Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, April 30, 1999 Published at 03:39 GMT 04:39 UK


Dinosaurs kept their heads down

It has always been thought that long-necked dinosaurs like the brontosaurus ate from the tree tops like giraffes.

Christine McGourty reports on the new findings
But scientists who have modelled their movements with computers say the animals would have had difficulty lifting their heads and must have grazed along the ground for food instead.

It is thought that it would have been difficult to pump sufficient blood up a long near-vertical neck to the dinosaur's head if it was browsing from tree tops.

Now scientists have made computer models of the neck postures of two dinosaurs - the brontosaurus and the diplodocus.

When they put the virtual dinosaurs through their paces they found the most relaxed posture for the neck was pointing slightly downward and the head was close to the ground.

The conclusion, reported in Science magazine, was that the animals must have grazed along the ground and not among the treetops.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Sci/Tech Contents

Relevant Stories

30 Apr 99 | Sci/Tech
First transatlantic dinosaur found

21 Jan 99 | Sci/Tech
Turbocharged dinosaur

17 Nov 98 | Sci/Tech
Dinosaur 'lost world' discovered

30 Apr 99 | Sci/Tech
Sea clue to death of dinosaurs

17 Nov 98 | Sci/Tech
Nesting in the mud

Internet Links


The Dinosauria

Vertebrate Paleobiology Laborator

National Geographic Dinorama

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

World's smallest transistor

Scientists join forces to study Arctic ozone

Mathematicians crack big puzzle

From Business
The growing threat of internet fraud

Who watches the pilots?

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer