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Spinosaurid and crocodilian feeding mechanics

From: Ben Creisler

New in PLoS ONE:

Andrew R. Cuff and Emily J. Rayfield (2013)
Feeding Mechanics in Spinosaurid Theropods and Extant Crocodilians.
PLoS ONE 8(5): e65295.

Using computed tomography (CT) data, the second moments of area and
moments of inertia at successive transverse slices along the rostrum
were calculated for each of the species. Size-independent results
tested the biomechanical benefits of material distribution within the
rostra. The two spinosaur rostra were both digitally reconstructed
from CT data and compared against all three crocodilians. Results show
that African slender-snouted crocodile skulls are more resistant to
bending than an equivalent sized gharial. The alligator has the
highest resistances to bending and torsion of the crocodiles for its
size and greater than that of the spinosaurs. The spinosaur rostra
possess similar resistance to bending and torsion despite their
different morphologies. When size is accounted for, B. walkeri
performs mechanically differently from the gharial, contradicting
previous studies whereas Spinosaurus does not. Biomechanical data
support known feeding ecology for both African slender-snouted
crocodile and alligator, and suggest that the spinosaurs were not
obligate piscivores with diet being determined by individual animal