Here we describe a 3-D animated model of the craniodental system of a hadrosaur, developed for testing hypotheses of feeding kinematics. The model was created from scanned cranial elements of an Edmontosaurus regalis paratype (CMN 2289). Movements within the model were created in animation software using inverse kinematics and a wiring system composed of cranial elements. The model was used to reproduce the pleurokinetic hypothesis of hadrosaur chewing. The pleurokinetic hypothesis, formally developed in the 1980s, proposed that hadrosaurs employed transverse chewing movements via cranial kinesis. Specifically during the powerstroke the maxillae were abducted. This is the first model to allow investigation into secondary intracranial movements that must have occurred in order for the skull to accommodate the primary, pleurokinetic movements. This study found secondary movements to be extensive among the joints of the palate and face. Further refinement and development of the model, including the integration of soft-tissue structures, will allow for a more in-depth examination of the pleurokinetic hypothesis and comparison with alternative feeding hypotheses.

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Palaeontologia Electronica
Department of Biology

Rybczynski, N, Tirabasso, A. (Alex), Bloskie, P. (Paul), Cuthbertson, R. (Robin), & Holliday, C. (Casey). (2008). A three-dimensional animation model of Edmontosaurus (Hadrosauridae) for testing chewing hypotheses. In Palaeontologia Electronica (Vol. 11).