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[email@example.com: Dinosaur skull brings a cry from the past]
================= Begin forwarded message =================
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Martin Adamson)
Subject: Dinosaur skull brings a cry from the past
Date: Wed, 06 Mar
The Electronic Telegraph Wednesday 6 March 1996 Home News
Dinosaur skull brings a cry from the past
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
THE bellow of a dinosaur that has been extinct for 75 million years is about
to be heard again, thanks to the efforts of computer scientists at a nuclear
weapons research centre.
Computer scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, working
the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and the State Museum of
are using 3-D computer imaging to create a detailed model of the skull of a
rare, crested duck-billed dinosaur, known as Parasaurolophus.
The team plans to use the 3-D skull model to simulate sounds that
Parasaurolophus made with the four-and-a-half foot crest that rose from the
back of its skull.
The crest contained a labyrinth of chambers connected to the dinosaur's
breathing passages. Most paleontologists believe the crest served as a
resonating chamber and allowed the dinosaur to make loud, low-frequency
sounds. The crests probably also helped duck-billed dinosaurs to recognise
The Parasaurolophus skull and crest were discovered last August in the
De-na-zin Wilderness area of north-western New Mexico by Dr Robert Sullivan,
senior curator at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.
The find included the 4.5 foot long nasal crest and the lower left jaw with
all 43 rows of teeth. The bone is jet-black and glossy. However, some of the
elements are fractured and the crest is somewhat distorted by crushing.
Scientists then used a body scanner to produce about 500 X-ray images of the
dinosaur skull which were assembled into a computer model that can be viewed
inside and out, and from any angle.