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How to Build a Flexing Robotic Dinosaur Limb In Seven ‘Easy’ Steps

February 17, 2016

With their discovery of Dreadnoughtus schrani in 2014, a team of Drexel University researchers unearthed not only the most complete skeleton of a new species of supermassive dinosaur, but also a trove of research opportunities. One of the first of these endeavors to take shape at Drexel is an effort to better understand how the dinosaur might have moved. Understanding how dinosaurs moved is a fascinating question under any circumstances—but especially so for Dreadnoughtus because, as one of the largest-known animals to ever walk the Earth, its limbs must have tested the limits of what’s possible for locomotion on the surface of this planet.

Here’s a look at the process Drexel researchers are using to bring a 3-D printed, scale model of a Dreadnoughtus limb to life.

1. Find a massive, amazingly complete dinosaur skeleton.

Kenneth Lacovara, PhD unearthing Dreadnaughtus

Yes, this is a difficult first step, but Kenneth Lacovara, PhD, a professor at Rowan University and paleontologist from the Academy of Natural Sciences has already done the heavy lifting here. Lacovara revealed his discovery of Dreadnoughtus schrani in 2014 while he was a professor at Drexel. It is the most complete skeleton among the largest dinosaurs yet discovered.

Read more from the Drexel News Blog