author={Frank Seebacher},
  • F. Seebacher
  • Published 26 March 2001
  • Environmental Science, Geography
Abstract Body mass is an important determinant of most biological functions, and knowing the mass of extinct animals is essential in order to learn about their biology. It was the aim of this paper to develop a method of mass estimation which would make it possible to determine allometric length-mass relationships for the different groups of dinosaurs. Mass is calculated from graphical reconstructions of fossils, or from photos of skeletal mounts or live animals. Body shape of animals is… 

Mass Prediction in Theropod Dinosaurs

Bi- and multivariate equations based on log transformed appendicular skeleton data from a sample of 16 theropods which were known from reasonably complete skeletal remains, and spanning a wide size range are offered.

The accuracy and precision of body mass estimation in non‐avian dinosaurs

  • N. CampioneD. Evans
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2020
A comparative quantitative framework to reciprocally illuminate and corroborate VD and ES approaches to body mass estimation in stem‐group taxa is provided and indicates a strong corroboration between recent iterations of the VD approach based on 3D specimen scans suggesting that the current understanding of size in dinosaurs, and hence its biological correlates, has improved over time.

Body mass estimation in paleontology: a review of volumetric techniques

Volumetric mass estimation methods based on whole articulated skeletons are becoming increasingly popular, but future work should focus on extant taxa to improve the understanding of body composition and increase confidence in volumetric model input parameters.

A new body mass estimation ofBrachiosaurus brancaiJanensch, 1914 mounted and exhibited at the Museum of Natural History (Berlin, Germany)

Abstract. Body mass and surface areas are important in several aspects for an organism living today. Therefore, mass and surface determinations for extinct dinosaurs could be important for

Modeling growth rates for sauropod dinosaurs

Alternative method of estimating limb length and body mass for each growth line, and fitting the resulting age/ mass data to the von Bertalanffy growth equation, yields a revised growth curve suggesting that sauropods grew at rates similar to other dinosaurs in spite of their great size.

Variation in the Tail Length of Non-Avian Dinosaurs

  • D. Hone
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2012
Comparison with body length data shows that total length is therefore a less reliable measure of size than using the snout-vent length of the animal, and ‘Snout-sacrum’ lengths are suggested as a more reliable alternative.

Body mass estimation in xenarthra: A predictive equation suitable for all quadrupedal terrestrial placentals?

Surprisingly, although obtained from ungulates and xenarthrans, these five selected equations were also able to predict the body mass of species from groups as different as rodents, carnivores, hyracoideans, or tubulidentates, suggesting the presence of a complex common allometric pattern for all quadrupedal placentals.


These conclusions confirm that the common practice of scaling isometrically smaller relatives of a given taxon to obtain body length and body mass estimates is not valid and produce accurate body size estimates for theropods of known body size, thus validating their applicability.

Body mass estimation in non‐avian bipeds using a theoretical conversion to quadruped stylopodial proportions

A new equation that mathematically corrects the quadrupedal equations for use in bipeds is presented, derived from the systemic difference in the circumference-to-area scaling relationship of two circles (hypothetical quadruped) and one circle (Hypothetical biped), which represent the cross-section of the main weight-bearing limb bones.

Body mass estimations for Plateosaurus engelhardti using laser scanning and 3D reconstruction methods

A new 3D laser scanner method was used to establish body masses and surface areas of an Asian elephant and of Plateosaurus engelhardti, a prosauropod from the Upper Triassic, exhibited at the Paleontological Museum in Tübingen (Germany).



Comparison of body mass estimation techniques, using Recent reptiles and the pelycosaur Edaphosaurus boanerges

Body mass of Edaphosaums boanerges (ROM 7985), a mounted skeleton with a fibreglass model built around the left side was estimated by various methods, including Graphic Double Integration on the fibReglass model divided into measurable components.

Estimating the masses and centers of mass of extinct animals by 3-D mathematical slicing

Abstract A mathematical-computational method for determining the volume, mass, and center of mass of any bilaterally symmetric organism is presented. Cavities within the body of an organism such as

Body mass, bone “strength indicator,” and cursorial potential of Tyrannosaurus rex

The implication is that the cursorial potential of Tyrannosaurus was limited, a conclusion consistent with observed declines in sprint speed with increasing body mass in living animals, and also consistent with the tibia/femur length ratio, and the construction of the hip joint, of the dinosaur.

Mechanics of posture and gait of some large dinosaurs

The positions of dinosaurs' centres of mass, derived from models, show that some large quadrupedal dinosaurs supported most of their weight on their hind legs and were probably capable of rearing up on their hinder legs.

Crocodiles as dinosaurs: behavioural thermoregulation in very large ectotherms leads to high and stable body temperatures

The study confirms that, in low latitudes at least, large dinosaurs must have had an essentially high and stable value of Tb, without any need for endothermy, and the finding of increasing 'average' Tb as ectotherms grow larger may have implications for the metabolic rates of very large reptiles.

Femoral ontogeny and locomotor biomechanics of Dryosaurus lettowvorbecki (Dinosauria, Iguanodontia)

Femoral ontogeny in the iguanodontian dinosaur Dryosaurus lettowvorbecki (Late Jurassic, Tanzania) is analysed biomechanically using principles of beam theory and contributes new insight into ontogenic processes among extinct and living species.

Primitive dinosaur skeleton from Argentina and the early evolution of Dinosauria

The discovery of Eoraptor supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs diverged rapidly at small body size from a common ancestor, with the principal herbivorous and carnivorous lineages present by the middle Carnian.

Scaling of mammalian long bones: small and large mammals compared

Long bones from a taxonomically diverse assemblage of extant terrestrial mammals, spanning more than three orders of magnitude in body mass, have been measured in order to evaluate earlier models

A nearly complete skeleton of a new troodontid dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of the Ordos Basin, Inner Mongolia, People's Republic of China

An articulated skeleton of a 1 m long theropod from Early Cretaceous strata in Inner Mongolia is clearly referrable to the Troodontidae, representing the most complete specimen known of this group of

A new giant carnivorous dinosaur from the Cretaceous of Patagonia

A new giant carnivorous dinosaur from the Upper Creta-ceous of northwestern Patagonia (Argentina) is reported, characterized by a proportionally low skull, a reduced shoulder girdle, and robust vertebrae and hind limbs, and provides an opportunity to exam-ine the Gondwanan dinosaur palaeocommunities and their relation to those from Laurasia.