An ongoing project in association with Karl Bates (University of Liverpool) and John Hutchinson (Royal Veterinary College, London) is focused on the functional disparity in bipedal locomotion in archosaurs using Poposaurus gracilis (YPM 57100) as a fossil "model" organism
Initial Aims of the project:
Generate phylogenetically based reconstructions of the hindlimb musculotendinous system for all of the extinct taxa chosen for the study
Create a 3D digital model for each taxon to evaluate the moment arms and muscle activation patterns associated with limb movement and locomotion
Long term questions:
How variable is the hindlimb myology (and resulting effects on muscle function) in basal archosaurs?
How useful are these models for addressing questions of posture and locomotion?
Skeleton of Poposaurus gracilis (YPM 57100) in left lateral view, and simplified phylogeny for Archosauria.
Left: diagrammatic reconstruction of the hindlimb muscles of P. gracilis Right: 3D digital model created with K Bates mapping select muscles onto the hindlimb
3D digital model created with K Bates mapping select muscles onto the hindlimb of an ostrich
Digital hypotheses for the volume of the poposaur hindlimb