Amazing study shows how dinosaurs walked
For the first time scientists have learnt how the largest four-legged dinosaurs got from A to B.
The new research, published in Plos ONE, wanted to understand how one of the biggest animals to have lived on Earth, the Argentinosaurus, walked.
The Argentinosaurs, at 80 tonnes and 40m long was the equivalent of fifteen elephants, and scientists were unsure how such a big animal could even move.
Unlike the T-Rex only part of this dinosaur's skeleton has ever been found, but from the leg and the vertebrae researchers have managed to digitally piece together how the rest of it may have looked.
The team used this digital skeleton to reconstruct the dinosaur's muscles — soft tissue like muscle is almost never found in the fossil record. They then inputted this digital reconstruction of muscle and bone into a supercomputer where, over the course of a week, it learnt to walk.
Sellers and his team found that the dinosaur walked as expected, but that other activities such as getting up from lying down, or mating, would have been very challenging.
Argentinosaurs image via dinosaurusi.
Read more at Planet Earth Online.