Long-bone circumference and weight in mammals, birds and dinosaurs



The mid-shaft circumferences of the humerus and femur are closely related to body weight in living terrestrial vertebrates. Because these elements are frequently preserved in subfossil and fossil vertebrate skeletal materials, the relationship can be used to estimate body weight in extinct vertebrates. When the allometric equations are applied to the mid-shaft circumferences of these elements in dinosaurs, the weights calculated for some giant sauropods (Brachiosaurus) are found to be lighter than previous estimates.