Scaling of the limb long bones to body mass in terrestrial mammals

  • Christiansen P
  • 101

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 84

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Long-bone scaling has been analyzed in a large number of terrestrial mammals for which body masses were known. Earlier proposals that geometric or elastic similarity are suitable as explanations for long-bone scaling across a large size range are not supported. Differential scaling is present, and large mammals on average scale with lower regression slopes than small mammals. Large mammals tend to reduce bending stress during locomotion by having shorter limb bones than predicted rather than by having very thick diaphyses, as is usually assumed. The choice of regression model used to describe data samples in analyses of scaling becomes increasingly important as correlation coefficients decrease, and theoretical models supported by one analysis may not be supported when applying another statistical model to the same data. Differences in limb posture and locomotor performance have profound influence on the amount of stress set up in the appendicular bones during rigorous physical activity and make it unlikely that scaling of long bones across a large size range of terrestrial mammals can be satisfactorily explained by any one power function.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Body mass
  • Long bones
  • Mammals

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Per Christiansen

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free