Time recording in bone microstructures of endothermic animals; functional relationships


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 5 (3-4) - Pages 629-636

Published on 30 April 2006

This article is a part of the thematic issue One hundred years after Marey: some aspects of Functional Morphology today

Because they are mineralised, skeletal tissues can record and preserve indefinitely in their microstructures the expression of various constraints and especially the passage of time. Such traces of time can be either continuous or periodic (growth marks), but when deciphered they offer a powerful tool to reconstruct life history traits and even ecological conditions of time in extant as well as extinct species. Nevertheless, the temporal message ‘printed’ in skeletal tissues can be disturbed or even destroyed by various causes that need to be understood before this ‘biological chronometer’ can be accurately used.


Bone microstructures, Time, Endothermic vertebrates

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint