Feeds

Dinosaurs on a diet shed tonnes

Boffins revise sauropod weight estimates downwards

High performance access to file storage

Dinosaurs were probably skinnier and lighter than previously imagined, according to a new paper in Biology Letters.

Minimum convex hull mass estimations of complete mounted skeletons says “Volumetric methods are becoming more common as techniques for estimating the body masses of fossil vertebrates. However, they are often accused of excessive subjective input when estimating the thickness of missing soft tissue.”

The researchers, led by William Sellers of Manchester University, measured just how much skin and flesh extant big beasties like polar bears, giraffes and elephants possess. That investigation, conducted through laser scanning, learned that they are 21% larger than would be the case if they were literally skin and bone.

That result was then applied to a brachiosaurus skeleton in a Berlin museum, with a resulting weight estimate of 23,200 kilograms. That's far lighter than previous guesses of the colossal creatures' weight that have seen it assumed to weigh up to 79,000 kilos.

Sellers says his new method of estimating dino weights is far better than previous efforts which he asserts were guestimations based on artists' impressions of how dinosaurs looked. He also points out that dinosaurs have been losing weight for years and that the new method the paper describes therefore continues a trend of downsizing sauropod weight estimates. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.