Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Haji-Sheikh, Michael J.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Electrical Engineering


Electrical engineering


A major challenge in the reconstruction of any fossil taxon is to determine the functional capabilities of the animal while it was alive. For extinct animals, this process can benefit from analysis of the functional capabilities of the closest available living relatives. To provide a more accurate estimation of the movement capacity of an extinct animal, we designed a three-dimensional model of the forelimb of the sabertooth cat, Smilodon. The model is intended as an answer to the challenge facing the research community of providing a system that can refine the understanding of the functional capabilities of extinct animals accurately using "in vivo" movements. Initially investigated the flexion-extension and supination-pronation movements of the Smilodon forelimb. 3-D representation will demonstrate the real world physical constraints on forelimb movement experienced by our model cat. Illuminating these limits is critical because actual constraints are not represented by current digital modeling techniques. Second, we designed forelimb muscles following the McKibbin model, to generate a self-contained series of flexion-extension movements. In the future, we intend to refine the movements of the limb by adding muscles to the solid-state relay.


Advisor: Haji-Sheikh, Michael J.||Committee members: Naples, Virginia L.; Zinger, Donald S.||Includes illustrations.||Includes bibliographical references.


42 pages




Northern Illinois University

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