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:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle ... around 8.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 At this year,s CeBIT ... -based biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together ... is this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company ... use: fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the ... Fouras , was invited to deliver the latest data ... This globally recognised event brings together leaders at the ... latest developments in lung imaging. "The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Lajollacooks4u has added another option for ... team-building package designed for groups of 10-30 people. Guests can choose their ... such as Blackened Shrimp with Edamame Salad, Pizza Rolls with Pepperoni and Mushrooms ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl Peck, MD , announced today that Richard ... of Pharmaceutical Development Business Unit of Cardinal Health, has joined the firm as an ... former Chief Operating Officer at Anaborex, Senior VP and General Manager of the San ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... compliance and commercialization, has just released version 9.0 of the Cognition Cockpit platform. ... version of Cockpit,” says David Cronin, CEO of Cognition. “We’re thrilled to finally ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, a leading ... and dairy, munitions, and pharmaceutical/biotech, recently introduced The Revolution Lift™, a new precision-controlled ... improvement in technology comes on the heels of HOLLOWAY’s release of the intelliVessel™, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: