Stegosaurus Weighs 1.6 Tonnes

Scientists at the Natural History Museum (London), have embarked on a research project to learn more about one of the most iconic of the dinosaurs – Stegosaurus.  Back in November 2014, Everything Dinosaur team members reported on the building of a new exhibit at the museum, one that features the most complete fossilised skeleton of a Stegosaurus stenops found to date.  The fossilised remains are more than 80% complete and the skull is exquisitely preserved.  This specimen is going to be the focus of an on-going research project into these armoured dinosaurs, the first of its kind for eighty years.

“Sophie” the Stegosaurus Weighs 1.6 Tonnes

A remarkable fossil specimen.

A remarkable fossil specimen.

Picture Credit: Natural History Museum (London)

Prior to the fossils being mounted in their exhibit pose, every single bone was scanned and digitally recorded.  Using this information, it was possible to calculate the weight of this Late Jurassic herbivore.  The research team have concluded that the Stegosaurus nick-named “Sophie” weighed in at 1.6 metric Tonnes.  That’s heavier than a Ford Focus car,  a Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis) and about as heavy as twenty adult men.  Palaeontologists require information about body mass as it is a key component in calculations related to locomotion and metabolism.

Commenting on the significance of this research, published in the academic journal “Biology Letters”, lead author Dr. Charlotte Brassey stated:

“If we want to estimate how fast an animal runs, you need body mass; if you want to say something about their metabolism, you need to know their body mass.  So, yes, we’re really glad that we’ve been able to get hold of this very early on, and now what I’m looking to do is begin to strap muscles on to our computer models so that we can get her walking to say something about locomotion.”

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn