Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Allosourus vs. T-Rex - new dinosaur modeling

So, if you know me, I've always been a big fan of dinosaurs. It's even my belief that as the once dominant creates of the earth, dinosaurs represent the forebearers of the human race. But that's a conversation for another day.

It's also been my observation that Google News, which I try to peruse several times per week, if not daily, gives an inordinate amount of coverage/links to dinosaur stories in its science section. This another reason I like Google.

Today's featured dinosaur article discussed the eating habits of the Allosourus' vs. the Tyrannosourus Rex. For background, the Allosaurus lived 155 milion to 150 million years ago during the late Jurassic period, while the T-Rex roamed the earth during the late Cretaceous period, about 85 million to 65 million years ago. T-Rex was about 30% longer and weight about three times as much as the Allosourus.

A few quotes from the engaging article:
  • "'People think of it as a smaller, earlier version of a T. rex, but it was successful in a very different way,' said Eric Snively, an Ohio University paleontologist."
  • “'Allosaurus really was better at certain things' than T. rex, Snively said. 'It was quicker at striking prey and more efficient.'"
  • "'T. rex was extremely powerful and had a very large head, huge teeth and large … muscles, which sounds great and is,' Witmer said. 'But that comes at a cost, meaning it was difficult for the T. rex to move its head around with great speed and control. Allosaurus had a much lighter head.'”
All great stuff. The information they came up with was based on computer-generated studies that take into account soft tissues and not just bone structure. The articles call these computer generated dinosaurs the "future of paleontology," replacing the old bone-centric models that have been used historically.

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