Vivian R. Allen

Learn More
Locomotion in living birds (Neornithes) has two remarkable features: feather-assisted flight, and the use of unusually crouched hindlimbs for bipedal support and movement. When and how these defining functional traits evolved remains controversial. However, the advent of computer modelling approaches and the discoveries of exceptionally preserved key(More)
Crocodylians exhibit a fascinating diversity of terrestrial gaits and limb motions that remain poorly described and are of great importance to understanding their natural history and evolution. Their musculoskeletal anatomy is pivotal to this diversity and yet only qualitative studies of muscle-tendon unit anatomy exist. The relative masses and internal(More)
Crocodiles and their kin (Crocodylidae) use asymmetrical (bounding and galloping) gaits when moving rapidly. Despite being morphologically and ecologically similar, it seems alligators and their kin (Alligatoridae) do not. To investigate a possible anatomical basis for this apparent major difference in locomotor capabilities, we measured relative masses and(More)
The bipedal stance and gait of theropod dinosaurs evolved gradually along the lineage leading to birds and at some point(s), flight evolved. How and when did these changes occur? We review the evidence from neontology and palaeontology, including pectoral and pelvic limb functional morphology, fossil footprints/trackways and biomechanical models and(More)
The large theropod dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex underwent remarkable changes during its growth from <10 kg hatchlings to >6000 kg adults in <20 years. These changes raise fascinating questions about the morphological transformations involved, peak growth rates, and scaling of limb muscle sizes as well as the body's centre of mass that could have influenced(More)
Ornithischia (the 'bird-hipped' dinosaurs) encompasses bipedal, facultative quadrupedal and quadrupedal taxa. Primitive ornithischians were small bipeds, but large body size and obligate quadrupedality evolved independently in all major ornithischian lineages. Numerous pelvic and hind limb features distinguish ornithischians from the majority of other(More)
The colossal size and body plan of sauropod dinosaurs are unparalleled in terrestrial vertebrates. However, to date, there have been only limited attempts to examine temporal and phylogenetic patterns in the sauropod bauplan. Here, we combine three-dimensional computational models with phylogenetic reconstructions to quantify the evolution of whole-body(More)
Inertial properties of animal bodies and segments are critical input parameters for biomechanical analysis of standing and moving, and thus are important for paleobiological inquiries into the broader behaviors, ecology and evolution of extinct taxa such as dinosaurs. But how accurately can these be estimated? Computational modeling was used to estimate the(More)
BACKGROUND One of the great unresolved controversies in paleobiology is whether extinct dinosaurs were endothermic, ectothermic, or some combination thereof, and when endothermy first evolved in the lineage leading to birds. Although it is well established that high, sustained growth rates and, presumably, high activity levels are ancestral for dinosaurs(More)