Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Josh Samuels

Committee Members

Blaine Schubert, Chris Widga


I have collected a series of linear measurements of the postcranial skeletons of 43 extant crocodylian and lepidosaur taxa to determine if those engaging in similar locomotor behavior display similar morphology despite phylogenetic differences. Stepwise discriminant function analyses reveal reptile locomotor mode can be accurately predicted (over 80% correct) based on morphology. Semi-aquatic taxa are distinguished by a longer ischium relative to pubis length, a longer scapula relative to humerus length, and a broader acetabulum than terrestrial and arboreal taxa. Arboreal taxa display a more elongate, gracile humerus and a smaller acetabulum. This morphometric data can potentially be used to predict the locomotor behavior of a wide range of extinct reptile taxa. Within this study, Hyposaurus rogersii, Necrosuchus ionensis, Alligator sp. of the Gray Fossil Site, Crocodylus affinis, and Allognathosuchus mooki were examined and all were inferred to be semi-aquatic by the discriminant function analysis.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.