Plesiosaur Swimming as Interpreted from Skeletal Analysis and Experimental Results

@inproceedings{Carpenter2010PlesiosaurSA,
  title={Plesiosaur Swimming as Interpreted from Skeletal Analysis and Experimental Results},
  author={Kenneth Carpenter and Frank Sanders and Brian P. Reed and Julianna M Reed and Peter Larson},
  year={2010}
}
Underwater locomotion by plesiosaurs has long been a controversial problem with many hypotheses suggested. Almost without exception these models were based on limited analyses and limited data that failed to adequately examine joint morphology, joint kinematics or test the hypotheses. Our analysis demonstrates that the sea lion- and rowing-models are kinematically impossible due to the prominent glenoid processes that would restrict the necessary posterior motion. Anatomical comparisons with… 
Computer Simulations Imply Forelimb-Dominated Underwater Flight in Plesiosaurs
TLDR
It is concluded that plesiosaurs were forelimb-dominated swimmers that used their hind limbs mainly for maneuverability and stability, and not the most efficient biologically possible limb stroke.
The four-flipper swimming method of plesiosaurs enabled efficient and effective locomotion
TLDR
It is shown that plesiosaur hind flippers generated up to 60% more thrust and 40% higher efficiency when operating in harmony with their forward counterparts, when compared with operating alone, and the spacing and relative motion between the flippers was critical in governing these increases.
Mobility and hydrodynamic implications of the long neck in plesiosaurs
Plesiosaurs are extinct marine reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic, well-known for their unique body plan with two pairs of flippers and an elongated neck. What this long neck was used for is
FUNCTIONAL MORPHOLOGY AND HYDRODYNAMICS OF PLESIOSAUR NECKS: DOES SIZE MATTER?
ABSTRACT —Plesiosaurs are an enigmatic, diverse extinct group of Mesozoic marine reptiles well known for their unique body plan with two pairs of flippers and usually an elongated neck. The long neck
An integrated approach to understanding the role of the long neck in plesiosaurs
The evolution and function of the long neck in plesiosaurs, and how the problems associated with stiffness or flexibility were overcome during feeding, or rapid swimming during predator avoidance,
Foreflipper and hindflipper muscle reconstructions of Cryptoclidus eurymerus in comparison to functional analogues: introduction of a myological mechanism for flipper twisting
TLDR
Six muscles that could possibly actively adjust the flipper profiles for efficient underwater flight were found and could have accomplished fore-and hindflipper length axis twisting in plesiosaurs that is essential for underwater flight.
The locomotory apparatus and paraxial swimming in fossil and living marine reptiles: comparing Nothosauroidea, Plesiosauria, and Chelonioidea
The terrestrial origins of the diapsid Sauropterygia and Testudines are uncertain, with the latter being highly controversially discussed to this day. For only 15 Ma, Nothosauroidea lived in
A method for deducing neck mobility in plesiosaurs, using the exceptionally preserved Nichollssaura borealis
TLDR
3D modelling is an effective tool for assessing function morphology for structures where no good modern analogue exists and suggests that there may be preference for lateral neck movements in N. borealis, which could correspond to an ecological function related to prey capture.
Fin sweep angle does not determine flapping propulsive performance
TLDR
Three-dimensional simulations on single-planform finite foils undergoing tail-like and flipper-like kinematics for a range of sweep angles covering a substantial portion of animals indicate that fish tails and mammal flukes with similar range and size can have a large range of potential sweep angles without significant negative propulsive impact.
Fin sweep angle does not determine flapping propulsive performance
TLDR
The primary finding is the negligible 0.043 maximum correlation between the sweep angle and the propulsive force and power for both tail-like and flipper-like motions, which indicates that fish tails and mammal flukes with similar range and size can have a large range of potential sweep angles without significant negative propulsive impact.
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