According to a new study, smaller legged dinosaurs may have wagged their tails while walking or running. However, it is not easy to find out how once extinct species moved around the world, since science can only analyze bones and footprints. Most previous studies of bipedal dinosaurs have focused on locomotion, including the feet of animals. Now, however, the researchers have gone one step further.
Until now, scientists assumed that the tails of large, bipedal dinosaurs were a passive structure that only helped balance. The science progress In a new study published in a scientific journal, researchers have modified a simulation method used in medicine and space to examine the biomechanics of bipedal dinosaurs in greater depth.
They first tested their simulation on a living creature: a terrestrial tinamo with characteristics similar to a bipedal dinosaur. Then they made sure that the simulation results match the real observations. The researchers then tested this on one of the oldest known species of dinosaur: Coelophysis was a small two-legged carnivorous animal whose remains were found in North America, where it appeared in the late Triassic period, about 215 million years ago.
The computer simulation was compared to a digital animal model taken from a CT scan of an animal’s fossil bones.
In this simulation, the researchers were able to divide the dinosaur’s spine into several parts, such as the body, head, neck, back and tail.
They can then turn on and off the body parts to see what role each part plays while running the simulated dinosaur from point A to point B in the shortest possible time.
We didn’t really have expectations or hypotheses Said Peter Bishop, Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University Live Science Online science portal. “We assumed the tail was hanging there, but, as it turns out, it was playing a much bigger role than just compensation.
When the researchers removed the tail from the simulator or prevented it from moving, the dinosaur began rotating its pelvis in a different way to compensate for its missing or static tail. This, according to the scientists, indicates that the tail played an important role in regulating the angular impulse, or the momentum of a rotating body. As we showed in the study, if we think of the center of the dinosaur’s body as the axis, it’s clear that the tail serves to keep the object in balance as its weight shifts from left to right while running.
The same reason humans sway when we walk or run Bishop explained. The ‘hands’ of this dinosaur and many of its other companions didn’t help much in controlling this dynamic equilibrium.
He added: We humans, on the other hand, don’t have tails, but we do have arms large enough to control momentum.
The scientists also noted that the tail played a role in the movement’s energy efficiency.
And although the researchers focused on only one species of dinosaur in the study, they still believed that because mullet cavity Its structure was very similar to that of many other bipedal dinosaurs, so it is likely that the results obtained were true for other species as well. This may all be equally typical of a walking dinosaur, but perhaps the tail wagging was less severe.
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