An antorbital fenestra (plural: fenestrae) is an opening in the
The skull is a bone protective cavity for the brain. The skull is composed of four types of bone i.e., cranial bones, facial bones, ear ossicles and hyoid bone. However two parts are more prominent: the cranium and the mandible. In humans, t ...
that is in front of the eye sockets. This skull character is largely associated with archosauriforms
, first appearing during the
The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period and system which spans 50.6 million years from the end of the Permian Period 251.902 million years ago ( Mya), to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.36 Mya. The Triassic is the first and shortest period ...
Extant is the opposite of the word extinct. It may refer to:
* Extant hereditary titles
* Extant literature, surviving literature, such as ''Beowulf'', the oldest extant manuscript written in English
* Extant taxon, a taxon which is not extin ... archosaurs
Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Aves (), characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweig ...
s still possess antorbital fenestrae, whereas crocodylian
s have lost them. The loss in crocodylians is believed to be related to the structural needs of their skulls for the bite force and feeding behaviours that they employ.
[Preushscoft, H., Witzel, U. 2002. Biomechanical Investigations on the Skulls of Reptiles and Mammals. Senckenbergiana Lethaea 82:207–222.] [Rayfield, E.J., Milner, A.C., Xuan, V.B., Young, P.G. 2007. Functional Morphology of Spinosaur "Crocodile Mimic" Dinosaurs. JVP. 27(4):892–901.]
In some archosaur species, the opening has closed but its location is still marked by a depression, or fossa
, on the surface of the skull called the antorbital fossa.
The antorbital fenestra houses a
Paranasal sinuses are a group of four paired air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity. The maxillary sinuses are located under the eyes; the frontal sinuses are above the eyes; the ethmoidal sinuses are between the eyes and the spheno ...
that is confluent with the adjacent nasal capsule.
[Witmer, L.M. 1997. The Evolution of the Antorbital Cavity of Archosaurs: A Study in Soft-Tissue Reconstruction in the Fossil Record with an Analysis of the Function of Pneumaticity. JVP 17(1 supp):1–76.]
Although crocodylians walled over their antorbital fenestra, they still retain an antorbital sinus.
Theropoda (; ), whose members are known as theropods, is a dinosaur clade that is characterized by hollow bones and three toes and claws on each limb. Theropods are generally classed as a group of saurischian dinosaurs. They were ancestrally c ... dinosaurs
, the antorbital fenestra is the largest opening in the skull. Systematically, the presence of the antorbital fenestra is considered a
In phylogenetics, an apomorphy (or derived trait) is a novel character or character state that has evolved from its ancestral form (or plesiomorphy). A synapomorphy is an apomorphy shared by two or more taxa and is therefore hypothesized to ha ...
that unites tetanuran
Theropoda (; ), whose members are known as theropods, is a dinosaur clade that is characterized by hollow bones and three toes and claws on each limb. Theropods are generally classed as a group of saurischian dinosaurs. They were ancestrally c ...
s as a
A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineal descendants – on a phylogenetic tree. Rather than the English term, ...
. In contrast, most ornithischian
dinosaurs reduce and even close their antorbital fenestrae
such as in hadrosaurs
and the dinosaur genus ''
''Protoceratops'' (; ) is a genus of small protoceratopsid dinosaurs that lived in Asia during the Late Cretaceous, around 75 to 71 million years ago. The genus ''Protoceratops'' includes two species: ''P. andrewsi'' and the larger ''P. helleni ...
''. This closure distinguishes ''Protoceratops'' from other ceratopsian
[Martin, A.J. (2006). Introduction to the Study of Dinosaurs. Second Edition. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing. pg. 299-300. .]
* Fenestra (anatomy)
ar:ثقوب الجمجمة#الثقوب أمام العينية