Softening the steps to gigantism in sauropod dinosaurs through the evolution of a pedal pad

Andréas Jannel, Steven W. Salisbury & Olga Panagiotopoulou
How sauropod dinosaurs were able to withstand the forces associated with their immense size represents one of the most challenging biomechanical scenarios in the evolution of terrestrial tetrapods, but also one lacking robust biomechanical testing. Here, we use finite element analyses to quantify the biomechanical effects of foot skeletal postures with and without the presence of a soft tissue pad in sauropodomorphs. We find that none of the models can maintain bone stresses that fall...
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