Biologists Weigh Dinosaur With 3DsMax
Biologists from the London National History Museum conducted a highly accurate prediction of the weight of a dinosaur based on three-dimensional computer simulation. The “experiment” was made by the uniquely preserved stegosaurus skeleton - these dinosaurs are easily recognizable by the characteristic back plates.
Leading biologist Charlotte Brassie works with details of a dinosaur skull.
The museum received this exhibit recently, at the end of 2013 . They christened the little Sophie, in honor of the daughter of the main sponsor of the museum. True, it is not known what gender the dinosaur actually was - it is only clear that this is a young individual 6-7 years old. Of course, adults weighed much more.
Initially, the mass of this stegosaurus was estimated at 2300-3700 kilograms according to old approximate methods (by limb size and other parameters). But scientists have developed a new method in which the 3DsMax program builds a model of the skeleton according to its actual size, and then builds a complete model of the body with tissues. The mass of the resulting volumetric model can be calculated much more accurately. A full description of the method is published in the British journal Biology Letters. According to the results of the calculations, it turned out that the young Sophie weighed about 1560 kilograms. This is comparable to the mass of a young rhino.
The masses of living creatures strongly affect other parameters that biologists use to study the fauna - this is population density, metabolism, and population distribution. Therefore, the correct assessment of mass is a key step in building the correct picture of the life of extinct species.