Through a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, this project will provide a comprehensive description of the mechanical properties of the skeleton of sauropods, the largest ever land herbivores. Understanding of the mechanical design of bones, and structures such as limbs, gained through computer based theoretical modelling, biomechanical approaches and histological studies, will give new insights into how sauropods achieved giant size and the constraints this imposed. This work, combined with morphological data and fossil tracks will reveal the nature of sauropod locomotion and the function of the neck and tail. Result of these studies will provide a clearer understanding of the general ecology of sauropods and help identify links between different body plans and particular ecological niches. Extensive collections of sauropods in Berlin, London, Beijing, Moscow and the USA will form the basis of this study, which will also consider gigantism in other living and fossil land herbivores.