Article

Geosciences Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 273-280

First online:

Post-natal parental care in a Cretaceous diapsid from northeastern China

  • Junchang LüAffiliated withInstitute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological SciencesKey Laboratory of Stratigraphy and Paleontology, Ministry of Land and Resources of China Email author 
  • , Yoshitsugu KobayashiAffiliated withHokkaido University Museum, Hokkaido University
  • , D. Charles DeemingAffiliated withSchool of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Joseph Banks Laboratories
  • , Yongqing LiuAffiliated withInstitute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological SciencesKey Laboratory of Stratigraphy and Paleontology, Ministry of Land and Resources of China

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Abstract

Post-natal parental care seems to have evolved numerous times in vertebrates. Among extant amniotes, it is present in crocodilians, birds, and mammals. However, evidence of this behavior is extremely rare in the fossil record and is only reported for two types of dinosaurs, and a varanopid ‘pelycosaur’. Here we report new evidence for post-natal parental care in Philydrosaurus, a choristodere, from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning Province, China. We review the fossil record of reproduction in choristoderes, and this represents the oldest record of post-natal parental care in diapsids to our knowledge.

Keywords

parental care choristodera diapsid Cretaceous