Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Derstler, Kraig

Second Advisor

Parkinson, Christopher

Third Advisor

Wilhite, Ray


Physical examination of the articulations between the dorsal vertebrae and the dorsal ribs of the sauropod dinosaur Camarasaurus (Upper Cretaceous, Wyoming or whatever) shows that the dorsal vertebral column has a slight double curve and the torso is more narrow and volumetrically smaller than previously reconstructed. The shape of the dorsal vertebrae series was based upon the position of the zygopophyses and centrum spacing. The dorsal ribs were placed on the vertebrae based upon the position of tuberculum/diapophysis, capitulum/parapophysis, and the lateral edge of the rib head. Comparisons between the articulated torso of Camarasaurus and extant relatives allowed for the first attempt in reconstructing the three intercostal muscle groups. The newly defined torso shape in combination with the presence of scapular facets on the ribs allowed the scapulocoracoid to be placed upon the torso at an angle of 20-30°.


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