Juan Marcos Jannello, Ignacio A. Cerda, Marcelo S. de la Fuente

            Yaminuechelys is a long-necked chelid turtle whose remains have been recovered from outcrops of the Santonian- Maastrichtian and Danian of SouthAmerica.With the purpose of providing data about shell sculpturing origin and palaeoecology, the bone histology of several shell elements (including neural, costal, peripheral and plastral plates) of Yaminuechelys is described herein. Histological analysis reveals that Yaminuechelys shares with Chelidae the presence of interwoven structural fibre bundles in the external cortex, and parallel-fibred bone of the internal cortex. The presence of resorption lines in several samples indicates that the particular ornamentation of the external surfaces originated, at least in part, by focalized resorption and new bone deposition. This mechanism for ornamentation origin and maintenance is here described for the first time in a turtle. Compactness of the shell bones is consistent with an aquatic habitat, which supports previous hypothesis based on palaeoenvironmental and morphological data.

Janello, JM, Cerda, IA & de la Fuente, MS. 2016. Shell bone histology of the long-necked chelid Yaminuechelys (Testudines: Pleurodira) from the late Cretaceous—early Palaeocene of Patagonia with comments on the histogenesis of bone ornamentation. Sci Nat. 103:26.DOI 10.1007/s00114-016-1346-3.

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