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Dinosaurs Skinnier Than Previously Thought?

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  • Dinosaurs Skinnier Than Previously Thought?


    • By simplifying leg bones down to basic columns, previous studies could have underestimated the stresses experienced in animal limbs by up to 142 percent. Stress shown here in the common hedgehog's femur (a), and a tibia of a large bird, Uria (b). (Charlotte Brassey)



    The fact that bones have curves has now thrown a curveball into calculations of dinosaur weight, researchers say.
    New estimates suggest dinosaurs may have been lighter than once thought, scientists explain.
    With the rare exceptions of fossilized scraps of skin, feathers, bristles and other relatively soft tissues, all that remains of most extinct creatures are their skeletons. One way that investigators seek to learn more about these lost animals is to deduce their weight from their bones.
    Traditionally, researchers would calculate estimates of dinosaur mass using a leg measurement such as the circumference of leg bones, understanding the relationship between body mass and this circumference in modern animals, "and scaling this up to the size of a dinosaur," said researcher Charlotte Brassey, a biomechanist at the University of Manchester in England.
    For the sake of simplicity, these calculations often model leg bones as columnar beams. However, "as soon as we introduce irregularities into their shape the lumps, bumps and curves that are typical of animal bones then they no longer behave like columns," Brassey told LiveScience. [Gallery: Stunning Illustrations of Dinosaurs]
    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/...ntcmp=features
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

  • #2
    I heard about this before, but didn't get much chance to read up on it thanks for sharing the article.
    Jurassic Park would've been not so cool with a scrawny Rex
    ------
    'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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    • #3
      Agreed!
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • #4
        "By simplifying leg bones down to basic columns, previous studies could have underestimated the stresses experienced in animal limbs by up to 142 percent."

        But weight, as stated, if the bones are curved they can support 142% MORE weight. That means the dinosaurs were 142% LARGER than estimated, not smaller!
        Battles are dangerous affairs... Wang Hsi

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