Cancellous bone and theropod dinosaur locomotion. Part I—an examination of cancellous bone architecture in the hindlimb bones of theropods

Bishop, P J and Hocknull, S A and Clemente, C J and Hutchinson, J R and Farke, A A and Beck, B R and Barrett, R S and Lloyd, D G (2018) Cancellous bone and theropod dinosaur locomotion. Part I—an examination of cancellous bone architecture in the hindlimb bones of theropods. PeerJ, 6. e5778.

[img]
Preview
Text
11817.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (60MB) | Preview

Abstract

This paper is the first of a three-part series that investigates the architecture of cancellous (‘spongy’) bone in the main hindlimb bones of theropod dinosaurs, and uses cancellous bone architectural patterns to infer locomotor biomechanics in extinct non-avian species. Cancellous bone is widely known to be highly sensitive to its mechanical environment, and has previously been used to infer locomotor biomechanics in extinct tetrapod vertebrates, especially primates. Despite great promise, cancellous bone architecture has remained little utilized for investigating locomotion in many other extinct vertebrate groups, such as dinosaurs. Documentation and quantification of architectural patterns across a whole bone, and across multiple bones, can provide much information on cancellous bone architectural patterns and variation across species. Additionally, this also lends itself to analysis of the musculoskeletal biomechanical factors involved in a direct, mechanistic fashion. On this premise, computed tomographic and image analysis techniques were used to describe and analyse the three-dimensional architecture of cancellous bone in the main hindlimb bones of theropod dinosaurs for the first time. A comprehensive survey across many extant and extinct species is produced, identifying several patterns of similarity and contrast between groups. For instance, more stemward non-avian theropods (e.g. ceratosaurs and tyrannosaurids) exhibit cancellous bone architectures more comparable to that present in humans, whereas species more closely related to birds (e.g. paravians) exhibit architectural patterns bearing greater similarity to those of extant birds. Many of the observed patterns may be linked to particular aspects of locomotor biomechanics, such as the degree of hip or knee flexion during stance and gait. A further important observation is the abundance of markedly oblique trabeculae in the diaphyses of the femur and tibia of birds, which in large species produces spiralling patterns along the endosteal surface. Not only do these observations provide new insight into theropod anatomy and behaviour, they also provide the foundation for mechanistic testing of locomotor hypotheses via musculoskeletal biomechanical modelling.

Actions (Repository Editors)

View Item View Item