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Some anatomical terminology (was Re: dinosaur books)



Stanley Friesen <sarima@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>> At 03:18 PM 1/3/98 -0700, Doug Lewis wrote:

> As this is of general interest, I will post it to the list.

Since an understanding of these terms is reputed to be of general
interest, I think it might be important that we strive for a bit more
accuracy and completeness.

>>    Craniocaudally
>
> Parallel to the axis connecting the head (cranium) and the tail
> (cauda).

Although I may get shot for this, I *think* the singular there should
be caudum just as cranium is the singular form of crania.  But in any
case I'm more concerned with the fact that in context this term may
mean more than just parallel to said axis.  It may also indicate a
directionality -- toward the tail (as opposed to caudocranially --
toward the head).

Similarly a direction may be implied by "dorsoventrally".

>>    Rami
>
> Branches.  A general term for any vaguely rod-shaped extensions of a
> bone.  The singular is ramus.

Actually it's a general term for anything that can be described as
branch-like.  That can be gills, legs, nerves or even phylogenies,
etc. etc. ...

> >    Anteroposteriorly
>
> Parallel to the axis the front (anterior) and rear (posterior).
> Essentially synonymous with "craniocaudally".

This one really got to me...  These two terms are not synonymous
except within specific contexts.  While it's true that modern
reconstructions of dinosaurian postures make the terms virtually
interchangeable in *modern* descriptions of dinosaurs, older
literature or literature about other animals may have the axes quite
divergent.  In human or Godzillan anatomy the two axes are roughly
perpendicular to each other.

Sorry for the nitpicky ranting; feel free to roast me if I got
anything wrong but if you do be *real* certain you're right :-)

--
Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)