According to a recent study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool, the Dreadnoughtus dinosaur was not as large as it was previously believed among paleontologists.
The scientists’ analyzed the bones of the giant sauropod and found that the dinosaur was actually smaller and lighter.
The dinosaur, which is one of the most complete ever found, was discovered in South America in 2014.
The dinosaur fossil has almost all the major bones in an almost perfect condition and allowed the researchers to estimate the prehistoric giant creature’s size.
According to their estimations, the dinosaur measured almost 26 meters in length.
The Dreadnoughtus dinosaur fossil was discovered in Patagonia, perfectly preserved in rock.
The experts believe that the animal was almost an adult when it died, but it hadn’t reached its full length and could have grown even bigger.
The Dreadnoughtus, which was a plant eater, is considered the largest creature to ever roam the earth.
In order to determine the approximate mass of the dinosaur, the scientists first used a scaling equation which helped them predict the body mass of the creatures based on the size of its arm and thigh bones.
According to this measuring method, the dinosaur would have been close to 60 tonnes while alive.
But a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool, University of Manchester, Liverpool John Moores University and Imperial College wanted to re-evaluate this estimation.
The main reason for this was that another specimen of sauropod dinosaur weighed less than 60 tonnes.
The researchers used a 3D skeletal modeling technology to examine the body mass of the dinosaur more precisely.
The scientists mathematically reconstructed the skin volume around the Dreadnoughtus’s bones one a computer and then expanded the skin outline to account for the animal’s fat, muscle and other tissues.
Using this method, the researchers were able to determine more accurately how heavy Dreadnoughtus really was.
Dr Karl Bates, a researcher at the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, explained that trying to estimate the body mass of an animal that went extinct more than 77 million years ago using its fossilized bones is very challenging.
Dr. Bates added that using this state-of-the-art technology, the researchers were able to determine that the dinosaur was much smaller than previously believed.
The scientists published their recent findings regarding the weight of the Dreadnoughtus dinosaur in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
Image Source: io9