and its evolutionary implications. Organisms, Diverstiy & Evolution 7(2):136-144.