Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Musculoskeletal Biology, CPCS (Research Programme)

Research Centres: RVC Quantitative Biology Resource, Structure & Motion Laboratory, MicroCT

Professor Hutchinson is a Professor of Evolutionary Biomechanics. John's research straddles the fields of evolutionary biology and biomechanics, with an emphasis on how very large animals stand and move and how locomotion evolved in different groups of land vertebrates. He has mentored 24 postdoctoral scholars, 11 research technicians and assistants, 1 research administrator, 10 PhD students (plus 26 more as co-supervisor/committtee member), 14 Masters students and over 175 undergraduate student research projects since 2004. For more about his team's recent research see here: 

Professor Hutchinson is an American biologist who found a new home in the UK as a dual citizen. He gained a BS degree in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin in 1993, then received a PhD in Integrative Biology at the University of California with Kevin Padian in 2001 (view my academic lineage here!), and rounded out his training with a two-year National Science Foundation bioinformatics Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Biomechanical Engineering Division of Stanford University with Scott Delp.

John started at the Royal Veterinary College as a Lecturer in Evolutionary Biomechanics in 2003 in the Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences (now Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences), in 2008 became a Reader, and in 2011 became a full Professor.

Prof. Hutchinson is an Editor for Proceedings of the Royal Society B and the modern open access journal PeerJ. He is also a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, the Zoological Society of London, the Anatomical Society (UK), the Higher Education Academy (UK) and the Royal Society of Biology. From 2012-2013 he had a sabbatical as a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow at the RVC. He was Chair of the Division of Vertebrate Morphology, and Student and Postdoctoral Affairs Committee, in the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. He is President-Elect of the International Society of Vertebrate Morphology. As an OpenSim Fellow he promotes the usage and improvement of computer simulations in biomechanics, and he was New Fellow of the Year of the Anatomical Society in 2015. Prof. Hutchinson has also held Honorary Professorships at the University of Queensland (Australia) and at University College London.

John's team is part of the Structure & Motion Laboratory.

How to visit us at the Hawkshead RVC campus outside London

Prof. Hutchinson has worked on extant and extinct animals ranging from birds and crocodiles to elephants and many other mammals as well as extinct dinosaurs and early tetrapods. John uses a combination of theoretical and experimental techniques, from motion analysis or XROMM and force platforms to simple 2D static mechanics or complex 3D fully dynamic computer simulations.

Along with his collaborators, he has secured over £7 million in research funding since 2004; including grants from the BBSRC, NERC, Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society, ERC and multiple EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowships. His team's major current ERC-funded project through 2021 "Dawn of the Dinosaurs" has a website here.

Examples of Prof. Hutchinson's current and past research projects are here.

ORCID: 0000-0002-6767-7038 Citations: 9998; H-index: 52; i10-index:128 Google Scholar page

* = undergraduate student coauthor at JRH institution

Publications: (187 since 1997)               Peer-Reviewed Journals (161):

162. Herbst, E., Eberhard, E.A., Richards, C.T., Hutchinson, J.R. 2022. In vivo and ex vivo range of motion in the fire salamander Salamandra salamandra. Journal of Anatomy, published online. Data at and; code: and

161. Herbst, E., Eberhard, E.A., Richards, C.T., Hutchinson, J.R. 2022. Spherical frame projections for visualizing joint range of motion, and a complementary method to capture mobility data. Journal of Anatomy, published online.

160. Clark, C.J., Hutchinson, J.R., Garland, T.E., Jr. 2022. The Inverse-Krogh principle: all organisms are worthy of study. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, in press.

159. Cooper, J.A., Hutchinson, J.R., Bernvi, D.C., Cliff, G., Wilson, R.P., Dicken, M.L., Menzel, J., Wroe, S., Pirlo, J., Pimiento, C. 2022. The extinct shark Otodus megalodon was a transoceanic super-predator: Inferences from 3D modeling. Science Advances 8:eabm9424. Data at

158. Adams, G.J., Cook, R.B., Hutchinson, J.R., Zioupos, P. 2022. Microarchitecture and morphology of bone tissue over a wide range of apparent densities assessed by micro-computed tomography and three different threshold backgrounds. Medical Engineering and Physics 106:103828.

157. Herbst, E., Manafzadeh, A.R., Hutchinson, J.R. 2022. Multi-joint analysis of pose viability supports the possibility of a salamander-like hindlimb configurations in the Permian tetrapod Eryops megacephalus. Integrative and Comparative Biology icac083. Code at

156. Basu, C., Hutchinson, J.R. 2022. Low effective mechanical advantage of giraffes’ limbs during walking reveals trade-off between limb length and locomotor performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119:e2108471119. [cover image] Data at Story:

155. Cuff, A.R., Demuth, O.E., Michel, K.B., Otero, A., Pintore, R., Polet, D.T., Wiseman, A.L.A., Hutchinson, J.R. 2022. Walking -- and running and jumping -- with dinosaurs and their cousins, viewed through the lens of evolutionary biomechanics. Integrative and Comparative Biology icac049,

154. Chong, B., Aydin, Y.O., Rieser, J.M., Sartoretti, G., Wang, T., Whitman, J., Kaba, A., Aydin, E., McFarland, C., Diaz Cruz, K., Rankin, J.W., Michel, K.B., Niceiza, A., Hutchinson, J.R., Choset, H., Goldman, D.I. 2022. A general locomotion control framework for multi-legged locomotors. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics 17:046015. Data at:

153. van Beesel, J., Hutchinson, J.R., Hublin, J.-J., Melillo, S. 2022. Comparison of the arm-lowering performance between Gorilla and Homo through musculoskeletal modeling. American Journal of Biological Anthropology 178:399-416.

152. Demuth, O.E., Wiseman, A.L.A., Mallison, H., van Beesel, J., Hutchinson, J.R. 2022. Three-dimensional polygonal muscle modelling and line of action estimation in living and extinct taxa. Scientific Reports 12:3358.

151. Wiseman, A.L.A., Demuth, O., Hutchinson, J.R. 2022. A guide to inverse kinematic marker-guided rotoscoping using IK solvers. Integrative Organismal Biology obac002.  

150. Gatesy, S.M., Manafzadeh, A.R., Bishop, P.J., Turner, M.L., Kambic, R.E., Cuff, A.R., Hutchinson, J.R. 2022. A proposed standard for quantifying 3-D hindlimb joint poses in living and extinct archosaurs. Journal of Anatomy 241:101-118.

149. Polet, D.T., Hutchinson, J.R. 2022. Estimating gaits of an ancient crocodile-line archosaur through trajectory optimization, with comparison to fossil trackways. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

148. Pintore, R., Houssaye, A., Nesbitt, S.J., Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. Femoral specializations to locomotor habits in early archosauriforms. Journal of Anatomy 240:867-892. Data at

147. Bishop, P.J., Falisse, A., De Groote, F., Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. Predictive simulations of running gait reveal a critical dynamic role for the tail in bipedal dinosaur locomotion. Science Advances 7:abi7348.

146. Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. The evolutionary biomechanics of locomotor function in giant land animals. Journal of Experimental Biology 224:jeb217463.

145. Bishop, P.J., Falisse, A., De Groote, F., Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. Predictive simulations of musculoskeletal function and jumping performance in a generalized bird. Integrative Organismal Biology obab006.

144. Wiseman, A.L.A., Bishop, P.J., Demuth, O.E., Cuff, A.R., Michel, K.B., Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. Musculoskeletal modelling of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) hindlimb: effects of limb posture on leverage during terrestrial locomotion. Journal of Anatomy, published online. Data available at

143. Bishop, P.J., Michel, K.B., Falisse, A., Cuff, A.R., Allen, V.R., De Groote, F., Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. Computational modelling of muscle fibre operating ranges in the hindlimb of a small ground bird (Eudromia elegans), with implications for modelling locomotion in extinct species. PLOS Computational Biology 7:e1008843. Data available at, study identifier ‘Tinamou Walking and Running’

142. Etienne, C., Houssaye, A., Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. Limb myology and muscle architecture of the Indian rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis and the white rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum (Mammalia: Rhinocerotidae). PeerJ. in press. doi:

141. van Beesel, J., Hutchinson, J.R., Hublin, J.-J., Melillo, S. 2021. Exploring the functional morphology of the Gorilla shoulder through musculoskeletal modelling. Journal of Anatomy. doi:

140. Allen, V.R., Kilbourne, B.M., Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. The evolution of pelvic limb muscle moment arms in bird-line archosaurs. Science Advances 7:eabe2778. Data available at

139. Clark, E.G., Hutchinson, J.R., Briggs, D.E.|G. 2021. Three-dimensional visualization as a tool for interpreting locomotion strategies in ophiuroids from the Devonian Hunsrück Slate. Royal Society Open Science 7:201380. Data available at

138. Schachner, E.R., Hedrick, B.P., Richbourg, H.A., Hutchinson, J.R., Farmer, C.G. 2021. Anatomy, ontogeny, and evolution of the archosaurian respiratory system: a case study on Alligator mississippiensis and Struthio camelus. Journal of Anatomy 238:845-873. Data available at

137. Michel, K.B., West, T.G., Daley, M.A., Allen, V.R., Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. Appendicular muscle physiology and biomechanics in Crocodylus niloticus. Integrative Organismal Biology 2:obaa038.

136. Chong, B., Ozkan Aydi, Y., Gong. C., Sartoretti, G., Wu, Y., Rieser, J.M., Xing, H., Schiebel, P.E., Rankin, J.W., Michel. K.B., Nicieza, A., Hutchinson, J.R., Goldman, D.I., Choset, H. 2021. Coordination of lateral body bending and leg movements for sprawled posture quadrupedal locomotion. International Journal of Robotics Research, published online.

135. Molnar, J.L., Hutchinson, J.R., Diogo, R., Clack, J.A., Pierce, S.E. 2021. Evolution of forelimb musculoskeletal function across the fish-to-tetrapod transition. Science Advances 7:eabd7457.

134. Bishop, P.J., Cuff, A.R., Hutchinson, J.R. 2021. How to build a dinosaur: musculoskeletal modeling and simulation of locomotor biomechanics in extinct animals. Paleobiology 47:1-38. Data available at (Featured Article:

133. Bishop, P.J., Bates, K.T., Allen, V.R., Henderson, D.M., Randau, M., Hutchinson, J.R. 2020. Relationships of mass properties and body proportions to locomotor habit in terrestrial Archosauria. Paleobiology 46:550-568. Data available at

132. Demuth, O.E., Rayfield, E.J., Hutchinson, J.R. 2020. 3D hindlimb joint mobility of the stem-archosaur Euparkeria capensiswith implications for postural evolution within Archosauria. Scientific Reports 10:15357. doi: Data available at

131. Denyer, A.L., Regnault, S., Hutchinson, J.R. 2020. Evolution of the patella and patelloid in marsupial mammals. PeerJ 8:e9760. Data available at

130. Clark, E.G., Hutchinson, J.R., Bishop, P.J., Briggs, D.E.G. 2020. Arm waving in stylophoran echinoderms: three-dimensional mobility analysis illuminates cornute locomotion. Royal Society Open Science 7:200191. Data available at

129. Tsai, H.P., Middleton, K.M., Hutchinson, J.R., Holliday, C.M. 2020. More than one way to be a giant: Convergence and disparity in the hip joints of saurischian dinosaurs. Evolution 74(8):1654-1681.

128. Pierce, S.E., Lamas, L.P., Pelligand, L., Schilling, N., Hutchinson, J.R. 2020. Patterns of limb and epaxial muscle activity during walking in the fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra. Integrative Organismal Biology obaa015.

127.  Hutchinson, J.R., Felkler, D.*, Houston, K., Chang, Y.-M., Brueggen, J., Kledzik, D. and Vliet, K.A. 2019. Divergent evolution of terrestrial locomotor abilities in extant Crocodylia. Scientific Reports 9:19302. Data available at

126. Scheyer, T.M., Hutchinson, J.R., Strauss, O., Delfino, M., Carrillo-Briceño, J.D., Sánchez, R., Sánchez-Villagra, M.R. 2019. Giant extinct caiman breaks constraint on the axial skeleton of extant crocodylians. eLife 8:e49972.  

125. Strickson, E.C., Hutchinson, J.R., Wilkinson, D.M., Falkingham, P.L.  2019. Can skeletal surface area predict in vivo foot surface area? Journal of Anatomy, in press. Data available at .

124. Herbst, E.C., Doube, M., Smithson, T.R., Clack, J.A., Hutchinson, J.R. 2019. Bony lesions in early tetrapods and the evolution of mineralized tissue repair. Paleobiology.

123. Otero, A., Cuff, A.R., Allen, V., Sumner-Rooney, L., Pol, D., Hutchinson, J.R. 2019. Ontogenetic changes in the body plan of the sauropodomorph dinosaur Mussaurus patagonicus reveal shifts of locomotor stance during growth. Scientific Reports 9:7614. Data available at

122. Panagiotopoulou, O., Pataky, T.C., Hutchinson, J.R. 2019. Foot pressure distribution in White Rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum) during walking. PeerJ 7:e6881. Data available at

121. Esteve-Altava, B., Pierce, S.E., Molnar, J.L., Johnston, P., Diogo, R., Hutchinson, J.R. 2019. Evolutionary parallelisms of pectoral and pelvic network-anatomy from fins to limbs. Science Advances 5:eaau7459. Data available at

120. Cuff, A.R., Daley, M.A., Michel, K.B., Allen, V.R., Lamas, Luis P., Adami, C., Monticelli, P., Pelligand, L., Hutchinson, J.R. 2019. Relating neuromuscular control to functional anatomy of limb muscles in extant archosaurs. Journal of Morphology 280:666-680.

119. Kilbourne, B., Hutchinson, J.R. 2019. Morphological diversification of biomechanical traits: mustelid locomotor specializations and the macroevolution of long bone cross-sectional morphology. BMC Evolutionary Biology 19:37. Data available at and

118. Basu, C., Deakin, F., Hutchinson, J.R. (co-senior author), Wilson, A.M. 2019. The running kinematics of free-roaming giraffes, measured using a low cost unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). PeerJ 7:e6312.

117. Nyakatura, J.A., Melo, K., Horvat, T., Karakasiliotis, K., Allen, V.R., Andikfar, A., Andrada, E., Arnold, P., Lauströer, J., Hutchinson, J.R., Fischer, M.S., Ijspeert, A.J. 2019. Reverse engineering the locomotion of an extinct stem amniote. Nature 565:351–355. Interactive website at: [Featured editorial, video and cover image]

116. Basu, C., Wilson, A.M., Hutchinson, J.R. 2019. The locomotor kinematics and ground reaction forces of walking giraffes. Journal of Experimental Biology 222: jeb159277. doi: 10.1242/jeb.159277 Data available at

115. Monticelli, P., Ronaldson, H.L., Hutchinson, J.R., Cuff, A.R., d’Ovidio D., Adami, C. 2019. Medetomidine-ketamine-sevoflurane anaesthesia in juvenile Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) undergoing experimental surgery. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia 46:84-89. doi: 10.1016/j.vaa.2018.09.004

114. Herbst, E., Hutchinson, J.R. 2018. New insights into the morphology of the Carboniferous tetrapod Crassigyrinus scoticus from computed tomography. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, published online. Data available at

113. Bishop, P.J., Hocknull, S.A., Clemente, C.J., Hutchinson, J.R., Farke, A.A., Barrett, R.S., Lloyd, D.G. 2018. Cancellous bone and theropod dinosaur locomotion. Part III – Inferring posture and locomotor biomechanics in extinct theropods, and its evolution on the line to birds. PeerJ 6:e5778.

112. Bishop, P.J., Hocknull, S.A., Clemente, C.J., Hutchinson, J.R., Barrett, R.S., Lloyd, D.G. 2018. Cancellous bone and theropod dinosaur locomotion. Part II – A new approach to inferring posture and locomotor biomechanics in extinct tetrapod vertebrates. PeerJ 6:e5779.

111. Bishop, P.J., Hocknull, S.A., Clemente, C.J., Hutchinson, J.R., Farke, A.A., Beck, B.R., Barrett, R.S., Lloyd, D.G. 2018. Cancellous bone and theropod dinosaur locomotion. Part I – An examination of cancellous bone architecture in the hindlimb bones of theropods. PeerJ 6:e5777.

110. Ellis, R., Rankin, J.W., Hutchinson, J.R. 2018. Limb kinematics, kinetics and muscle dynamics during the sit-to-stand transition in greyhounds. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 6:162. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2018.00162 Data available at

109. Heers, A.M., Rankin, J.W., Hutchinson, J.R. 2018. Building a bird: Musculoskeletal modeling and simulation of wing-assisted incline running during avian ontogeny. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 6:140.

108. Doube, M., Felder, A.F., Chua, M.Y., Lodhia, K., Klosowski, M., Hutchinson, J.R., Shefelbine, S.J. 2018. Limb bone scaling in hopping macropods and quadrupedal artiodactyls. Royal Society Open Science 5: 180152. Data available at: doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.5634208

107. Clark, E., Hutchinson, J.R., Darrock, S.A.F., Mongiardino Koch, N., Brady, T.R., Smith, S.A., Briggs, D.E.G. 2018. Integrating morphology, skeletal mobility and in vivo behavioral observations with digital models to infer function in brittle star arms. Journal of Anatomy 233:696-714. doi: 10.1111/joa.12887

106. Charles, J.P., Cappellari, O., Hutchinson, J.R. 2018. A dynamic simulation of musculoskeletal function in the mouse hindlimb during trotting locomotion. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 6:61. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2018.00061 Data available at

105. Molnar, J., Diogo, R., Hutchinson, J.R., Pierce, S.E. 2018. Evolution of hindlimb muscle anatomy across the tetrapod water-land transition, including comparisons with forelimb anatomy. Anatomical Record, published online.

104. Adams, G., Cook, R.B., Hutchinson, J.R., Zioupos, P. 2018. Bone apparent and material densities examined by cone beam computed tomography and the Archimedes technique: comparison of the two methods and their results. Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering: Mechanics of Materials 3:23. doi: 10.3389/fmech.2017.00023

103. Bishop, P.J., Clemente, C.J., Graham, D.F., Lamas, L.P., Hutchinson, J.R., Rubenson, J., Wilson, R.S., Hocknull, S.A., Barrett, R.S., Lloyd, D.G. 2018. The influence of speed and size on avian terrestrial locomotor biomechanics: predicting locomotion in extinct theropod dinosaurs. PLOS One 13(2): e0192172. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192172

102. Tickle, P.G., Hutchinson, J.R., Codd, J.R. 2018. Energy allocation and behaviour in the growing broiler chicken. Scientific Reports 8:4562. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22604-2

101. Tsai, H., Middleton, K.M., Hutchinson, J.R., Holliday, C.M. 2018. Hip joint articular soft tissues of non-dinosaurian Dinosauromorpha and early Dinosauria: evolutionary and biomechanical implications for Saurischia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. doi: 10.1080/02724634.2017.1427593

100. Esteve-Altava, B., Molnar, J.L., Johnston, P., Hutchinson, J.R., Diogo, R. 2018. Anatomical network analysis of the musculoskeletal system reveals integration loss and parcellation boost during the fins-to-limbs transition. Evolution 72: 601-618. doi: 10.1111/evo.13430 Data and code available at Figshare:

99. Otero, A., Allen, V., Pol, D., Hutchinson, J.R. 2017. Forelimb muscle and joint actions in Archosauria: insights from Crocodylus johnstoni (Pseudosuchia) and Mussaurus patagonicus (Sauropodomorpha). PeerJ 5:e3976. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3976 Models available at Figshare: and

98. Hu, X., Charles, J.P., Akay, T., Hutchinson, J.R., Blemker, S.S. 2017. Are mice good models for human neuromuscular disease? Comparing muscle excursions in walking between mice and humans. Skeletal Muscle 7:26. doi: 10.1186/s13395-017-0143-9

97. Molnar, J., Diogo, R., Hutchinson, J.R., Pierce, S.E. 2018. Reconstructing pectoral appendicular muscle anatomy in fossil fish and tetrapods over the fins-to-limbs transition. Biological Reviews 93:1077-1107. doi: 10.1111/brv.12386

96. Felder, A.A., Phillips, C., Cornish, H., Cooke, M., Hutchinson, J.R., Doube, M. 2017. Secondary osteons scale allometrically in the mammalian humerus and femur. Royal Society Open Science 4:170431. doi: 10.1091/rsos.170431

95. Regnault, S., Allen, V., Chadwick, K.P., Hutchinson, J.R. 2017. Analysis of the moment arms and kinematics of ostrich (Struthio camelus) double patellar sesamoids. Journal of Experimental Zoology A 327:163-171. doi: 10.1002/jez.2082

94. Macaulay, S., Hutchinson, J.R., Bates, K.T. 2017. A quantitative evaluation of physical and digital approaches to centre of mass estimation. Journal of Anatomy 231:758-775. doi: 10.1111/joa.12667

93. Bishop, P. J., Clemente, C. J., Weems, R. E., Graham, D. F., Lamas, L. P., Hutchinson, J. R., Rubenson, J., Wilson, R. S., Hocknull, S. A., Barrett, R. S., Lloyd, D. G. 2017. Using step width to compare locomotor biomechanics between extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs and modern obligate bipeds. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 14:20170276. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2017.0276 Data available at Figshare:

92. Allen, V.R., Kambic, R.E., Gatesy, S.M., Hutchinson, J.R. 2017. Gearing effects of the patella (knee extensor muscle sesamoid) of the helmeted guineafowl during terrestrial locomotion. Journal of Zoology 303:178-187. doi: 10.1111/jzo.12485 Code available at Figshare:

91. Chadwick, K.P., Shefelbine, S.J., Pitsillides, A.A., Hutchinson, J.R. 2017. Finite-element modelling of mechanobiological factors influencing sesamoid tissue morphology in the patellar tendon of an ostrich. Royal Society Open Science 4:170133. doi: 10.1098/rsos.170133 Data available at Figshare:

90. Pollard, A., Charlton, B., Hutchinson, J.R., Gustafsson, T., McGonnell, I., Timmons, J., Pitsillides, A. 2017. Limb proportions show developmental plasticity in response to embryo movement. Scientific Reports 7:41926. doi: 10.1038/srep41926

89. Cuff, A.R., Goswami, A., Hutchinson, J.R. 2017. Reconstruction of the musculoskeletal system in an extinct lion. Palaeontologia Electronica 20.2.23A:1-25. link

88. Davies, T.G., Rahman, I.A., Lautenschlager, S., Cunningham, J.A., Asher, R.J., Barrett, P.M., Bates, K.T., Bengtson, S., Benson, R.B.J., Boyer, D.M., Braga, J., Bright, J.A., Claessens, L.P.A.M., Cox, P.G., Dong, X.-P., Evans, A.R., Falkingham, P.L., Friedman, M., Garwood, R.J., Goswami, A., Hutchinson, J.R., Jeffery, N.S., Johanson, Z., Lebrun, R., Martínez-Pérez, C., Marugán-Lobón, J., O'Higgins, P.M., Metscher, B., Orliac, M., Rowe, T.B., Rücklin, M., Sánchez-Villagra, M.R., Shubin, N.H., Smith, S.Y., Starck, J.M., Stringer, C., Summers, A.P., Sutton, M.D., Walsh, S.A., Weisbecker, V., Witmer, L.M., Wroe, S., Yin, Z., Rayfield, E.J., Donoghue, P.C.J. 2017. Open data and digital morphology. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: 20170194. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0194

87. Jiang, B., Zhao, T., Regnault, S., Edwards, N.P., Kohn, S.C., Li, Z., Wogelius, R.A., Benton, M., Hutchinson, J.R. 2017. Cellular preservation of musculoskeletal specializations in the Cretaceous bird Confuciusornis. Nature Communications 8:14779. doi: 10.1038/NCOMMS14779 Data available at Figshare:

86. Samuels, M., Regnault, S., Hutchinson, J.R. 2017. Evolution of the patellar sesamoid bone in mammals. PeerJ 5:e3103. doi:

85.  Regnault, S., Dixon, J.J.I., Warren-Smith, C., Hutchinson, J.R., Weller, R. 2016. Skeletal pathology and variable anatomy in elephant feet assessed using computed tomography. PeerJ 5:e2877. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2877

84. Regnault, S., Hutchinson, J.R., Jones, M.E.H. 2017. Sesamoid bones in tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) investigated with X-ray microtomography, and implications for sesamoid evolution in Lepidosauria. Journal of Morphology 278:62-72. doi:10.1002/jmor.20619 Data available at:

83. Randau, M., Cuff, A.R., Hutchinson, J.R., Pierce, S.E., Goswami, A. 2016. Regional differentiation of felid vertebral column evolution: a study of 3D shape trajectories. Organisms Diversity & Evolution (2016) 1-15. doi:10.1007/s13127-016-0304-4

82. Panagiotopoulou, O., Pataky, T.C., Day, M., Hensman, M.C., Hensman, S., Hutchinson, J.R., Clemente, C.J. 2016. Foot pressure distributions during walking in African elephants (Loxodonta africana). Royal Society Open Science 3: 160203. doi: 10.1098/rsos.160203

81. Panagiotopoulou, O., Rankin, J.W., Gatesy, S.M., Hutchinson, J.R. 2016. A preliminary case study of the effect of shoe-wearing on the biomechanics of a horse’s foot. PeerJ 4: e2164. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2164

80. Bates, K.T., Mannion, P.D., Falkingham, P.L., Brusatte, S.L., Hutchinson, J.R., Otero, A., Sellers, W.I., Sullivan, C., Stevens, K.A., Allen, V. 2016. Temporal and phylogenetic evolution of the sauropod dinosaur body plan. Royal Society Open Science 3: 150636. doi: 10.1098/rsos.150636

79. Randau, M., Goswami, A., Hutchinson, J.R., Cuff, A.R., Pierce, S.E. 2016. Cryptic complexity in felid vertebral evolution: shape differentiation and allometry of the axial skeleton. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 178:183-202. doi: 10.1111/zoj.12403

78. Rankin, J.W., Rubenson, J., Hutchinson, J.R. 2016. Inferring muscle functional roles of the ostrich pelvic limb during walking and running using computer optimization. Journal of the Royal Society- Interface 20160035. Data available at Dryad: and

77. Charles, J.P., Cappellari, O., Spence, A.J., Wells, D.J., Hutchinson, J.R. 2016. Muscle moment arms and sensitivity analysis of a mouse hindlimb musculoskeletal model. Journal of Anatomy 229:514–535. doi: 10.1111/joa.12461 Model available at:

76. Charles, J.P., Cappellari, O., Spence, A.J., Hutchinson, J.R., Wells, D.J. 2016. Musculoskeletal geometry, muscle architecture and functional specialisations of the mouse hindlimb. PLOS One 11(4): e0147669. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147669

75. Cuff, A.R., Sparkes, E.L., Randau, M., Pierce, S.E., Kitchener, A.C., Goswami, A. and Hutchinson, J.R. 2016. The scaling of postcranial muscles in cats (Felidae) I: forelimb, cervical, and thoracic muscles. Journal of Anatomy 229:128–141. doi: 10.1111/joa.12477

74. Cuff, A.R., Sparkes, E.L., Randau, M., Pierce, S.E., Kitchener, A.C., Goswami, A. and Hutchinson, J.R.

Prof. Hutchinson teaches in the BSc/Gateway 1st year course's "Inheritance, Genetics and Evolution" module (deputy leader) and module leader for "The Moving Animal", and the 3rd year BSc course's "Comparative Animal Locomotion" and "Comparative Anatomy" modules as well as intermittent teaching elsewhere. His team regularly supervises undergraduate and MSc/MRes student research projects. Potential project students are encouraged to contact him to explore options.

Prof. Hutchinson is passionate about science communication as a vital part of what scientists do for science, for society and for fun.

John regularly participates in science communication events worldwide, both in person and via the internet. His research has been featured in over 500 online/print news stories since 2002, and his team's work has appeared in 18 major TV documentaries including the BAFTA award-winning original "Inside Nature's Giants" programme, the 2015 hit "T. rex Autopsy" and the 2016 smash "Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur" as well as 2018's "Attenborough and the Giant Elephant", "The Real T. rex With Chris Packham", Hannibal's Elephant Army: The New Evidence", Dinosaurs:The Final Day (2022; BBC) / Dinosaur Apocalypse (PBS) [end-credits acknowledgement as academic consultant], Prehistoric Planet (2022; AppleTV+), and other programmes worldwide. He was the 2012 winner of the British Science Festival's Charles Darwin Award. John also actively communicates science via social networking such as his personal Twitter account.

John runs a science-related personal blog, too: What's In John's Freezer? And his team has an anatomy blog/social media accounts for general audiences “Anatomy to You”:, Twitter @AnatomyToYou (started in 2016).

Recently he wrote a PeerJ journal “Advice to My Younger Self” blog post. He also co-wrote a blog post on "Self-promotion: shame­lessly selfish or shame­fully misunderstood?" Another of his posts, on the recent revival and general popularity of anatomical research, gained wide popularity. Science writer Ed Yong's posts on his team's dissection of a komodo dragon and study of the waddling gaits of penguins are excellent representations of their research. He has been featured in an I Know Dino podcast interview, Biomechanics on Our Minds podcast interview, and Communications Biology “Disability Pride Month” interview.


Prof. Hutchinson was a consultant on Theropod Biomechanics at the American Museum of Natural History's "Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries" exhibit. He was also the Chief Paleontology Advisor for the wonderfully interactive "Be the Dinosaur".

  • Biomechanical Research Revealing Elephants Move Like 4x4 Vehicles

    The RVC has made a significant contribution to the subject of elephant movement over decades. Researchers have been puzzled about how elephants move since Edward Muybridge first caught their “ambling” gait on film as part of his major contribution (with Etienne-Jules Marey) to the invention of cinematography. Elephants can move somewhat quickly but never leave the ground with all four feet at once. Professor John Hutchinson of the RVC took up the challenge of understanding this decades ago and have been progressing research into it since then, spanning elephant anatomy, growth and locomotion.

  • Comparing the Movement of Crocodiles, Alligators and Caiman

    RVC experts in the movement of various species have found that different crocodilian species – such as crocodiles, alligators and caiman – have very different tendencies when it come comes to galloping. Those who work closely with crocodilian species, such as in zoos and wildlife centres, had noticed over time that crocodiles, alligators and caimans move in different ways, especially when it comes to galloping – which is generally associated with horses.

  • DAWNDINOS: Testing the locomotor superiority hypothesis for early dinosaurs

    DAWNDINOS is in the final year of a five-year research programme studying the dawn of the age of the dinosaurs. This ERC Advanced Investigator grant-funded project, awarded to Prof. John Hutchinson, seeks to unify evolutionary and biomechanical research by achieving a “functional synthesis” in evolution that causally links the anatomy of extinct dinosaurs and their relatives (archosaurs; “ruling reptiles”) to actual performance.

Top of page