Morphometric analysis of humerus and femur shape in Morrison sauropods: implications for functional morphology and paleobiology

  title={Morphometric analysis of humerus and femur shape in Morrison sauropods: implications for functional morphology and paleobiology},
  author={Matthew F. Bonnan},
Abstract Morphometric analyses of sauropod limbs have the potential to illuminate functional aspects of sauropod locomotion and paleobiology. However, analyses of sauropod limb dimensions typically show few discernible morphological trends because of large size differences among the individuals in a sample. For sauropods, combined analyses of both limb dimension and shape may be more desirable. Numerous humeri and femora from Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, and Camarasaurus provide an opportunity to… 

Linear and Geometric Morphometric Analysis of Long Bone Scaling Patterns in Jurassic Neosauropod Dinosaurs: Their Functional and Paleobiological Implications

The results suggest that the mechanical advantage of limb‐moving muscles and the relative range of limb movement decreased with increasing size, suggesting these dinosaurs may have reached the upper limit of vertebrate long bone mechanics.

Characterizing the Evolution of Wide‐Gauge Features in Stylopodial Limb Elements of Titanosauriform Sauropods via Geometric Morphometrics

Myologically, mediolateral femoral broadening increases relative mechanical advantages for hind limb abductor and adductor musculature, which supports previous hypotheses that suggested titanosauriforms were capable of a greater degree of hind limb abduction and adduction.

Ontogenetic stages in the long bone histology of sauropod dinosaurs

It is hypothesize that sexual maturity was attained at HOS-8, well before maximum size was attained, but it did not find sexually differentiated growth trajectories subsequent to HOS -8, and Histologic ontogenetic stages generally correlate closely with body size and thus provide a means to resolve important issue like the ontogenetics status of questionable specimens.

Three-dimensional analysis of the titanosaurian limb skeleton: implications for systematic analysis

The titanosaurian appendicular skeleton exhibits morphological similarities among different clades and its osteological information is usually less taxonomically meaningful than those of other

Ontogenetic Scaling of Caudal Fin Shape in Squalus acanthias (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii): A Geometric Morphometric Analysis With Implications for Caudal Fin Functional Morphology

The data suggest a combination of caudal fin morphology with other body morphology aspects, would refine, and better elucidate the hydrodynamic factors (if any) that underlie the significant shape changes reported here for S. acanthias.

A Morphometric Approach to the Specific Separation of the Humeri and Femora of Dicraeosaurus from the Late Jurassic of Tendaguru,Tanzania

The two species of dicraeosaurid dinosaurs Dicraeosaurus, Dicraeosaurus hansemanni, and Dicraeosaurus sattleri, have been distinguished mainly by their differences in size and geological age, as they

The influence of caudofemoral musculature on the titanosaurian (Saurischia: Sauropoda) tail skeleton: morphological and phylogenetic implications

The differing position of the fourth trochanter, and therefore, the insertion of the caudofemoral muscles, among various titanosaurian taxa suggests distinctions in the locomotor function of these animals.

Postcranial element shape and function: assessing locomotor mode in extant and extinct mustelid carnivorans

The goals of this project were to assess the ability of element shape to discern between locomotor modes through landmark analysis, and to apply the results to assessment of fossils.

The evolution of cranial form and function in theropod dinosaurs: insights from geometric morphometrics

It is found that theropod skulls primarily differ in relative anteroposterior length and snout depth and to a lesser extent in orbit size and depth of the cheek region, and oviraptorosaurs deviate most strongly from the “typical” and ancestral theropid morphologies.

Differential Limb Scaling in the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and Its Implications for Archosaur Locomotor Evolution

The data suggest that the general forelimb proportions in relation to the hindlimb do not change significantly with increasing size in A. mississippiensis, and the negative allometry of the ulna and embryonicaly positive allometric of the third metapodials appears to be related to maintaining the functional integrity of the limbs.



Functional and historical determinants of shape in the scapula of Xenarthran mammals: Evolution of a complex morphological structure

A nonlinear relationship between morphometric and phylogenetic distances indicates the presence of a complex mixture of evolutionary processes acting on shape differentiation of the scapula.


Morphological evidence presented here suggests a semi-tubular manus was an exaptation that ultimately functioned as a weight-distributing structure, and that this unique morphology may have been present in basal sauropods.

Comparing Wing Shape of Bats: The Merits of Principal-Components Analysis and Relative-Warp Analysis

Compared shape of wings among Eptesicus fuscus, Myotis lucifugus, Pipistrellus hesperas, and Tadarida brasiliensis using three methods of morphometric analysis, relative-warp analysis provided both the power to discriminate among minor differences in shape of species within families, and the graphical capability to display those differences in a visually pleasing way.


  • D. L. Swiderski
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1993
The results suggest that evolutionary patterns of the postcranial skeleton may be as complex as the patterns that have been described for skulls and feeding mechanisms.

Theoretical Aspects of Cursorial Adaptations in Dinosaurs

  • W. Coombs
  • Biology
    The Quarterly Review of Biology
  • 1978
A theoretical review of the physical constraints on cursorial animals provides a list of the morphological correlates of superior running ability, with emphasis on osteological features, and a system of four levels of running ability (graviportal, medip Mortal, subcursorial, cursorial), is possible to evaluate the running potential of dinosaurs.

Ontogenetic histology of Apatosaurus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda): New insights on growth rates and longevity

All Apatosaurus bones sampled corroborate the hypothesis of sustained rapid growth rates for most of ontogeny, followed by gradual decline with attainment of maximum size, as well as regular variation in speeds of osteogenesis.

Caudofemoral musculature and the evolution of theropod locomotion

  • S. Gatesy
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • 1990
Osteological evidence of both origin and insertion indicates that a substantial caudofemoralis longus was present in archosaurs primitively and was retained in the clades Dinosauria and Theropoda, and strongly suggests that details of the orientation (subhorizontal femur) and movement of the hind limb in extant birds are more properly viewed as derived, uniquely avian conditions, rather than as retentions of an ancestral dinosaurian pattern.

Phylogenetic signals in morphometric data

It is concluded that the potential of morphometric data analysis methods (especially relative warp-based methods) to contribute to phylogenetic-systematic investigations should be explored further.

Sauropod dinosaur phylogeny: critique and cladistic analysis

A lower-level phylogenetic analysis of Sauropoda is presented, which resolves six sauropod outgroups to Neosauropoda, which comprises the large-nostrilled clade Macronaria and the peg-toothedclade Diplodocoidea.

The phylogenetic relationships of sauropod dinosaurs

The results suggest that there are dangers inherent in the view that ‘higher’ level sauropod phylogeny can be accurately reconstructed using only a small number of well-known taxa, and that the results of the randomization tests indicate that the data-matrix probably contains a strong phylogenetic ‘signal’.