Unique Bone Structure Helped Dinosaurs Carry Their Weight
We understand now that dinosaurs are more closely related to birds than they are to reptiles. But how did these enormous creatures, some with extraordinarily large necks, support what was often great mass? It may have to do with very special bones. Here’s more from Phys.Org:
“The structure of the trabecular, or spongy bone that forms in the interior of bones we studied is unique within dinosaurs,” said Tony Fiorillo, SMU paleontologist and one of the study authors. The trabecular bone tissue surrounds the tiny spaces or holes in the interior part of the bone, Fiorillo says, such as what you might see in a ham or steak bone.
“Unlike in mammals and birds, the trabecular bone does not increase in thickness as the body size of dinosaurs increase,” he says. “Instead it increases in density of the occurrence of spongy bone. Without this weight-saving adaptation, the skeletal structure needed to support the hadrosaurs would be so heavy, the dinosaurs would have had great difficulty moving.”
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