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Monday, February 10, 2014

Scientists at work: Here's a chicken wearing a plunger on its butt so that it will walk like a dinosaur

In a paper entitled "Walking Like Dinosaurs: Chickens with Artificial Tails Provide Clues about Non-Avian Theropod Locomotion" published on PLOS ONE, researchers led by Bruno Grossi of the Universidad de Chile expound on the problem of studying dinosaur gaits. A close cognate, they say, could be the chicken. Except for one problem: The lack of a dinosaur tail.

Not having a tail creates considerable differences in the way chickens move and the way the researchers theorize that bidpedal dinosaurs moved, especially in the the position of the knee, the center of mass, and the role of the femur in limb movement. The answer? Raise chickens with a prosthetic dinosaur tail, which they say gives chickens a gait that more closely resembles that of the dinosaurs.

Speaking of dinosaurs and chickens...

More at io9

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