The density, or specific gravity (SG), of organisms has numerous important implications for their form, function, ecology, and other facets of beings living and dead, and it is especially necessary to apply SG values that are as accurate as practical when estimating their masses which is itself a critical aspect of living things. Yet a comprehensive review and analysis of this notable subject of anatomy has never been conducted and published. This is such an effort, being as extensive as possible with the data on hand, bolstered by some additional observations, and new work focusing on extinct animals who densities are least unknown: pterosaurs and dinosaurs with extensive pneumatic complexes, including the most sophisticated effort to date for a sauropod. Often difficult to determine even via direct observation, techniques for obtaining the best possible SG data are explained and utilized, including observations of floating animals. Neutral SG (NSG) is proposed as the most important value for tetrapods with respiratory tracts of fluctuating volume. SGs of organisms range from 0.08 to 2.6, plant tissues from 0.08 to 1.39, and vertebrates from about 0.75 (some giant pterosaurs) to 1.2 (those with heavy armor and/or skeletons). Tetrapod NSGs tend to be somewhat higher than widely thought, especially those theropod and sauropod dinosaurs and pterosaurs with air-sacs because diverticula volume is usually measured at maximum inhalation in birds. Also discussed is evidence that the ratio of the mass of skeletons relative to total body mass has not been properly assayed in the past. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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