Fused and vaulted nasals of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs: Implications for cranial strength and feeding mechanics

Eric Snively, Donald M. Henderson, Doug S. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tyrannosaurid theropods display several unusual adaptations of the skulls and teeth. Their nasals are fused and vaulted, suggesting that these elements braced the cranium against high feeding forces. Exceptionally high strengths of maxillary teeth in Tyrannosaurus rex indicate that it could exert relatively greater feeding forces than other tyrannosaurids. Areas and second moments of area of the nasals, calculated from CT cross-sections, show higher nasal strengths for large tyrannosaurids than for Allosaurus fragilis. Cross-sectional geometry of theropod crania reveals high second moments of area in tyrannosaurids, with resulting high strengths in bending and torsion, when compared with the crania of similarly sized theropods. In tyrannosaurids trends of strength increase are positively allomeric and have similar allometric exponents, indicating correlated progression towards unusually high strengths of the feeding apparatus. Fused, arched nasals and broad crania of tyrannosaurids are consistent with deep bites that impacted bone and powerful lateral movements of the head for dismembering prey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-454
Number of pages20
JournalActa Palaeontologica Polonica
Volume51
Issue number3
StatePublished - 26 Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

cranium
dinosaur
mechanics
tooth
torsion
skull
bone
cross section
geometry

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Carnosauria
  • Computed tomography
  • Computer modeling
  • Feeding mechanics
  • Theropoda
  • Tyrannosauridae

Cite this

@article{0582de1c82e144f68b200b5434f02ced,
title = "Fused and vaulted nasals of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs: Implications for cranial strength and feeding mechanics",
abstract = "Tyrannosaurid theropods display several unusual adaptations of the skulls and teeth. Their nasals are fused and vaulted, suggesting that these elements braced the cranium against high feeding forces. Exceptionally high strengths of maxillary teeth in Tyrannosaurus rex indicate that it could exert relatively greater feeding forces than other tyrannosaurids. Areas and second moments of area of the nasals, calculated from CT cross-sections, show higher nasal strengths for large tyrannosaurids than for Allosaurus fragilis. Cross-sectional geometry of theropod crania reveals high second moments of area in tyrannosaurids, with resulting high strengths in bending and torsion, when compared with the crania of similarly sized theropods. In tyrannosaurids trends of strength increase are positively allomeric and have similar allometric exponents, indicating correlated progression towards unusually high strengths of the feeding apparatus. Fused, arched nasals and broad crania of tyrannosaurids are consistent with deep bites that impacted bone and powerful lateral movements of the head for dismembering prey.",
keywords = "Biomechanics, Carnosauria, Computed tomography, Computer modeling, Feeding mechanics, Theropoda, Tyrannosauridae",
author = "Eric Snively and Henderson, {Donald M.} and Phillips, {Doug S.}",
year = "2006",
month = "9",
day = "26",
language = "English",
volume = "51",
pages = "435--454",
journal = "Acta Palaeontologica Polonica",
issn = "0567-7920",
publisher = "Polska Akademia Nauk",
number = "3",

}

Fused and vaulted nasals of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs : Implications for cranial strength and feeding mechanics. / Snively, Eric; Henderson, Donald M.; Phillips, Doug S.

In: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, Vol. 51, No. 3, 26.09.2006, p. 435-454.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fused and vaulted nasals of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs

T2 - Implications for cranial strength and feeding mechanics

AU - Snively, Eric

AU - Henderson, Donald M.

AU - Phillips, Doug S.

PY - 2006/9/26

Y1 - 2006/9/26

N2 - Tyrannosaurid theropods display several unusual adaptations of the skulls and teeth. Their nasals are fused and vaulted, suggesting that these elements braced the cranium against high feeding forces. Exceptionally high strengths of maxillary teeth in Tyrannosaurus rex indicate that it could exert relatively greater feeding forces than other tyrannosaurids. Areas and second moments of area of the nasals, calculated from CT cross-sections, show higher nasal strengths for large tyrannosaurids than for Allosaurus fragilis. Cross-sectional geometry of theropod crania reveals high second moments of area in tyrannosaurids, with resulting high strengths in bending and torsion, when compared with the crania of similarly sized theropods. In tyrannosaurids trends of strength increase are positively allomeric and have similar allometric exponents, indicating correlated progression towards unusually high strengths of the feeding apparatus. Fused, arched nasals and broad crania of tyrannosaurids are consistent with deep bites that impacted bone and powerful lateral movements of the head for dismembering prey.

AB - Tyrannosaurid theropods display several unusual adaptations of the skulls and teeth. Their nasals are fused and vaulted, suggesting that these elements braced the cranium against high feeding forces. Exceptionally high strengths of maxillary teeth in Tyrannosaurus rex indicate that it could exert relatively greater feeding forces than other tyrannosaurids. Areas and second moments of area of the nasals, calculated from CT cross-sections, show higher nasal strengths for large tyrannosaurids than for Allosaurus fragilis. Cross-sectional geometry of theropod crania reveals high second moments of area in tyrannosaurids, with resulting high strengths in bending and torsion, when compared with the crania of similarly sized theropods. In tyrannosaurids trends of strength increase are positively allomeric and have similar allometric exponents, indicating correlated progression towards unusually high strengths of the feeding apparatus. Fused, arched nasals and broad crania of tyrannosaurids are consistent with deep bites that impacted bone and powerful lateral movements of the head for dismembering prey.

KW - Biomechanics

KW - Carnosauria

KW - Computed tomography

KW - Computer modeling

KW - Feeding mechanics

KW - Theropoda

KW - Tyrannosauridae

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33747148702&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:33747148702

VL - 51

SP - 435

EP - 454

JO - Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

JF - Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

SN - 0567-7920

IS - 3

ER -