Publication Date: May 24, 2017
Binding: Kobo eBook
Information about osteological changes in the groups of reptiles that gave rise to mammals is preserved in the fossil record, but the musculature of these reptiles has been lost forever. Nevertheless, a reasonably accurate picture of the morphology and the spatial relationships of the muscles of many of these extinct vertebrates can be inferred by studying the scars or other marks delimiting the origins and insertions of muscles on the skeletons of the fossils and by studying the anatomy of Recent genera. A reconstruction built by these methods is largely speculative, especially when the fossil groups are far removed in time, kinship and morphology from Recent kinds, and when distortion, crushing, fragmentation and overzealous preparation have damaged the surfaces associated with the attachment of muscles. The frequent inadequacy of such direct evidence can be partially offset by considering the mechanical demands that groups of muscles must meet to perform a particular movement of a skeletal member.