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

  title={Multivariate analysis of neognath skeletal measurements: implications for body mass estimation in Mesozoic birds},
  author={Francisco Jos{\'e} Serrano and Paul Palmqvist and Jos{\'e} Luis Sanz},
  journal={Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society},
The abundant fossils of avian stem taxa unearthed during the last years make it necessary to review and improve the models for estimating body mass used in palaeoecological studies. In this article, single and multiple regression functions based on osteological measurements were obtained from a large data set of extant flying birds for estimating the body mass of 42 Mesozoic specimens from stem taxa Archaeopterygidae, Jeholornithidae, Sapeornithidae, Confuciusornithidae, and Enantiornithes, and… 

Evolution of body mass in the Pan-Alcidae (Aves, Charadriiformes): the effects of combining neontological and paleontological data

  • N. A. Smith
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • 2015
This work identifies optimal osteological dimensions for estimating body mass in extinct species of Pan-Alcidae (Aves, Charadriiformes) and utilizes newly generated estimates of body mass to demonstrate that the combination of neontological and paleontological data produces results that conflict with hypotheses generated when extant species data are analyzed in isolation.

Inferring flight parameters of Mesozoic avians through multivariate analyses of forelimb elements in their living relatives

This work presents the first taxonomically broad, error-calibrated estimation of these two important aerodynamic parameters in non-neornithine birds, and finds no evidence for the presence of dynamic soaring among these early birds.

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.

Diet of Mesozoic toothed birds (Longipterygidae) inferred from quantitative analysis of extant avian diet proxies

Background Birds are key indicator species in extant ecosystems, and thus we would expect extinct birds to provide insights into the nature of ancient ecosystems. However, many aspects of extinct

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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.

Investigating Possible Gastroliths in a Referred Specimen of Bohaiornis guoi (Aves: Enantiornithes)

Gastroliths, where preserved, can provide indirect evidence regarding diet in extinct avian and non-avian dinosaurs. Masses of gastroliths consistent with the presence of a gastric mill are preserved

Digital 3D models of theropods for approaching body-mass distribution and volume

The aim of this work is to obtain diverse morphometric data from digitized 3D models of scientifically accurate palaeoreconstructions of theropods from eight representative families. The analysed

Osteohistology and Life History of the Basal Pygostylian, Confuciusornis sanctus

It is shown that although fibrolamellar bone is widespread across birds, the extent and duration of this rapid phase of bone deposition is highly variable and comparisons among Mesozoic birds confirm that early ontogenetic growth was rapid, but that later post‐hatching growth was strongly influenced by the ontogenetics age of the individual, body size, and local environment, as well as taxonomy.

The diet of early birds based on modern and fossil evidence and a new framework for its reconstruction

  • C. MillerM. Pittman
  • Environmental Science
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2021
Birds are some of the most diverse organisms on Earth, with species inhabiting a wide variety of niches across every major biome. As such, birds are vital to our understanding of modern ecosystems.

Size-driven preservational and macroecological biases in the latest Maastrichtian terrestrial vertebrate assemblages of North America

Abstract. The end-Cretaceous (K/Pg) mass extinction event is the most recent and well-understood of the “big five” and triggered establishment of modern terrestrial ecosystem structure. Despite the



Body Mass Estimation in Amphicyonid Carnivoran Mammals: A Multiple Regression Approach from the Skull and Skeleton

The body masses of sixteen species of amphicyonids (Mammalia, Carnivora, Amphicyonidae) from the New and Old World were estimated on the basis of 86 osteological variables measured from the

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.

The assessment of size in fossil felidae

It is shown that cranial length offers a good indication of overall size in the living animal, and that various other cranial dimensions correlate closely with that measurement, while individual teeth show a looser relationship and therefore appear less useful for size estimations of fossil material than has been thought.

Body Mass Estimates in Extinct Mammals from Limb Bone Dimensions: the Case of North American Hyaenodontids

  • N. Egi
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • 2001
The body mass estimation of several limb bone dimensions (shaft cross‐sectional properties, articular sizes, and bone lengths) were examined using bivariate linear regression analyses to identify hyaenodontid creodonts from the Eocene–Oligocene of North America.

Estimating the body mass of Pleistocene canids: discussion of some methodological problems and a new ‘taxon free’ approach

K Kaufman & Smith (2002) recall that ‘decisions need to be made in analyses of this kind (i.e. the estimation of body mass for extinct taxa) that require expertise in the biology and ecology of the animals under consideration’, but state that they ‘are both primatologists, and do not feel qualiŽ ed to seriously evaluate Carnivora’.

Estimating the body mass of extinct ungulates: a study on the use of multiple regression

A new set of algorithms that allow the estimation of the body mass of extinct ungulates are proposed that are applied to three Miocene ungulate species, Dinohippus leidyanus, Stenomylus hitchcocki and Aletomeryx scotti.

Body mass estimation in armoured mammals: cautions and encouragements for the use of parameters from the appendicular skeleton

Predictive equations based on diaphyseal cross-sectional parameters provided the most accurate estimates of body mass in caviomorph rodents and dasypodids, but the confounding influence of locomotor posture, fossoriality, and arboreality render these relationships less predictable across all three groups considered here.

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.

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.

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).