PAHS Science Club Attends Dinosaur Lecture at UW

PAHS Science Club Attends Dinosaur Lecture at UW
Posted on 03/06/2018
PAHS Science Club Attends Dinosaur Lecture at UWWhat’s your favorite dinosaur? How fast could it run? How do we know? Thanks to support from the YMCA and Port Angeles Education Foundation, ten Science Club students learned the answers to those questions from world-renowned Tyrannosaurus rex expert John Hutchinson at a UW lecture March 2 titled “Dinosaur Movement: From Humble Beginnings to Earth-Shaking Giants.”

Movie animations of dinosaurs are cool but not scientific, so Dr. Hutchinson and his team created computer models testing real possible movement of these giant animals. At very large sizes locomotor performance must decrease – T rex is so big it couldn’t have moved fast. Out of 6 million computer simulations, 3,000 would allow running – and only 4 of them work well. They show that T rex could run but at a maximum speed of 15-25 mph.

Giants live at an extreme where gravity pervades their biology. Early dinosaurs were quite small in a very dangerous world during the Triassic. Locomotion changed as they grew – Mussaurus changed from quadrupedal to bipedal as they matured. Sauropods became 4-legged because of their long necks which shifted their center of mass. And different sauropods moved differently.

Why did dinosaurs become so dominant? That is a question Dr. Hutchinson is still trying to answer. If you are interested in his research check out dawndinos.com.

For additional assistance, please contact:

M. Patsene Dashiell
Communications & Community Relations Coordinator
Ph: 360-565-3703
Port Angeles School District
Central Services – 216 East 4th Street
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