Dinosaurs not as heavy as thought

2012-06-06 17:14

Paris - One of the heftiest dinosaurs that strode the Earth may have weighed as much as six buses less than thought, according to a new formula that will also place other dinosaurs in a lower weight class.

The giraffe-necked, tree-top-grazing Berlin Brachiosaur was previously estimated to weigh as much as 80 tons.

But a new calculation of its mass, published by scientists on Wednesday, suggests it would have tipped the scales at a relatively featherweight 23 tons.

"Our results would suggest that many of the previous estimates [for all dinosaurs] are indeed too heavy," said study author Bill Sellers of the findings by a team in Britain and the US.

For most dinosaurs, the discrepancy would not be as big as that for the Brachiosaurus, "but certainly we would suggest that lighter estimates are likely to be correct".

'Wrapping volume'

The team of biologists used 14 large-framed modern mammals including the bison, camel, elephant, giraffe, horse, elk, polar bear and rhinoceros to devise a new method of estimating body mass using only the skeleton.

"It's a mathematical technique that effectively wraps a skin as tightly as it can around the bones," explained Sellers of the University of Manchester in north-western England.

"This gives us a 'skin and bones' model [from] which we can measure the volume" - a method he said was "completely objective" and did not require artistic interpretation.

The study revealed that the weight of modern-day animals was 21% more than the so-called "wrapping volume" - which equation was then applied to the dinosaur bones.

"Mammals are only distantly related but the way they stand and move is broadly similar to four-legged dinosaurs so we think they are about as good a model as we can get," said Sellers.

One earlier method involved taking an artist's reconstruction sculpture of the animal and measuring its volume by dipping it in water.

"We have done work estimating body mass in the past and were worried about the fact that we were relying on a certain amount of artistic interpretation and we wanted to find a method that avoided this and was completely objective," Sellers said.

Body weight is key to determining how an animal lived - its lifespan, agility and food requirements.

"The weight of an animal is the single most important thing that a biologist needs to know - almost everything from anatomy to physiology to behaviour to ecology is dependent on body size."

The Berlin Brachiosaurus, or Giraffatitan brancai, was chosen for the study as it is one of the most complete dinosaur fossil specimens available.

The animal lived in the late Jurassic period [from about 200 million to 145 million years ago], measuring about 25m from nose to tail.

  • Ted - 2012-06-06 17:48

    The folly, confusion and helplessness of mankind. Always 'trying' to understand what the Great Hand has made with such dismal results. Today it is 80tonnes, tomorrow its 'about' 23 tonnes. Today there is nothing faster than the speed of light, tomorrow we are not so sure. Isn't it time that we classify our attempt to understand the universe as a great failure? The fellas who first estimated the 80tonnes maybe got a Nobel Prize for that, and surely the ones correcting them may get that too. So we evolved from and with animals we don't even understand?

      Jean - 2012-06-06 18:44

      Tell me, what was the point of the great hand creating dinosaurs?! Did he had holy dinosaurs, did he spent time communicating to them by sending them angels and leading them on the right path? Was the t-rex influenced by the devil?!

      Ted - 2012-06-06 18:57

      @Jean. Same reason he created the elephant and you. I don't think you believe you are on earth to twwet and spar with me over some forum. Look, I believe I am here for a purpose. The chance that I may be responding to your message now is a near impossibility. If your great-great-grandfather was too tired to make babies when your great-grandfather was conceived, you wouldn't be here responding to my message. So what else can explain that special power that got you sitting on that chair against all the odds? And we are not including the probability of all the evolution chances we talk about which resulted in all of us and all things alive around us?.

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 09:40

      agreed Ted... Science is the process of proving then disproving in one continuous circle, until one day they reach the inevitable conclusion that they there is only one answer... God. (ooohhh i can hear the fumes rising lol)

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 09:41

      jean what a stupid!!!!

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 12:36

      @E=MC2 you love the God of the gaps. Your mind must be riddled with them.

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-06-06 19:47

    Were all the strange creatures in the Ark? Don't think so. Makes the bible a bit problematical and with it the claim that it represents the word and revelation of god as touted by the religious. As if creation is only about six thousand years old and all the many extinctions took place just about 4000 years ago.

      Grant - 2012-06-07 08:17

      Why not, they could easily fit, and dinosaurs would be less of a problem than elephants as baby dinosaurs are smaller than baby elephants (see size of biggest dino egg found for an idea). Dinosaurs have lived alongside man (just called dragons, the pictures from ancient times have been amazingly accurate, in spite of no-one having studied dino bones). The 65 million years that dinos died out is just a thumb suck that everyone now believes - explain the art, the folklore, the so called factual accounts in history of dragons. We have been duped, see and

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 09:28

      @noChimp fail. Dino babies on the ark ? Really , man kind lived with Dinosaurs before the all disappeared ? Farque .... Idjit ... Just keep to Religious sites in the future. Damn the man. By the way you have been duped!

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 09:43

      Crracker - does the Bible say they were all fully grown? No. If they were all babies then your "problematical" argument goes out the wondow. AS for carbon dating (which is how things are dated) that will be another theory to be debunked just as their "weight theory" is in this

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 09:46

      ah crap! jody.beggs... damning the man in his usual pre-pubesant way. Welcome back jody... ive missed you (like i miss a splinter in my tongue!)

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 09:46

      oh, and damn the man

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 09:58

      @E=MC2 you are just a carbon copy of noChimp... You are a troll... At least we ask questions instead of believing God did it. Do you still believe the world is flat or the centre of the universe , because you seem to believe that dinosaurs were on the Ark? Well then how about selling your daughter into slavery , how much would you like ? How about stoning non-believers , done that lately ? Or do you not believe everything in the Buy Bull ? How about your loving God , has he ever forced a mother to eat her child ? Does that sound loving to you ? Idjit. Damn the man.

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 11:10

      jody.beggs - were you abused as a child or something? Way too much unexplainable anger that you're projecting onto God there... Damn the man LOL

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 11:17

      oh & to answer your rant: You are a troll... AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER, YOU STARTED THIS LITTLE FEUD At least we ask questions instead of believing God did it. ASK QUESTIONS TO WHO? SCIENTISTS WHO ARE ALWAYS PROVING THEMSELVES WRONG? CLEVER. Do you still believe the world is flat or the centre of the universe , because you seem to believe that dinosaurs were on the Ark? NO, NO & WHAT DOES THE EARTH BEING FLAT OR THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE HAVE TO DO WITH THE DINOSOURS BEING ON THE ARK? Well then how about selling your daughter into slavery , how much would you like ? DONT HAVE A DAUGHTER & WHAT WOULD I SELL HER INTO SLAVERY? How about stoning non-believers , done that lately ? I'LL BE HONEST, NO. (ALTHOUGH YOU WOULD COME TO MIND IF I HAD TO GIVE IT SOME THOUGHT) ;) Or do you not believe everything in the Buy Bull ? NOT SURE WHAT THE 'BUY BULL' IS BUT I BELIEVE THAT THE *BIBLE* HAS TO BE STUDIED TO BE UNDERSTOOD, & NOT QUOTED OUT OF CONTEXT AS YOU LIKE DOING. How about your loving God , has he ever forced a mother to eat her child ? HUH? (THIS IS WHERE MY 'HAVE YOU BEEN ABUSED' QUESTION STEMS FROM, IF YOU WERE WONDERING) Does that sound loving to you ? EATING MY CHILD?... NO.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 11:55

      @E=MC2 no I just read the Buy Bull better than you. "HUH? (THIS IS WHERE MY 'HAVE YOU BEEN ABUSED' QUESTION STEMS FROM, IF YOU WERE WONDERING) Does that sound loving to you ? EATING MY CHILD?... NO." Well then why do you pray to a God that admits to doing just that, forcing woman to eat their children? Very mature of you ? This is your loving God's work's%20not%20pro-life.htm Caps locks make you look like a tool. And by the way "HAVE YOU BEEN ABUSED" no. But you have, to actually believe the twaddle you write! What a loving God ? Damn the man.

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 14:11

      um, i was only using caps locks so you could differentiate between what you said & what i replied... thought that would be obvious. I’ll be more clear as not to confuse you next time. The God i serve hasn’t ever instructed a God fearing Christian to eat their family.. whatever religion you are referring to is not Christianity. You get your info from a site called ""? LOL!! No wonder you're so confused. Just FYI: monotheism is a reference to a generalisation of religions who acknowledge the existence of one God, including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam & Judaism, who to the heathen might be called the "same", but are not. Were the people who were "forced by God" to eat the children Christians?

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 15:12

      @E=MC2 no. God punishes by making others , not Christians eat their young... Is it still a loving God? Sounds more like something Satan would do , doesn't it? "Were the people who were "forced by God" to eat the children Christians?" Does it matter , how is it loving? So, you just agree with the forced cannibalism! Was it justified? Damn the man.

  • Ditoa-re - 2012-06-06 20:01

    My research concluded with estimation of 40-48tons for grown up and 7-16tons for newborn I don't know where they got this 23 and 80tons they are talking about

      TheGoat - 2012-06-07 07:57

  • Grant - 2012-06-07 08:09

    Absolutely amazing, not sure 80 tons or 23 tons (an enormous difference in estimate), a few weeks ago, not sure which part of the animal kingdom to put the turtle (according to its anatomy or according to its DNA), and so the story goes. We cannot figure what our eyes can see, but we believe and can explain abiogenesis, the big bang, macroevolution, all things we have never seen, cannot explain what is before our eyes, but are experts at things we know nothing about. See

      TheGoat - 2012-06-07 08:25

      your right we should have just left all exploration and investigation alone because we might have fallen off the end of the world hey? Lol: And God Made Stupid, and it did Multiply!

      Grant - 2012-06-07 08:34

      @goat - I would not post if you call yourself stupid, and please do not multiply, there are already enough and they have the audacity to call themselves scientists when they believe that millions of years can do miracles that God cannot do.

      TheGoat - 2012-06-07 08:40

      Nope sorry first you fail horribly in even being able to comprehend my statement ( by your lame attempt at turning my statement around pffff! ) Secondly yes lets call scientists stupid: turn off ur computer powered by electricity, walk home instead of using your car, live outside instead of your house/apartment, take off all your clothes etc. Guess what, your entire daily existence is possible thanks to science and scientists. In short: Fail.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 09:32

      @MemeMan the scary thing is that Chimpanzee actually believes in creationism and Dinosaurs being on the ark! Chimpanzee at what point do you think your belief in something turns out to be reality? You don't need evidence or facts , just the Buy Bull. And somehow everyone else is wrong and going to hell! Damn the man.

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 09:47

      damn the man... it just never gets old... NOT!

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 09:59

      @E=MC2 original God must be so proud , NOT!

      Grant - 2012-06-07 10:51

      Thanks for all the positive comments, anyone who believes that millions of years can create the miracles needed for life is totally off their rocker - read -- out of the over 100 comments, only one comment that was even intelligible and partially scientific, most of the rest attacked the writer as they actually had nothing to say. Even the "big bang" is under serious fire - the BBC showed a documentary as scientists are scrambling at new theories as this one is sinking fast. See as to why I threw away the evolutionary garbage!!

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 11:18

      proud of what?

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 11:24

      noChimp - science is one big circle of proving then disproving... then proving, then disproving. People dont like not knowing that they're in control of things & need someone to blame for their mistakes... damn the man oh sorry you arent an immature child... i take that back :)

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 12:22

      No E=MC2 "ah crap! jody.beggs... damning the man in his usual pre-pubesant way. Welcome back jody... ive missed you (like i miss a splinter in my tongue!)" You started this... Idjit. Damn the man.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 12:32

      @noChimp if you actually used science people would listen. But arguing with you is like playing chess with a chicken. You knock over the pieces , crap on the board and strut around like you've won the argument. If you love your Buy Bull so much , leave everything sciency , medicine , TV , car , GM food , banks etc and just pray for what you need! Will you get anything? Blind faith is a sin and believing like a child will only get you treated like one. "Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer." Damn the man.

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 14:20

      Jody, do you have problems with your long term memory? This goes a bit further back than an hour ago. Nice quote...hows this one "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." Scribble away lunatic

      E=MC2 - 2012-06-07 14:29

      oh and damn the man... (no sentence is worth writing unless you add that at the end hey?)

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-07 15:21

      @NoChimp if a fool needs religion he will find it. Why do you stick up for your God, Why can't he? I mean in the old testament he was vengeful and active , what happened? Did he die ? Damn the man.

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