Small arms, two legs dinosaur According to a new study, it is possible that humans shook their tails to help them run for the same reasons they shook their arms.
It is not easy to understand how extinct species have moved around in the world. Only bones and footprints are left in the analysis.Most studies to date on bipedal dinosaurs — dinosaurs that stand on both feet, such as: Tyrannosaurus Rex — — I guessed the movement by focusing on the animal’s paws.
Scientists assumed that the large tail of a bipedal dinosaur was a passive structure to help balance, said Peter Bishop, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University, during most of the study. , Was at the Royal Veterinary College in Hatfield, England) said. ).
In a new study, Bishop and his colleagues changed the simulation methods used in the fields of medicine and aerospace to further investigate the biomechanics of bipedal dinosaurs.
First, they tested the simulation on the creature Tinamou, a type of ground-dwelling bird found in Latin America that has characteristics similar to ancient bipedal dinosaurs. Next, we confirmed that the simulation results matched the actual observations.
Next, the researchers tested the simulation on a single species of bipedal dinosaur. Coelophysis BauriFast and long limb seeds that lived between; Triassic, 251.9 million to 201.3 million years ago. They sent digital models of animals from CT scans of fossil bones to computer simulations.
Computer simulations allowed researchers to divide the dinosaur’s spine into multiple segments such as body, head, neck, back, and tail. Researchers then turn parts of the body on and off, and what role each part plays while the simulated dinosaur sprints from point A to point B in the shortest possible time. I was able to grasp exactly what it was.
“There weren’t really any expectations or hypotheses that could lead to this,” Bishop told Live Science. “we [the tail] It’s just hanging there. ”
It’s not just hanging
It turns out that the tail was doing more than just acting as a counterbalance. When researchers removed the tail from the simulation or made it immobile, the dinosaurs began to rotate the pelvis in different ways to make up for the missing or immobile tail.
This suggests that the tail played an important role in controlling the angular momentum, the momentum of a rotating object. Centered around the center of the dinosaur, the tail functioned to balance the creature as its weight moved from left to right while running.
That’s the same reason that “we humans swing their arms as they walk and run,” Bishop said. This dinosaur, and many other bipedal dinosaurs, had small arms that did not help much in controlling this dynamic balance. “On the contrary, we humans do not have a tail, but we have fairly large arms that control angular momentum,” Bishop said.
They also have to consume “massively” if they shake their tail out of sync with their legs (for example, move their tail to the right when the dinosaur steps forward on the right leg instead of the left leg). I also discovered that. More energy, Bishop said. This suggests that the tail also played a role in energy-efficient movement.
“Who says a time machine is needed to have reasonable conviction that this treatise provides a plausible model of the early dinosaur locomotion? CoelophysisMichael Benton, a professor of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study, said.
“We can be confident that they work with fossil animals,” Benton told Live Science in an email, as the methods were tested and refined with living analogues.
Researchers focused on only one species of dinosaur, Coelophysis Bauri It had a body design very similar to many other bipedal dinosaurs, so the results when running may also apply to those species. This result is likely to apply to walking dinosaurs, but the tail sway is likely to be less active, Bishop said.
“This is an interesting study and it’s really nice to see researchers using sophisticated simulations,” said National, a senior lecturer in paleontology at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who was also not involved. Geographic explorer Nizar Louis Brahim said. In this study. “This study and other recent studies show that the tail played a more dynamic role than previously envisioned.”
Ibrahim was the lead author of a study published in the journal Nature In April 2020, I discovered a huge dinosaur. Spinosaurus aegyptiacusYou may have used your tail to move through the water.
“Dinosaur tails are very diverse and come in a variety of shapes and sizes,” Ibrahim told Live Science in an email. “It would be interesting to see this [new study’s] An approach that applies to other dinosaurs. ”
The new findings were published in the journal on September 22nd. Science Advances..
Originally published in Live Science.
Some dinosaurs may have shook their tails to help them run
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