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Re: Dino speed paper

Note to listers: The paper is currently available for
free off the Royal Society's site.



--- "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@umd.edu> wrote:

> Here is the ref:
> Sellars, W.I. & P.L. Manning. 2007. Estimating
> dinosaur maximum running
> speeds using evolutionary robotic. Proceedings of
> the Royal Society B.
> FirstCite Early Online Publishing. DOI:
> 10.1098/rspb.2007.0846
> Values in the paper are in ms^-1: the conversion to
> km/h was for the press
> (and will be switched to mph when the American press
> gets it).
> Here's the abstract:
> Abstract
> Maximum running speed is an important locomotor
> parameter for many
> animals--predators as well as prey--and is thus of
> interest to
> palaeobiologists wishing to reconstruct the
> behavioural ecology of extinct
> species. A variety of approaches have been tried in
> the past including
> anatomical comparisons, bone scaling and strength,
> safety factors and ground
> reaction force analyses. However, these approaches
> are all indirect and an
> alternative approach is to create a musculoskeletal
> model of the animal and
> see how fast it can run. The major advantage of this
> approach is that all
> assumptions about the animal's morphology and
> physiology are directly
> addressed, whereas the exact same assumptions are
> hidden in the indirect
> approaches. In this paper, we present simple
> musculoskeletal models of three
> extant and five extinct bipedal species. The models
> predict top speed in the
> extant species with reasonably good agreement with
> accepted values, so we
> conclude that the values presented for the five
> extinct species are
> reasonable predictions given the modelling
> assumptions made. Improved
> musculoskeletal models and better estimates of soft
> tissue parameters will
> produce more accurate values. Limited sensitivity
> analysis is performed on
> key muscle parameters but there is considerable
> scope for extending this in
> the future. 
> Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Email: tholtz@umd.edu Phone: 301-405-4084
> Office: Centreville 1216                      
> Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
> Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
> http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
> Fax: 301-314-9661             
> Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program,
> College Park Scholars
> http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
> Fax: 301-405-0796
> Mailing Address:      Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
>                       Department of Geology
>                       Building 237, Room 1117
>                       University of Maryland
>                       College Park, MD 20742 USA

"I am impressed by the fact that we know less about many modern [reptile] types 
than we do of many fossil groups." - Alfred S. Romer

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