ANIMATION


Where "Hollywoodasauri" Fear to Tread


Though not as glamourous as the leaps and pirouettes of Hollywood's "dinosaurs" across the silver screen, the mathematically defined gait of Allosaurus (pictured above) offers an innovative approach to understanding the biomechanics of dinosaurs. As part of his postgraduate research at the University of Bristol, Donald Henderson constructs computer programs that convert the geometric measurements of fossil bone into sets of 3-D coordinates. These coordinates are then used to simulate the locomotion of particular dinosaur groups. Still in its early stages of development the compouter model is now capable of integrating movement occuring at the hip socket (pivot) with that of the foot (roll) to recreate the right to left oscillations of the dinosaur's center of mass that would have defined its every step. Once animation has been created from the coordinates, various parameters can be superimposed on the model to provide biomechanical clues (e.g. possible musculature patterns and stances) in accord with the dinosuar's simulated gait. For example, versions of the model program are now being developed which will add a shock-absorbtion (e.g. foot pads and tendon) component to further refine the animation.




FOSSILISATION PROSPECTING COLLECTION
RESTORATION ASSEMBLAGE MUSCULATURE
ANIMATION REFERENCES MUSEUM LINKS

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Mail to: mh7514@bristol.ac.uk