The evolution of locomotion in archosaurs


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 5 (3-4) - Pages 519-530

Published on 30 April 2006

This article is a part of the thematic issue One hundred years after Marey: some aspects of Functional Morphology today

Archosaurian reptiles evolved a more erect posture and parasagittal gait early on. Early dinosaurs were the first habitual striding bipeds, a trait retained by living birds. Yet there is much more to archosaur locomotor evolution than these two transitions. I review our understanding of the pattern of locomotor evolution from the first archosaurs to Crocodylia and Neornithes, outlining where transitions of locomotor function evolved. I evaluate current research approaches, advocating more experimental work on extant animals to establish rigorous form–function relationships, and more biomechanical research that is bolstered by validation and sensitivity analysis of its assumptions, methods, and results.


Archosaur, Bird, Crocodile, Dinosaur, Biomechanics, Locomotion, Evolution

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint