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

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.

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Correspondence to Junchang Lü.

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Lü, J., Kobayashi, Y., Deeming, D.C. et al. Post-natal parental care in a Cretaceous diapsid from northeastern China. Geosci J 19, 273–280 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12303-014-0047-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12303-014-0047-1

Keywords

  • parental care
  • choristodera
  • diapsid
  • Cretaceous