Thursday, October 13, 2011

T-rex was bigger and scarier than we thought, say experts - 13th Oct 2011

One of the largest carnivores ever was even fiercer than we imagined.

Using cutting edge technology to 'weigh' models of the Tyrannosaurus rex experts discovered the beast could get to a weight of nine tons, 30 per cent more than previously thought, and grew twice as fast.

The researchers used lasers to create ultra-accurate 3D scans of dinosaur skeletons - then 'modelled' flesh for the beasts using the soft tissue-to-skeleton ratios of birds and crocodiles as a guide.

The study, published in the journal PLoS One, was conducted by a team of scientists led by Professor John R. Hutchinson of The Royal Veterinary College, London, and Peter Makovicky, PhD, curator of dinosaurs at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

The group even got their hands on the Field Museum's iconic SUE skeleton and used 3D laser scans as a template for generating fleshed-out digital models whose masses could then be computed.

Makovicky said this method provided more accuracy than previous methods which relied on scale models. Read More