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Re: Ceratopsian mass estimates

> Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 21:01:28 -0500
> From: Andy Farke <andyfarke@hotmail.com>
> Ceratopsid bones are mostly solid, but they still have a less-dense
> area in the middle. And most theropod bones certainly aren't solid
> all the way through. I think it would be *extremely* illuminating
> for someone to rigorously work up the cross-sectional properties of
> dinosaur bones (along with other large critters). I suspect that
> they're probably playing by the same rules as large mammals, but who
> knows until someone takes a look at it. . .that is, perhaps a
> ceratopsid just *looks* more robust than a comparably sized
> elephant, but these distinctions disappear when one starts
> evaluating the distribution of bone mass across the cross-section.

I doubt this makes much difference: if the less dense areas are in the
middle of the bones, then the resistance to bending stresses will be
nearly the same as for solid bone (which is of course precisely why
birds and pterosaurs have hollow long-bones.)

> Perhaps this explains some of the discrepancies in Alexander's
> equation, too.

Do you mean Anderson et al.'s (1995) equation?

Alexander's (1985) mass estimates are based on models.

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