Brachiosaur may have be a few buses smaller than thought: scientists
June 7, 2012, 12:11 am TWN
PARIS--One of the heftiest dinosaurs that strode the Earth may have weighed as much as six buses less than thought, according to a new formula that will also place other dinos in a lower weight class.
The giraffe-necked, tree-top-grazing Berlin Brachiosaur was previously estimated to weigh as much as 80 tons (180,000 pounds).
But a new calculation of its mass, published by scientists on Wednesday, suggests it would have tipped the scales at a relatively featherweight 23 tons.
"Our results would suggest that many of the previous estimates (for all dinosaurs) are indeed too heavy," study author Bill Sellers told AFP of the findings by a team in Britain and the United States.
For most dinosaurs, the discrepancy would not be as big as that for the Brachiosaurus, "but certainly we would suggest that lighter estimates are likely to be correct."
The team of biologists used 14 large-framed modern mammals including the bison, camel, elephant, giraffe, horse, elk, polar bear and rhinoceros to devise a new method of estimating body mass using only the skeleton.