Data from: Secondary osteons scale allometrically in mammalian humerus and femur
Felder, Alessandro A. et al. (2017), Data from: Secondary osteons scale allometrically in mammalian humerus and femur, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.637r1
Intra-cortical bone remodelling is a cell-driven process that replaces existing bone tissue with new bone tissue in the bone cortex, leaving behind histological features called secondary osteons. While the scaling of bone dimensions on a macroscopic scale is well known, less is known about how the spatial dimensions of secondary osteons vary in relation to the adult body size of the species. We measured the cross-sectional area of individual intact secondary osteons and their central Haversian canals in transverse sections from 40 stylopodal bones of 39 mammalian species (body mass 0.3–21 000 kg). Scaling analysis of our data shows that mean osteonal resorption area (negative allometry, exponent 0.23,R2 0.54,p<0.005) and Haversian canal area (negative allometry, exponent 0.31,R2 0.45,p<0.005) are significantly related to body mass, independent of phylogeny. This study is the most comprehensive of its kind to date, and allows us to describe overall trends in the scaling behaviour of secondary osteon dimensions, supporting the inference that the osteonal resorption area may be limited by the need to avoid fracture in smaller mammalian species, but the need to maintain osteocyte viability in larger mammalian species.