Feeds

Dinosaurs on a diet shed tonnes

Boffins revise sauropod weight estimates downwards

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.