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

  title={Body mass estimation in non‐avian bipeds using a theoretical conversion to quadruped stylopodial proportions},
  author={Nicol{\'a}s E. Campione and David C Evans and Caleb M. Brown and Matthew T. Carrano},
  journal={Methods in Ecology and Evolution},
Body mass is strongly related to both physiological and ecological properties of living organisms. As a result, generating robust, broadly applicable models for estimating body mass in the fossil record provides the opportunity to reconstruct palaeobiology and investigate evolutionary ecology on a large temporal scale. A recent study provided strong evidence that the minimum circumference of stylopodial elements (humerus and femur) is conservatively associated with body mass in living… 

Extrapolating body masses in large terrestrial vertebrates

  • N. Campione
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2017
Application of the quadratic model to a series of dinosaurs provides lower mass estimates at larger sizes that are more consistent with recent estimates using a minimum convex-hull (MCH) approach, and given this consistency, a quadRatic model may be preferred at this time.

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.

Relationships of mass properties and body proportions to locomotor habit in terrestrial Archosauria

Digital volumetric models of 80 taxa are used to explore how mass properties and body proportions relate to each other and locomotor posture in archosaurs and facilitate the development of a quantitative predictive framework that can help assess gross locom motor posture in understudied or controversial taxa.

Constraining the body mass range of Anzu wyliei using volumetric and extant-scaling methods

The VME method for Anzu wyliei strongly affirms the predictive utility of extant-based scaling and suggests that volumetric mass estimates are likely more precise because the models are based on comprehensive specimen anatomy rather than regressions of a phylogenetically comprehensive but disparate sample.

Exploring the Relationship between Skeletal Mass and Total Body Mass in Birds

It is confirmed that TBM and skeletal mass are accurate proxies for estimating one another and phylogeny is a major control on TBM in birds strongly suggesting that this relationship is not appropriate for estimating the total mass of taxa outside of crown birds, Neornithes.

Multivariate analysis of neognath skeletal measurements: implications for body mass estimation in Mesozoic birds

The body mass values obtained from a large data set of extant flying birds for estimating the body mass of 42 Mesozoic specimens are accurate and can be used in future studies in a number of palaeobiological and evolutionary aspects of extinct birds, particularly the first stages of avian flight.

Occipital condyle width (OCW) is a highly accurate predictor of body mass in therian mammals

Background Body mass estimation is of paramount importance for paleobiological studies, as body size influences numerous other biological parameters. In mammals, body mass has been traditionally

Phylogenetic variation in hind-limb bone scaling of flightless theropods

It is suggested here that the nonlinear scaling seen in avian femora is due to the need to maintain the position of the knee under a more anterior center of mass, thereby restricting femoral length.

Body mass estimates of an exceptionally complete Stegosaurus (Ornithischia: Thyreophora): comparing volumetric and linear bivariate mass estimation methods

The significance of rare, complete fossil skeletons in validating widely applied mass estimation equations based on incomplete skeletal material is emphasized and the importance of accurately determining specimen age prior to further analyses is stressed.

How to build a dinosaur: Musculoskeletal modeling and simulation of locomotor biomechanics in extinct animals

A complete workflow for biomechanical analysis of extinct species, using locomotor biomechanics in the Triassic theropod dinosaur Coelophysis as a case study is outlined, highlighting the need for more refined methods of estimating intrinsic muscle parameters such as fiber length.



A universal scaling relationship between body mass and proximal limb bone dimensions in quadrupedal terrestrial tetrapods

The results provide a much-needed, robust, phylogenetically corrected framework for accurate and consistent estimation of body mass in extinct terrestrial quadrupeds, which is important for a wide range of paleobiological studies (including growth rates, metabolism, and energetics) and meta-analyses of body size evolution.

Linking the evolution of body shape and locomotor biomechanics in bird-line archosaurs

Digital body reconstructions are used to quantify evolutionary trends in locomotor biomechanics (whole-body proportions and centre-of-mass position) across the clade Archosauria and suggest that the evolution of avian flight is linked to anatomical novelties in the pelvic limb as well as the pectoral.

Skeletal Correlates for Body Mass Estimation in Modern and Fossil Flying Birds

This study generates thirteen body mass correlations and associated measures of statistical robustness using a sample of 863 extant flying birds and suggests that the most precise proxy for estimating body mass in the overall dataset is the maximum diameter of the coracoid’s humeral articulation facet (the glenoid).

Implications of limb bone scaling, curvature and eccentricity in mammals and non‐avian dinosaurs

A broad examination of hindlimb and forelimb bone scaling patterns in dinosaurs and mammals reveals several general similarities that provide insight into the general constraints acting on terrestrial locomotion, particularly in animals with parasagittally oriented limbs.

Whole‐bone scaling of the avian pelvic limb

Elevations of the scaling relationships revealed that dabblers have particularly short and slender femora compared with other birds of similar body mass, and the discrepancy in the relationship between outer diameter to CSA may underlie birds’ reputation for having ‘light’ bones.

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.

Locomotion in non-avian dinosaurs: integrating data from hindlimb kinematics, in vivo strains, and bone morphology

A model is proposed that relates the amount of torsional loading in femora to bone orientation, such that torsion is maximal in horizontal femora and minimal in vertical femora, and supports the prediction of similar vertical femoral postures and hip-driven limb kinematics in these two groups.

Scaling of Convex Hull Volume to Body Mass in Modern Primates, Non-Primate Mammals and Birds

Predictive equations for primates, non-primate mammals and birds and the scaling behaviour of M b to vol CH are derived and it is concluded that the convex hulling technique can be justifiably applied to the fossil record when a large proportion of the skeleton is preserved.

Experimental alteration of limb posture in the chicken (Gallus gallus) and its bearing on the use of birds as analogs for dinosaur locomotion

The hypothesis that a postural change during early avian evolution could underlie the allometric differences seen between bird and nonavian dinosaur femora by requiring more robust femoral dimensions in birds due to an increase in torsion is supported.

A Computational Analysis of Limb and Body Dimensions in Tyrannosaurus rex with Implications for Locomotion, Ontogeny, and Growth

It is concluded that adult T. rex had body masses around 6000–8000 kg, with the largest known specimen (“Sue”) perhaps ∼9500 kg, and that the limb “antigravity” muscles may have been as large as or even larger than those of ratite birds, which themselves have the most muscular limbs of any living animal.