[N] 2011 Unusual internal anatomy of Majungasaurus crenatissimus cranium
Snively, E., Cotton ,J.R., Witmer, L., Ridgley, R. & Theodor, J. (2011) Finite element comparison of cranial sinus function in the dinosaur Majungatholus and head-clubbing giraffes. Proceedings of the ASME 2011 Summer Bioengineering Conference SBC2011 June 22-25, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Famington, Pennsylvania, USA SBC2011-53127
Majungasaurus crenatissimus is a spectacularly preserved carnivorous dinosaur from latest Cretaceous Madagascar. Computed tomographic (CT) scans reveal unusual internal anatomy of the dinosaur’s cranium: the nasals form a large hollow chamber traversed with bony struts, and a unicorn-like projection of the frontals is also hollow.
The wall thickness and struts within these sinuses recall sinuses of giraffes, which strike each other with a median projection (ossicone) above a frontal sinus and lateral ossicones of the parietals. Giraffe-like cranial sinuses, and largeattachments for neck muscles, raise the hypothesis that Majungasaurus could engage in giraffe-like head strikes to each other’s necks and flanks.
To examine the capability for such behavior, we constructedfinite element (FE) models of Majungasaurus and a giraffe, based on computed tomographic (CT) scans. Given many unknowns and the animals’ disparate cranial shapes, we apply equivalent forces formeaningful stress comparison.