In defence of the slim dodo: a reply to Louchart and Mourer-Chauviré
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Louchart and Mourer-Chauviré (2011) question our method of estimating the mean mass of the dodo by claiming that tibiotarsus and tarsometatarsus lengths cannot be used for such mass estimates “because different bird species of the same weight can show considerable differences in the lengths of these two bones”. This is indeed obvious from the graphs published by Zeffer et al. (2003), which we have used in our paper, but those graphs also show differences in femur length for the same body mass which are not negligible, contrary to what Louchart and Mourer-Chauviré seem to imply. We do not agree that femur length “hardly participates in leg length”, for the simple reason that the femur is a segment of the leg, whatever its position relative to the body, and takes part in locomotion (even though it does not move much, as pointed out by Campbell and Marcus 1992). Although Louchart and Mourer-Chauviré consider that the coefficient correlation squares (R2) for tibiotarsi and tarsometatarsi...
KeywordsSexual Dimorphism Mass Estimate Femur Length Limb Bone Display Behaviour
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