Navigation Links
Engineering technology reveals eating habits of giant dinosaurs
Date:7/16/2012

High-tech technology, traditionally usually used to design racing cars and aeroplanes, has helped researchers to understand how plant-eating dinosaurs fed 150 million years ago.

A team of international researchers, led by the University of Bristol and the Natural History Museum, used CT scans and biomechanical modelling to show that Diplodocus - one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered had a skull adapted to strip leaves from tree branches.

The research is published today [16 July] in leading international natural sciences journal, Naturwissenschaften.

The Diplodocus is a sauropod from the Jurassic Period and one of the longest animals to have lived on Earth, measuring over 30 metres in length and weighing around 15 tonnes.

While known to be massive herbivores, there has been great debate about exactly how they ate such large quantities of plants. The aberrant Diplodocus, with its long snout and protruding peg-like teeth restricted to the very front of its mouth, has been the centre of such controversy.

To solve the mystery, a 3D model of a complete Diplodocus skull was created using data from a CT scan. This model was then biomechanically analysed to test three feeding behaviours using finite element analysis (FEA).

FEA is widely used, from designing aeroplanes to orthopaedic implants. It revealed the various stresses and strains acting on the Diplodocus' skull during feeding to determine whether the skull or teeth would break under certain conditions.

The team that made this discovery was led by Dr Emily Rayfield of Bristol University's School of Earth Sciences and Dr Paul Barrett of The Natural History Museum in London. Dr Mark Young, a former student working at both institutions, ran the analyses during his PhD.

Dr Young said: "Sauropod dinosaurs, like Diplodocus, were so weird and different from living animals that there is no animal we can compare them with. This makes understanding their feeding ecology very difficult. That's why biomechanically modelling is so important to our understanding of long-extinct animals."

Dr Paul Barrett added: "Using these techniques, borrowed from the worlds of engineering and medicine, we can start to examine the feeding behaviour of this long-extinct animal in levels of detail which were simply impossible until recently."

Numerous hypotheses of feeding behaviour have been suggested for Diplodocus since its discovery over 130 years ago. These ranged from standard biting, combing leaves through peg-like teeth, ripping bark from trees similar to behaviour in some living deer, and even plucking shellfish from rocks.

The team found that whilst bark-stripping was perhaps unsurprisingly too stressful for the teeth, combing and raking of leaves from branches was overall no more stressful to the skull bones and teeth than standard biting.


'/>"/>

Contact: Philippa Walker
philippa.walker@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-7777
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. GEN reports on growth of tissue engineering revenues
2. Oligonucleotide Delivery: Biology, Engineering and Development Conference
3. Investigation of American Oriental Bioengineering, Inc. by Securities Lawyers at Goldfarb LLP Law Firm for Potential Shareholder Claim
4. NSF report detailing growth in graduate enrollment in science & engineering in the past decade
5. Medical device, health professionals attend first national conference on value-driven engineering
6. 5th Annual Advances in Biomolecular Engineering Symposium
7. Innovative cell printing technologies hold promise for tissue engineering R&D
8. Melting glaciers, enough sand to bury London, and ancient ecosystem engineering
9. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
10. Security Technology Executive, SIA and ISC East announce Security Innovation Awards Collaboration
11. Technology deal for next generation production of green whistle
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/12/2016)... WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour Research & ... Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A particular ... a program where they would receive discounts for sharing ... "We were surprised to see that so many ... CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are segments ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 First quarter 2016:   ... with the first quarter of 2015 The gross margin ... (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% (-13) ... Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , ... unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating margin for 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO), a ... featured presenter at the 5th Annual Marcum MicroCap Conference on ... at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The ... CEO, is scheduled to begin at 11a.m ET in the ... recent developments and outline milestones for the balance of 2016 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... manufacturing company, today announced several positive developments that position the Company for the ... result of the transaction, Craig F. Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman of the ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... a Thai delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth number ... be available to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... The American ... the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a measurement ... relevant data were available when and where it was needed. The organization of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: