17th March 04:17
Article: Dinosaurs' 'bulletproof' armour revealed
Dinosaurs' 'bulletproof' armour revealed
15:57 16 November 04
An in-depth study of dinosaur armour has revealed an unexpected new level of
strength, with some plates having a weave of fibres resembling today's
bulletproof fabrics. The likely strength of such plates makes the dinosaurs
studied - ankylosaurs - perhaps the best-protected creatures to have ever
stalked the Earth.
Ankylosaurs were massive herbivores that grew up to 10 metres in length
during the late Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The coin-sized plates
sported by the ankylosaurs fully covered their back, neck, head and even
protected their eyes.
"Their whole lifestyle was connected with this armoured living, which
improved defence against predators. Other dinosaurs would have to be really
hungry to attack an ankylosaur," says lead researcher Torsten Scheyer at the
University of Bonn, Germany.
Like other armoured animals - such as crocodiles and turtles - the bonelike
plates were actually derived from skin and called osteoderms. While
scientists have been fascinated with dinosaur armour for years, few studies
have looked at the microstructure of their constituent minerals and
Full Text at New Scientist
Robert Karl Stonjek