Scientists Raise Chickens With Artificial Tails to Learn How Dinosaurs Walked

Posted on February 9, 2014

Scientists raised chickens with artificial tails in an attempt to learn more about how dinosaurs may have walked. The tail was made by inserting a wooden stick into a solid clay base. The clay base was attached to the chickens using an elastic fabric coat with Velcro fasteners. The coat and artificial tail was replaced as the chicken grew larger.

The scientists say that by experimentally manipulating the location of the center of mass in chickens, it is possible to recreate limb posture and kinematics inferred for extinct bipedal dinosaurs. The chickens raised with dinosaur-like artificial tails "showed a more vertical orientation of the femur during standing and increased femoral displacement during locomotion." The research was published here in the journal PLoS One.

The video below shows a normal chicken walking compared to a chicken raised with an artificial dinosaur tail. Take a look:

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