Dinosaur skull computer model

Dinosaur skull computer model

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Credit: EMILY RAYFIELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dinosaur skull computer model. Computer model of the skull of Allosaurus fragilis, a predatory dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period (about 150 to 135 million years ago). This model was created by Emily Rayfield of Cambridge University to study the mechanical properties of the skull using finite element analysis (FEA). FEA is a mathematical modelling technique used in engineering. It takes data from a computed tomography (CT) scan and creates a 3-D mesh model of simple shapes, making it easier to study the forces acting at each point. The results show that it had a very strong upper jaw but weak lower front jaw, suggesting that Allosaurus had a fast, downward slashing bite rather than the powerful, crushing action found in its relative Tyrannosaurus rex.

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