Gastralia are bones commonly known as belly ribs or abdominal ribs, though this term can be misleading because unlike ribs, gastralia do not attach to the skeleton. They are found in the ventral abdominal wall and run from the sternum to the pubis. We have fossils of gastralia from saurischian dinosaurs, most commonly amongst the theropods, although sauropods gastralia have been found. In extant animals gastralia are rare and found only amongst reptiles. Crocodiles, the tuatara and possibly turtles all bear modern gastralia. It has been postulated by some that gastralia may have helped theropod respiration.
- Claessens, Leon P.A.M (2004) â€œDinosaur Gastralia; Origin, Morphology, And Functionâ€. Journal Of Vertebrate Paleontology: 24 (1) pp.89â€“106