Makes people think about dinosaurs, they would probably name it Tyrannosaurus Rex , which is the carnivorous villain Jurassic Park and Jurassic World Movie franchises. But equally well-known dinosaur clades are herbivorous sauropods, which include Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, Apatosaurus , Argentina and Brontosaurus. According to a new paper published in the journal Science Advances, Australian paleontologists have digitally reconstructed these plant-eating giants to gain insight into how their feet supported their enormous weight.
“We have finally confirmed a long-suspected idea by providing the first biomechanical evidence that soft tissue pads — especially in their hind feet” – will reduce exercise stress and bone stress,” said co-author Andreas Jannel, who worked on the project while completing his doctoral research at the University of Queensland. “It’s exciting to imagine these gigantic creatures being able to support their own weight on land.”
Sauropods (clade name: sauropoda pods), or “lizard feet”) have bodies with long necks and long tails, making them the longest animals on Earth. They have thick and powerful hind legs, five-toed club-like feet, and more slender forearms. Complete sauropod fossils are hard to find, and even most complete sauropod fossils still lack heads, tail tips and limbs. Still, scientists have managed to learn a lot about them, and digital reconstructions are proving to be a valuable new tool for advancing our knowledge even further.
For example, in 2013, researchers made a were digitally reconstructed to test their motor abilities. Previous assessments of the probable speed of sauropods were based largely on studies of bone histology and evidence from trace fossils, especially footprints. The digital skeleton takes into account the position (and layering) of muscles and joints when calculating an animal’s gait and speed. The team concluded that Argentinosaurus had a top speed of only about 5 mph (2 m/s ) because of its size and weight.