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Strong Tails of early Dinosaurs helped them move about on all fours and rise up on just their two back feet: Research

Bipedalism in dinosaurs was inherited from ancient and much smaller proto-dinosaurs.

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Skeleton of a dinosaur, pixabay

Toronto, March 4, 2017: Big muscles in the tails of early dinosaurs helped them move about on all fours and rise up on just their two back feet, new research suggests.

Bipedalism in dinosaurs was inherited from ancient and much smaller proto-dinosaurs.

The trick to this evolution is in their tails, said lead study author Scott Persons, postdoctoral fellow at University of Alberta in Canada.

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“The tails of proto-dinosaurs had big, leg-powering muscles,” Persons said.

“Having this muscle mass provided the strength and power required for early dinosaurs to stand on and move with their two back feet. We see a similar effect in many modern lizards that rise up and run bipedally,” Persons added.

Over time, proto-dinosaurs evolved to run faster and for longer distances.

Adaptations like hind limb elongation allowed ancient dinosaurs to run faster, while smaller forelimbs helped to reduce body weight and improve balance, according to the study published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Eventually, some proto-dinosaurs gave up quadrupedal walking altogether.

The research also debunks theories that early proto-dinosaurs stood on two legs for the sole purpose of freeing their hands for use in catching prey.

“Those explanations don’t stand up,” Persons said.

“Many ancient bipedal dinosaurs were herbivores, and even early carnivorous dinosaurs evolved small forearms. Rather than using their hands to grapple with prey, it is more likely they seized their meals with their powerful jaws,” Persons explained.

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But, if it is true that bipedalism can evolve to help animals run fast, why aren’t mammals like horses and cheetahs bipedal?

“Largely because mammals don’t have those big tail-based leg muscles,” Persons said. (IANS)

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Google’s Smart City Plan Upsets Toronto Residents

Sidewalk Labs told the BBC it looked forward to “continuing to work with Torontonians to get this right”, adding it was “strongly committed to protection and privacy” of urban data

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

Google-affiliate Sidewalk Labs’s plan to build an Internet-based smart city in Toronto has sparked fear and anxiety among residents, the media reported.

Sidewalk Labs’ plan of collecting data through sensors placed all around the harbourside development unsettled some, the BBC reported on Saturday.

The company acquired land in the Canadian city and promised a radical mix of offices, retail and makerspaces with a green agenda, robots and underground waste disposal.

According to a group of citizens called Block Sidewalk, people expressed their unhappiness over the project, announced a couple of years back, at a meeting organised by it.

Few raised questions about lack of transparency in the way Toronto Waterfront had awarded the contract to Sidewalk Labs, others expressed doubt if the firm could deliver such an ambitious project. Some had concerns about the company’s long-term plan about the area.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

“We have not been talking about the fact that it’s normalising massive data collection or even asking whether anyone wants this thing at all. No one here has asked for a sensor-laden neighbourhood,” organiser of the meeting Bianca Wylie told the BBC.

“Our waterfront must be developed for the benefit of citizens of Toronto, not the shareholders of a Google-affiliate,” Wylie said.

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Sidewalk Labs told the BBC it looked forward to “continuing to work with Torontonians to get this right”, adding it was “strongly committed to protection and privacy” of urban data.

A report published in the Toronto Star suggested that Sidewalk Labs wanted to build a much bigger neighbourhood at Quayside and provide new transport for it, a claim that has not been disputed by the Google affiliate. (IANS)