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1 September 2009 Cranial Mechanics and Functional Interpretation of the Horned Carnivorous Dinosaur Carnotaurus sastrei
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Abstract

Three-dimensional finite element analyses were performed on the cranium of the horned theropod Carnotaurus sastrei to assess how it would have performed mechanically during biting and frontal butting. This technique proved to be an effective tool to provide a better understanding of the cranial functional morphology of C. sastrei. The analyses indicated that the jaw-closing musculature of C. sastrei would have played a key role in diminishing the stress level on the cranium during biting, particularly for the braincase. Force analyses show that C. sastrei would have had a comparatively weak (and faster than Allosaurus fragillis) muscle-driven bite. The finite element analyses also provide quantitative evidence to suggest that the cranium of C. sastrei could have withstood high velocity impacts to its teeth resulting from a hypothetical hatchet-like biting mode, but could not have endured severe, rapid frontal blows during agonistic encounters.

© 2009 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Gerardo V. Mazzetta, Adrián P. Cisilino, R. Ernesto Blanco, and Néstor Calvo "Cranial Mechanics and Functional Interpretation of the Horned Carnivorous Dinosaur Carnotaurus sastrei," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(3), (1 September 2009). https://doi.org/10.1671/039.029.0313
Received: 21 July 2008; Accepted: 1 October 2008; Published: 1 September 2009
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