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Digital Plateosaurus



from the new PE vissue:

THE DIGITAL PLATEOSAURUS I: BODY MASS, MASS DISTRIBUTION AND POSTURE ASSESSED
USING CAD AND CAE ON A DIGITALLY MOUNTED COMPLETE SKELETON

Heinrich Mallison

Plateosaurus from the late Triassic of Central Europe is one of the
best known dinosaurs. Despite the large number of finds, including
complete and articulated skeletons, its posture and locomotion
capabilities are still being debated. While recent assessments of the
range of motion of the forelimb indicate that Plateosaurus was
incapable of manus pronation, and thus an obligate biped, practically
all other possible alternatives have been suggested in the literature.
Here, I present evidence, derived from a detailed mounting of a 3D
digital skeleton and a computer-aided engineering assessment of a
digital 3D model of the living animal, that Plateosaurus was indeed an
obligate biped. The position of the center of mass is assessed in
several variations of the basic model to account for differing
interpretations of soft tissue amounts. All models allow a stable
bipedal pose with a subhorizontal back that is consistent with the
requirements of both slow and rapid locomotion. Quadrupedal models, in
contrast, suffer from locomotion restrictions due to highly uneven
limb lengths and a limited motion range in the forelimb, and result in
a smaller feeding envelope.

http://palaeo-electronica.org/2010_2/198/index.html