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RE: Reconstructions

As part of the questions of my life, I would like to know how
the paleontologists can reconstruct the insertion points, extension
and strength of the muscles of the dinosaurs, for example,
only with the fossils of their bones? How can they take a group of
bones and reconstruct the body shape of the animal that have it?
You can help me to find books or papers for learn about this?

***** NOTES from Joe Sexton (JOE @ SEXTON) at 3/27/94 9:38p


I'm not technically a researcher in this field, so I can't site you to 
specific papers or books, but I do recall from various readings that 
researchers can reconstruct specific muscles and tell a great deal about 
them from the scars they leave on bones.  A muscle has both origin and 
insertion contacts to bones via tendons.  At the point where the tendons 
attach to a bone, they leave scars on the bone that can be measured.  A 
large, powerful muscle such as the biceps or the deltoid will have a 
large tendon attaching it to the bone, and will leave a larger scar.  
Apparently muscles that work harder also leave larger scars.

I remember specifically reading in National Geographic Magazine back a 
few years ago when some skeketons were unearthed in Pompeii.  The 
researchers determined that one of the skeletons they found was a slave 
girl beause the scars on her arm bones were particularly large, and this 
was the result of her having been forced to carry heavy loads, so they 
concluded she was a slave.  I guess the same theories would apply.

Joe Sexton

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