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You are here: Home Individual Projects Second Funding Period (2007-2010) Project U5: Respiratory System Reconstruction

Project U5: Respiratory System Reconstruction

Title Promoting gigantism: costal ventilation model based on quantitative analysis of respiratory system in recent and fossil amniotes
Principal Investigation Prof. Dr. Steven F. Perry
Researchers Nadine Pajor, Thomas Breuer


Based upon groundwork laid in the first funding period (Project B3) we will amplify and refine the vectorial computer model of costal ventilation in sauropods, using rib articulation points in fossil vertebrae of Plateosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Camarasaurus as the plane of individual rib movement. The orientation of external intercostal musculature will be reconstructed from Sharpey's fibers in fossil ribs, the methods being perfected using extant material from birds, mammals and “reptiles”. These data will be converged with allometric estimates of morphological and physiological respiratory parameters, supplemented by the results of other groups in the Research Unit working on locomotion, nutrition and cardiovascular physiology in order to provide a complete picture of the structure and function of the respiratory system in sauropods. On this basis, the role of the respiratory system in promoting gigantism in sauropods will be evaluated.

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