From fossils to 3D models of dinosaurs

The hidden anatomy of a Jurassic herbivore comes to light thanks to X-rays

How was theheterodontosauro, the large herbivorous dinosaur ancestor of the triceratops and stegosaurus and always a big puzzle for scientists? A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota managed to go back to its structure, starting with a fossil well preserved and using an analysis system a X-ray of the latest generation.

The virtual model in 3D reconstructed by the researchers revealed unusual paddle-shaped ribs and small toothpick-like bones that would testify, to prehistoric creatures experts, that this dinosaur enlarged both its chest and belly to breathe, unlike what was previously hypothesized (that is, that all dinosaurs breathed like birds, using air pockets outside the lungs).

(Credit video: Viktor Radermacher)

Categories:   Science