Multibody dynamics model of head and neck function in Allosaurus (Dinosauria, Theropoda)

Eric Snively, John R. Cotton, Ryan Ridgely, Lawrence M. Witmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a multibody dynamics model of the feeding apparatus of the large Jurassic theropod dinosaur Allosaurus that enables testing of hypotheses about the animal's feeding behavior and about how anatomical parameters influence function. We created CT- and anatomical-inference-based models of bone, soft tissue, and air spaces which we use to provide inertial properties for musculoskeletal dynamics. Estimates of bone density have a surprisingly large effect on head inertial properties, and trachea diameter strongly affects moments of inertia of neck segments for dorsoventral movements. The ventrally-placed insertion of m. longissimus capitis superficialis in Allosaurus imparted over twice the ventroflexive accelerations of a proxy control insertion lateral to the occipital condyle, the latter being its position in nearly all other theropods. A feeding style that involved defleshing a carcass by avian-raptor-like retraction of the head in Allosaurus is more probable than is lateroflexive shake-feeding, such as that seen in crocodilians and inferred for tyrannosaurids.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPalaeontologia Electronica
Volume16
Issue number2
StatePublished - 25 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

bone
raptor
dinosaur
feeding behavior
inertia
Jurassic
animal
air
parameter
effect
tissue

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Dinosauria
  • Feeding
  • Multibody dynamics
  • Muscle

Cite this

Snively, Eric ; Cotton, John R. ; Ridgely, Ryan ; Witmer, Lawrence M. / Multibody dynamics model of head and neck function in Allosaurus (Dinosauria, Theropoda). In: Palaeontologia Electronica. 2013 ; Vol. 16, No. 2.
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Multibody dynamics model of head and neck function in Allosaurus (Dinosauria, Theropoda). / Snively, Eric; Cotton, John R.; Ridgely, Ryan; Witmer, Lawrence M.

In: Palaeontologia Electronica, Vol. 16, No. 2, 25.06.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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