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Hindlimb myology of moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A recent paper not yet mentioned that may be of interest,  from:

Memoirs of the Queensland Museum  59

Peter J. Bishop (2015)
A critical re-evaluation of the hindlimb myology of moa (Aves:
Memoirs of the Queensland Museum  59: 187-234

The extinct moa of New Zealand were an enigmatic group of flightless
birds, some attaining gigantic size. To better understand the
biomechanical consequences of their large size and unique anatomy on
stance and locomotion, a critical re-evaluation of the evidence for
muscular attachment in the hindlimb of moa was undertaken. Three focal
taxa, Dinornis robustus, Emeus crassus and Pachyornis elephantopus,
were studied in detail, although other moa species were also
addressed. More than one thousand individual bones from a diverse
array of localities across the South Island of New Zealand were
examined, and interpretations were made within the context of extant
palaeognath birds.
The interpretations and reconstructions produced largely concur with
those of previous workers in many respects. The reconstructed myology
of these moa species is also quitecomparable to that in extant
palaeognaths, although some important differences are hypothesised to
exist. The most significant of these is that it moa are posited to
have had a very well-developed iliotrochantericus caudalis in
comparison to extant palaeognaths. Digital computer reconstruction of
this muscle in an adult female D. robustus supports this hypothesis.
The great development of the iliotrochantericus caudalis in moa may be
related to their large size, or reflect a different locomotor
behaviour compared to extant palaeognath species. Finally, a number of
myology-related features have been identified that may prove useful in
the taxonomic identification of isolated or poorly preserved bones.

Appendix 1 (434 KB) pdf document icon (only available online)