June 22, 2009

The largest animals ever to have walked the face of the earth may not have been as big as previously thought, reveals a paper published today in the Zoological Society of London's Journal of Zoology.

Scientists have discovered that the original statistical model used to calculate dinosaur mass is flawed, suggesting dinosaurs have been oversized.

Widely cited estimates for the mass of Apatosaurus louisae, one of the largest of the dinosaurs, may be double that of its actual mass (38 tonnes vs. 18 tonnes).

"Paleontologists have for 25 years used a published statistical model to estimate body weight of giant dinosaurs and other extraordinarily large in extinct lineages. By re-examining data in the original reference sample, we show that the is seriously flawed and that the giant dinosaurs probably were only about half as heavy as is generally believed" says Gary Packard from Colorado State University.

The new predictions have implications for numerous theories about the biology of , ranging from their energy metabolism to their food requirements and to their modes of locomotion.

Source: Wiley (news : web)

Explore further: Study of polar dinosaur migration questions whether dinosaurs were truly the first great migrators

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3 / 5 (2) Jun 22, 2009
It will be interesting to see how this affects things like the T-rex running speed models and associated inferences about hunting behaviour.
1 / 5 (1) Jun 22, 2009

not rated yet Jun 23, 2009
Wish I lost weight as easily as the dinos have now done!

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