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

  title={The accuracy and precision of body mass estimation in non‐avian dinosaurs},
  author={Nicol{\'a}s E. Campione and David C Evans},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
  • N. Campione, D. Evans
  • Published 1 September 2020
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • Biological Reviews
Inferring the body mass of fossil taxa, such as non‐avian dinosaurs, provides a powerful tool for interpreting physiological and ecological properties, as well as the ability to study these traits through deep time and within a macroevolutionary context. As a result, over the past 100 years a number of studies advanced methods for estimating mass in dinosaurs and other extinct taxa. These methods can be categorized into two major approaches: volumetric‐density (VD) and extant‐scaling (ES). The… 

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.

Shifts in eggshell thickness are related to changes in locomotor ecology in dinosaurs

  • L. LegendreJ. Clarke
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 2021
While a high correlation between egg mass and eggshell thickness is expected, that relationship is much stronger in flying taxa, which show a significantly higher slope and lower residual variance than flightless species, which suggests stabilizing selection of egg shell thickness among theropods.

Absolute abundance and preservation rate of Tyrannosaurus rex

The relationship between population density and body mass among living species combined with the substantial knowledge of Tyrannosaurus rex are used to calculate population variables and preservation rates for postjuvenile T. rex.

Large-bodied ornithomimosaurs inhabited Appalachia during the Late Cretaceous of North America

Reconstructing the evolution, diversity, and paleobiogeography of North America’s Late Cretaceous dinosaur assemblages requires spatiotemporally contiguous data; however, there remains a spatial and

Resizing the largest known extinct rodents (Caviomorpha: Dinomyidae, Neoepiblemidae) using occipital condyle width

This work estimates body mass in large, extinct rodents using occipital condyle width (OCW), a strong predictor of body size in mammals, using a dataset that circumvents many of the issues faced by previous studies of species.

Femoral specializations to locomotor habits in early archosauriforms

This study illuminates how the evolution of femoral morphology in early archosauriforms was functionally constrained by locomotor habit and body size, which should aid ongoing discussions about the early evolution of dinosaurs and the nature of their evolutionary “success” over pseudosuchians.

Body Size Disparity of the Archosauromorph Reptiles during the First 90 Million Years of Their Evolution

It was found that the disparity of body size of archosauromorphs increased after the Permian/Triassic boundary and the relationship between this parameter and the palaeolatitudinal distribution of species.

Morphological Grouping and Body Mass Prediction Models

Every facet of an organism’s function is affected by its body size, such as heart rate, metabolism, organ size and function, feeding ecology, and locomotion. Using body size to assess the function

Maniraptoran pelvic musculature highlights evolutionary patterns in theropod locomotion on the line to birds

Examination of the pelvis for osteological correlates of hind limb and tail musculature allowed reconstruction of primary locomotory muscles across theropods and their closest extant relatives and suggests that a more punctuated step in caudal decoupling occurred at or near the base of Maniraptora.

An Italian dinosaur Lagerstätte reveals the tempo and mode of hadrosauriform body size evolution

The Villaggio del Pescatore quarry (north-eastern Italy) stands as the most informative locality within the palaeo-Mediterranean region and represents the first, multi-individual Konservat-Lagerstätte type dinosaur-bearing locality in Italy, and is critically re-evaluated as early Campanian in age.



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.

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.

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.

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.

On allometric equations for predicting body mass of dinosaurs

The statistical assumptions underpinning each approach are examined, and the method of Packard and colleagues is found to be conceptually unsatisfactory as it assumes absolute rather than relative variability in body mass for a given long-bone circumference, which is biologically implausible.

Body size in mammalian paleobiology: Estimation and biological implications

  • M. Ravosa
  • Environmental Science
    International Journal of Primatology
  • 2005
In this series of 15 interesting papers, the suggestion by Damuth and MacFadden regarding the use of multiple regression analysis to increase the precision of body size estimates, as well as the discussions of the utility of postcranial dimensions in body size estimate by Jungers, Ruff, and Scott are suggested.

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.

When teeth and bones disagree: body mass estimation of a giant extinct rodent

It is concluded that body mass of Phoberomys was most likely overestimated, the 2nd largest rodent ever reported, with an estimated body mass between 436 and 741 kg, far beyond the range of average body masses in living rodents.

Variation in Center of Mass Estimates for Extant Sauropsids and its Importance for Reconstructing Inertial Properties of Extinct Archosaurs

Estimation of inertial properties for extant and extinct animals found considerable potential methodological errors related to assumed body segment orientation, what frames of reference are used to normalize COM for size‐independent comparisons among animals, and assumptions about tail shape, are found.