A team of paleontologists, mechanical engineers, and biomedical engineers compared computed tomography of fossilized bones of hadrosaurs and other dinosaurs with those of extinct and living mammals and found that the architecture of the trabecular bone of dinosaurs is unique and can withstand large weights (up to 47,000 kg) and differs from mammals and birds.
The largest of the earth's dinosaurs were enormous creatures, the mass of the body which created a huge load on their skeleton.
Previous studies have examined the strength and biomechanics of dinosaur bones, but the relationship between their trabecular bone architecture and mechanical behavior has not yet been studied.
“The structure of the trabecula, or spongy bone, that forms inside the bones we studied is unique in dinosaurs, " said study co-author paleontologist Tony Fiorillo.
Trabecular bone tissue surrounds tiny spaces or holes in the inside of the bone.
Unlike mammals and birds, the trabecular bone does not increase in thickness as the size of the dinosaur's body increases. Instead, the density of the spongy bone increases.
Photo - Reconstruction of the life of Kamuysaurus japonicus, a species of hadrosaurid (duck-billed) dinosaur that lived about 72 million years ago (Cretaceous) in what is now Japan. © Kobayashi et al, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48607-1.
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