ENP Newswire -
Release date- 30102013 - The Manchester team, working with scientists in
Then using an advanced computer modeling technique involving the equivalent of 30,000 desktop computers they recreated its walking and running movements and tested
its locomotion ability tested for the very first time.
The study, published in PLOS ONE, provides the first ever 'virtual' trackway of the dinosaur and disproves previous suggestions that the animal was inflated in size and could not have walked.
'The new study clearly demonstrates the dinosaur was more than capable of strolling across the Cretaceous planes of what is now Patagonia,
The team of scientists included Dr
Dr Sellers uses his own software (Gaitsym) to investigate locomotion both living and extinct animals have to overcome.
'The important thing is that these animals are not like any animal alive today and so we can't just copy a modern animal,' he explained. 'Our machine learning system works purely from the information we have on the dinosaur and predicts the best possible movement patterns.'
The dinosaur weighed 80 tonnes and the simulation shows that it would have reached just over 2 m/s - about 5 mph.
Dr Sellers said the research was important for understanding more about musculoskeletal systems and for developing robots.
He added: 'All vertebrates from humans to fish share the same basic muscles, bones and joints. To understand how these function we can compare how they are used in different animals, and the most interesting are often those at extremes. Argentinosaurus is the biggest animal that ever walked on the surface of the earth and understanding how it did this will tell us a lot about the maximum performance of the vertebrate musculoskeletal system. We need to know more about this to help understand how it functions in ourselves.
'Similarly if we want to build better legged robots then we need to know more about the mechanics of legs in a whole range of animals and nothing has bigger, more powerful legs than Argentinosaurus.'
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