, Volume 99, Issue 2, pp 155–166

Morphogenesis of bone ornamentation in extant and extinct crocodilians

  • Vivian de Buffrénil

DOI: 10.1007/BF00310307

Cite this article as:
de Buffrénil, V. Zoomorphology (1982) 99: 155. doi:10.1007/BF00310307


Histological study of bone in the skull and osteoscutes of extant and extinct Crocodylia reveals that the skeletal ornamentation of crocodiles is caused by a process of differential, superficial resorption of bone. A partial reconstruction follows the resorption, and several resorption-reconstruction cycles are necessary to suit pit dimensions to overall bone growth. Bone ornamentation is a dynamic structure during ontogeny: the shape and the location of a given pit or groove vary in accordance with the instantaneous regional trends of skeletal growth. This supports the contention that bone oranmentation can be used as a reliable indicator of regional bone growth trends.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivian de Buffrénil
    • 1
  1. 1.Research team “Formations squelettiques”Université Paris VII; Laboratoire d'Anatomie ComparéeParis, Cedex 05France