Dinosaurs Were Much Skinnier: Scientists

New weight-estimation technique is shedding pounds off the ancient lizards
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2012 5:21 PM CDT
Scientists now report dinosaurs had less flesh on them than previously estimated.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Dinosaurs were skinnier than we thought. Using advancements in scanning and computing, scientists have developed a new technique for estimating the weight and size of fossilized creatures. The more accurate method shows that the giant lizards were not nearly as chubby as paleontologists once believed, reports Discovery News via MSNBC.

The new technique is based on a formula comparing the size of a modern animal's skeleton with the minimum amount of skin it takes to wrap the skeleton and the amount of flesh on the animal's bones. One result: An enormous brachiosaur, whose skeleton is on exhibit in Berlin, was recently downgraded from being more than 176,000 pounds when alive to about 50,000 pounds. "This is a huge help for any sort of reconstruction,” says the lead researcher.

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