Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

How Plesiosaurs Swam: New Insights into Their Underwater Flight Using “Ava”, a Virtual Pliosaur

Version 1 : Received: 7 October 2019 / Approved: 9 October 2019 / Online: 9 October 2019 (08:05:38 CEST)

How to cite: Hawthorne, M.; McMenamin, M.; De la Salle, P. How Plesiosaurs Swam: New Insights into Their Underwater Flight Using “Ava”, a Virtual Pliosaur. Preprints 2019, 2019100094 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201910.0094.v1). Hawthorne, M.; McMenamin, M.; De la Salle, P. How Plesiosaurs Swam: New Insights into Their Underwater Flight Using “Ava”, a Virtual Pliosaur. Preprints 2019, 2019100094 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201910.0094.v1).

Abstract

Analysis of plesiosaur swim dynamics by means of a digital 3D armature (wireframe “skeleton”) of a pliosauromorph (“Ava”) demonstrates that: 1, plesiosaurs used all four flippers for primary propulsion; 2, plesiosaurs utilized all four flippers simultaneously; 3, respective pairs of flippers of Plesiosauridae, front and rear, traveled through distinctive, separate planes of motion, and; 4, the ability to utilize all four paddles simultaneously allowed these largely predatory marine reptiles to achieve a significant increase in acceleration and speed, which, in turn, contributed to their sustained dominance during the Mesozoic.

Subject Areas

aquatic reptiles; plesiosaurs; pliosaurs; swim kinematics; Strouhal numbers

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