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Mr Antonio Ballell Mayoral

Anatomy and function of the basal sauropodomorph dinosaur Thecodontosaurus antiquus (Supervisors: Prof Michael Benton, Prof Emily Rayfield and Dr Mark Puttick)

Anatomy and function of the basal sauropodomorph dinosaur Thecodontosaurus antiquus
 
Sauropodomorpha are the clade of dinosaurs that includes the largest land animals that ever existed. From bipedal ancestors, derived sauropodomorphs evolved a quadrupedal stance and a highly specialized locomotion that enabled their enormous body sizes. Thecodontosaurus antiquus, from the Late Triassic of Europe, is among the earliest members of the clade and provides highly relevant information about the anatomy of these basal forms.
 
My PhD focuses on updating the osteology of Thecodontosaurus and reconstructing its limb musculature. The biomechanical behaviour of its limb bones will be analysed using various biomechanical techniques (including trabecular and finite element analyses) to infer its locomotion and stance. The functional characteristics of Thecodontosaurus will be put in a broader context to understand the early functional evolution and radiations of sauropodomorphs.

Research keywords

  • dinosaurs
  • sauropodomorphs
  • anatomy
  • biomechanics
  • locomotion
  • macroevolution
  • palaeobiology
  • Triassic