Virtual sauropods: A revolution in the study of long-necked dinosaurs

Daniel Vidal


Over the past 20 years, the study of fossils using 3D visualisation techniques, better known as virtual palaeontology, has revolutionised the study of organisms from the past. The study of the popular sauropod dinosaurs is a clear example: the complex mounting systems or expensive replicas once used to study their skeletons are now easily achievable thanks to advances in computing. Thus, questions such as the position of their long necks, their movement capabilities and functional implications, or even how they copulated, are easier to address than ever before. Therefore, the insights gained through traditional methods, together with the contributions of new technologies, are opening up new frontiers in the study of these titans.


virtual palaeontology; range of neck movement; copulation; giraffes; Jurassic

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