Publications: Dr. Butcher and Students

In conjunction with Dr. Rick Blob at Clemson University and a few other researchers, Dr. Butcher has presented work in a symposium on locomotion at the annual meeting for the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in Austin, Texas this past January. This paper was the amalgamation of 8 years of bone biomechanics research with Dr. Blob, who was Dr. Butcher’s chief collaborator. The article is currently published online in the journal Integrative and Comparative Biology.

The Rupert et al. paper is the published data from a masters thesis for, Joe Rupert, a former graduate student. A good portion of this work was done in the rainforest of Costa Rica in collaboration with the Tirimbina Biological Reserve, as well as the faculty and students from the University of Costa Rica. We report novel data on tail muscle structure and function in an exotic arboreal opossum that inhabits the rainforest canopy and compare it with a habitually terrestrial opossum to understand how tail prehensility has evolved in the lineage of Didelphid opossums. It is currently published online (ahead of print) for the journal The Anatomical Record.

The third paper, by Rose et al., is a project that explores the level of modification for digging observed in the forelimb bones of badgers. Data for this study was collected between Dr. Butcher’s lab (by dissection) and the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C (measurements from the skeletal collections). It is slated to be published in the Journal of Mammalogy.


Blob RW, Espinoza NR, Butcher MT, Lee A, D’Amico A, Baig F, Sheffield M. 2014. Diversity of Limb Bone Safety Factors for Locomotion in Terrestrial Vertebrates: Evolution and Mixed Chains. Integr Comp Biol  doi:10.1093/icb/icu032

Rose, JA*, Moore AL*, Russell AP, Butcher MT. Functional osteology of the forelimb digging apparatus in badgers. J Mammal (article is in press; scheduled to be published in the June issue of the journal)

Rupert JE*, Moriera A, Cordero Schmidt E, VandeBerg JL, Rodriguez Herrera B, Butcher MT. Myosin isoform expression in the prehensile tails of didelphid marsupials: functional differences between arboreal and terrestrial opossums. Anat Rec doi: 10.1002/ar.22948

*Current or former graduate student.