Biomechanics of hadrosaurian locomotion

This project has the purpose to examine locomotion and other motion sequences of hadrosaurian dinosaurs using kinetic/dynamic computer modelling. Hadrosaurs were the most diverse large land animals of the Upper Cretaceous and one of the most successful herbivorous dinosaur groups. The application of modern CAE (computer aided engineering) techniques will provide a better understanding of the biomechanics of these dinosaurs, which allows deeper insight into their ecological adaptations.

A 3D mechanical digitizer (Fig.1) is used to create three-dimensional images of bones, which makes it possible to build up virtual complete and partial skeletons (Fig.2).

These data will be used to generate biomechanical models of hadrosaurs in a NASTRAN based CAE program, for studies of the posture and gait. In addition the musculature of the legs, shoulder girdle and pelvis will be reconstructed for a closer understanding of the function of these motion units. In the end this project will provide a better definition of the spectrum of hadrosaurian locomotion by means of quantitative modelling.