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RE: Evolution of tyrannosauroid bite power

Tom Holtz wrote on Thu, 20 Dec 2007 08:25:19 -0500

Well, of course, and I think everyone working on this would agree exactly
with that scenario.

But a biomechanical analysis must needs focus on one particular part of the
organism, and later be integrated into other comparable systems.

That is the traditional approach, but methods for analyzing the motion of complex (i.e., multi-part) mechanical *systems* are being developed that show a lot of promise for analyzing biomechanical systems. The methodological problem in analyzing each part of an animal separately is that the parts are not independent of one another. Analyzing them as a complex biomechanical system with multiple dependent parts is an effort to get away from that problem. For an example from mechanics, see Hong and Cipra's 2003 paper illustrating a method to analyze the motion of complex cable-pulley systems, which can be found on-line at http://www.me.vt.edu/romela/RoMeLa/Publications_files/JMD2003_CablePulley.pdf. It's probably not the best example, but it's useful for illustrating the distinction I was trying to make. It seems to me that the relationship between arm size and bite power, or arm strength and hip strength, offer some real potential for using this type of systems analysis.


The axes of truth and utility are not coincident.