UK scientists work out weight of Sophie the Stegosaurus

AP News
Posted: Mar 04, 2015 9:04 AM
UK scientists work out weight of Sophie the Stegosaurus

LONDON (AP) — Scientists at a British museum have worked out the living weight of Sophie, one of the world's most complete Stegosaurus skeletons.

London's Natural History Museum said Tuesday that Sophie, a young adult when it died around 150 million years ago, weighed around 1.6 tons (1,600 kilograms) and its body mass was about the same size as a small rhinoceros.

The scientists worked out the dinosaur's body mass after creating a 3-D digital version of its skeleton, calculating the volume of flesh around the bones, and comparing the data with information from similar-sized modern animals.

"Now we know the weight, we can start to find out more about its metabolism, feeding requirements and the growth rates of Stegosaurus," said Paul Barrett, the museum's chief dinosaur expert. "We can also use the same techniques on other complete fossils to find out much more about the wider ecology of dinosaurs."

The skeleton, which is 85 percent intact, greets visitors entering the museum. It was discovered in 2003 at Red Canyon Ranch in Wyoming.

Sophie is relatively small, standing about 3 meters (9.8 feet) tall and measuring 5.6 meters (18 feet) long from head to tail.