Caroline Abbott (3283)

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The Dimetrodon dilemma: Reassessing posture in sphenacodonts

Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia

Department: Geology

Advisor: Rowan Lockwood


My Honors Thesis focuses on Dimetrodon, the top predator of the early to middle Permian. This "sail"-backed ancestor of mammals is conventionally depicted with sprawling, lizard-like posture. However, the width of its trackways and the limited flexibility of its spine suggest this may be incorrect. Using comparative anatomy, I hope to better define the posture of this organism and offer new insight into the evolution of major mammalian traits in the early ancestors of mammals.


All William & Mary Honors Fellowships fundraising supports the Charles Center Honors Fellowships Fund. Direct support for individual undergraduate research projects is distributed by the Roy R. Charles Center for Academic Excellence

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