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Research Article

Estimating Mass Properties of Dinosaurs Using Laser Imaging and 3D Computer Modelling

  • Karl T. Bates mail,

    karl.bates@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

    Affiliation: Adaptive Organismal Biology Research Group, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Jackson's Mill, Manchester, United Kingdom

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  • Phillip L. Manning,

    Affiliations: The Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

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  • David Hodgetts,

    Affiliation: School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

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  • William I. Sellers

    Affiliation: Adaptive Organismal Biology Research Group, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Jackson's Mill, Manchester, United Kingdom

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  • Published: February 19, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004532
  • Published in PLOS ONE

Reader Comments (7)

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Calculation of air sac volume

Posted by AndyFarke on 21 Feb 2009 at 15:17 GMT

minus the mass of the air sac volume
http://plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0004532#article1.body1.sec2.sec6.p2

From the other text in the paper, it appears that lungs were included in this zero-density air sac volume. Is this an appropriate assumption, or at least an assumption close enough to reality that it doesn't much matter? Including an area of lung density less than bulk tissue but more than air would alter the results somewhat. Of course, this would also generate another level of assumption - so in the end, the simplest approach is probably the best for now. It would be interesting to see a future sensitivity analysis of this (and it might have interesting implications for discussing the effects of air sac distribution and lung location).


RE: Calculation of air sac volume

mbexekb3 replied to AndyFarke on 22 Feb 2009 at 14:52 GMT

We discussed this matter at length and eventually decided that indeed the simplest approach was indeed best for now, as in all previous studies of this type. We decided that incorperating respiratory tissue density would require multiple dissections of archosaurs lungs etc., and it was suggested to us by avian respiratory biologists in our lab that this would not be a trivial undertaking, and ultimately, as Andy says, it would add more speculative assumptions when it comes to the dinosaurs. They suggested that there might actually be density data already published (on pigeons and/or magpie) but I couldnt find it. Definitely something to think about though for future studies, particularly as more details on extant archosaur respiratory anatomy are published (see Claessens et al this week in PLoS ONE), and is something definitely worth doing if the next stage of analysis involves inferences of repiratory capacity.