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How the even-toed ungulate vertebral column works: Comparison of intervertebral mobility in 33 genera

In this study, we used a previously developed osteometry-based method to calculate available range of motion in presacral intervertebral joints in artiodactyls. We have quantified all three directions of intervertebral mobility: sagittal bending (SB), lateral bending (LB), and axial rotation (AR). This research covers 10 extant families of artiodactyls from 33 genera and 39 species. The cervical region in artiodactyls is the most mobile region of the presacral vertebral column in SB and LB. Mobility is unevenly distributed throughout the

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Pushing the boundary? Testing the “functional elongation hypothesis” of the giraffe’s neck

Although giraffes maintain the usual mammalian cervical number of seven vertebrae, their first thoracic vertebra (T1) exhibits aberrant anatomy and has been hypothesized to functionally elongate the neck. We test this “functional elongation hypothesis” by combining phylogenetically informed analyses of neck length, three-dimensional (3D) vertebral shape, and of the functional significance of shape differences across a broad sample of ruminants and camelids. Digital bone models of the cervicothoracic transition were subjected to 3D geometric morphometric analysis revealing how the shape

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