Sophie’s weigh

‘Sophie’ is the most complete set of Stegosaurus bones at the Natural History Museum. The experts there have used them to estimate what she would have weighed.

Poor Sophie Stegosaurus! In Wyoming, USA,
She might have either starved to death or fallen ill one day.
She died while adolescent, a death quite undeserved,
And yet her bones – well, most of them – were luckily preserved.

They’ve photographed her bones from her tail-spikes to her noddle,
Then stitched them all together in a 3-D computer model.
And why, I hear you ask? Well, in her digital state,
These folk can tweak their algorithms to estimate her weight.

They ‘convex-hulled’ poor Sophie – pulled a ‘skin’ around her, tight,
Then added 21% to get the volume right.
With a crocodilian density, her mass could then be sought:
Some sixteen hundred kilograms, or half what once was thought!

Now here’s an intriguing postscript:
Although, throughout this tale
I’ve called its heroine Sophie,
‘She’ could, in fact, be male . . .

[Image: Natural History Museum, London]
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