Developing an Assessment to Evaluate Tyrannosaurus rex Forelimb Use Cases
Keywords:Tyrannosaurs, Forelimbs, Use Cases, Biomechanics, Use Tests
Tyrannosaurus rex is infamous for its large body size and seemingly mismatched forelimbs, which are extremely small relative to body size. Since its first description by Osborn in 1905, the diminutive size of this attribute has fueled an arms race of sorts wherein specialists have advanced numerous theories seeking to prove a seemingly single-track use or non-use for the arms. While the overall debate on the evolutionary processes behind the small limb size are not addressed here, previous functional theories are reviewed within a functionalist perspective. This paper contends that Tyrannosaurus rex would have used its limbs for whatever purposes possible and that selecting one function to the exclusion of others is not a realistic approach to understanding the lifeways of the Tyrant King. Rather, a functionality assessment is suggested and tested using existing theories with the aim of providing a tool to assess future use case theories.
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