JOURNAL ARTICLE

Crocodylian forelimb musculature and its relevance to Archosauria

Mason B Meers
Anatomical Record. Part A, Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular, and Evolutionary Biology 2003, 274 (2): 891-916
12973714
The musculoskeletal anatomy of the crocodylian forelimb is documented to facilitate functional morphological studies of extant and extinct archosaurs. Comparative descriptions of muscles of the forelimb of several crocodylian species are presented, including attachment sites, innervation, and anatomical functions. The muscular anatomy of the crocodylian forelimb is highly conservative among the different species; however, interspecific differences do occur. Interspecific anatomical variation is interpreted functionally, and discussed in the context of the terrestrial locomotion of crocodylians as it applies to the forelimb. In addition, muscular apomorphies are identified among a phylogenetically diverse sample of extant crocodylians, providing insight into the evolution of forelimb anatomy in a clade of archosaurs possessing highly variable terrestrial locomotor behaviors.

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