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:1/11/2017)... 2017 Intoxalock, a leading ignition interlock provider, ... its patent-pending calibration device. With this new technology, Intoxalock ... upload data logs and process repairs at service center ... "Fighting drunk driving through the application of cutting-edge technologies ... but also for the customer who can get back ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... Calif. , Jan. 5, 2017  Delta ID ... its iris scanning technology for automotive at CESĀ® 2017. ... GNTX ) to demonstrate the use of iris ... identify and authenticate the driver in a car, and ... during the driving experience. Delta ID and ...
(Date:12/22/2016)...  As part of its longstanding mission to improve genetic ... recently released its latest children,s book, titled The ... the topics of inheritance and variation of traits that are ... elementary school classrooms in the US. The ... Ariana Killoran , whose previous book with 23andMe, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... BOSTON , Jan. 20, 2017 ... acquisition of Gen9, a pioneer in the synthesis ... Gen9,s unique expertise in assembling pathway-length synthetic DNA ... speed and capacity in the construction of new ... of industries. "Gen9 was founded to ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and HOUSTON , Jan. ... Prenatal") today announced the formation of its Medical/Clinical ... clinicians and industry veterans who enhance the range ... it accelerates development of its novel prenatal diagnostic ... medical, clinical and strategic guidance for the company,s ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ANNAPOLIS, Md. and GAITHERSBURG, ... Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) and Altimmune, Inc., a ... the signing of a definitive agreement for the ... transaction. Altimmune,s current investors include Novartis Venture Fund, ... company will be a fully-integrated and diversified immunotherapeutics ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Staten Island, NY (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... expand at an exponential rate. The tremendous growth is accounted to two main ... to the table and the expanding network of vendors supplying FireflySci products all around ...
Breaking Biology Technology: