Johan Lindgren studies a mosasaur

Johan Lindgren

Current Position: Researcher, Lund University, Sweden

My main area of interest concerns the evolution of a fish-shaped physique in ancient marine reptiles. In the absence of soft-tissue preservation, I am trying to reconstruct and restore body shape and caudal fluke form and function in mosasauroids (an extinct group of marine squamates) using techniques such as vertebral centrum morphometrics, vertebral process orientation, and three-dimensional computer models. This research will bring us considerably closer to understanding large-scale evolutionary patterns among marine vertebrates, and the results will serve as a robust basis for a workable hypothesis on the development of a piscine body and semilunate tail in a wide variety of secondarily aquatic tetrapods, including mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs (another group of Mesozoic marine reptiles), thalattosuchians (ancient marine crocodiles), and whales. Additionally, I am examining mosasaur long bone microstructure in an attempt to quantify mosasaurian growth rates and growth strategies, longevity, and to address how some mosasaurs attained giant proportions. This research uses lines of arrested growth (somewhat similar to the annual rings in trees) and the amount of vascular canals in the cortex (outer layers) of long bones.

Please feel free to email me at Johan.Lindgren@geol.lu.se or take a look at my current list of publications for more information on my research.