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?

Scanning the specimen
Scanning the specimen
Skeleton and phylogeny
Skeleton and phylogeny

Skeleton of Poposaurus gracilis (YPM 57100) in left lateral view, and simplified phylogeny for Archosauria.

Poposaur models
Poposaur models

Left: diagrammatic reconstruction of the hindlimb muscles of P. gracilis Right: 3D digital model created with K Bates mapping select muscles onto the hindlimb

Ostrich model
Ostrich model

3D digital model created with K Bates mapping select muscles onto the hindlimb of an ostrich

Poposaur limb volume
Poposaur limb volume

Digital hypotheses for the volume of the poposaur hindlimb

Muscle actication during locomotion
Muscle actication during locomotion

FUNCTIONAL MORPHOLOGY