Dinosaurs may not be the giant land monsters they are often portrayed according to Manchester scientists.
University of Manchester biologists found that a Brachiosaur weighed more like 23 tonnes instead of a massive 80 tonnes previously thought.
Dr Bill Sellers, based in the Faculty of Life Sciences, said: “One of the most important things palaeobiogists need to know about fossilised animals is how much they weighed.”
They used lasers to measure the minimum amount of skin required to wrap around animals, such as elephants, giraffes, reindeer and polar bears.
They discovered the animals had more body mass than previously thought and applied this method to a giant Brachiosaur skeleton in Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde.
Dr Sellers added: “Some of the enormous estimates of the – 80 tonnes in 1962 – are exaggerated.”
The team demonstrated an alternative approach to more common methods used to estimate sizes of fossil vertebrates.
The new approach is more accurate and quicker and can be used to measure the size of any fossilised dinosaur.
Mr Sellers said: “Our method provides a much more accurate measure and shows dinosaur while still huge are not as big as previously thought.”
Their results were published in the journal Biology Letters.