Even T. rex can't catch a break...

Apparently, you can be judged on your skeleton, too.

The study I stumbled upon (which was really cool!) explained the development of a technology to reconstruct a dinosaur's 3D body structure from 2D fossil specimens, using lasers to capture the image and a computer program to build them up. The results, say the authors, will allow researchers to better study the locomotion of dinosaurs and other extinct animals.

One of the lead scientists of the paper--titled "Estimating Mass Properties of Dinosaurs Using Laser Imaging and 3D Computer Modelling"--said: "Our technique allows people to see and decide for themselves how fat or thin the dinosaurs might have been in life. You can see the skeleton with a belly. Anyone from a five-year-old to a Professor can see it and say, ‘I think this reconstruction is too fat or too thin’."

But did the press release really need this title?

Fattysaurus or thinnysaurus? How dinosaurs measure up with laser imaging

And this smashing subtitle: University of Manchester scientists are using laser imaging to investigate how fat – or fit – T. rex and his fellow dinosaurs were.

At least they can't put fossil skeletons on a diet. Or can they?

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5 comments:

satisfiction said...

How completely and entirely unnecessary. Aside from the fact that I don't care in the least whether dinosaurs had a belly and what they would have looked like with one, how is it even remotely relevant if they were a "fattysaurus or thinnysaurus"?

-Lindsay

Cammy said...

Oooh, dinos better watch out, their bones are pneumatized to start with and ED-induced osteoporosis would crumble them in no time...and I agree, that title was definitely over the top.

Okie said...

Wow. Seriously? I bet real scientists wouldn't give a flying flip about how fat or thin a dinosaur was. Study important things like its muscle function, its hunting habits, its breeding seasons—not how fat or fit it was. Give me a break.
This is a great find, thank you for sharing.

Melanie S said...

I wouldn't put it past some people to try to create a hypothetical diet for a dinosaur.

I've never heard about people judging how fat or fit past species were. And considering I'm majoring in biology, minoring in physical anthropology, I would hope I'd heard of this. I agree with Okie, we try to understand physical structuring and function, behavior, feeding strategies etc.

Gwen said...

In a way I feel like the scientist who wrote that was wording it to "relate to the masses" or something. Which is a shame, because most people would find that title attention grabbing. We are a society that likes to judge people and apparently now extinct species as to whether or not they are too fat or too thin. The way this article is worded is more a reflection of that than anything. I mean it is a circle, whereby we are influenced by the media and the media is influenced by us. I guess the article's title was meant to be attention grabbing, but really, for this girl, it was nausea inducing. Thanks for sharing this.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote



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