May 11th 2019, DAWNDINOS has stand at RVC Open Day!

Bones are all we have left for many fossil species. The DAWNDINOS team explained to prospective students how they are full of information which we can use to reconstruct these extinct animals and understand how they lived. Students were fascinated by the 3D printed dinosaur bones!

The researchers also showed how they simulate movement in living & extinct animals  and how we use musculoskeletal models, the laws of physics, and mathematical optimization theory to simulate and reconstruct walking, running and other movements in the archosaurs in the DAWNDINOS  study.


Dr Krijn Michel & Dr Peter Bishop on the DAWNDINOS stand


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Professor John Hutchinson & Dr Andrew Cuff talking to prospective students about bones and simulations!


April 10th 2019


A great evening was had by all last Wednesday when the DAWNDINOS team hosted theNBD DD for printing ‘Night at the Vet College’ at RVC’s Camden Campus to celebrate National Biomechanics Day, held worldwide on 10th April.

Over 400 visitors enjoyed an evening of talks, demos, interactive stands and many other activities about Triassic-Jurassic palaeobiology. They learned about the dawn of the dinosaurs and found out how research scientists study life on earth over two hundred million years ago!


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Prof John Hutchinson


Prof John Hutchinson introduced the evening by giving an overview of the DAWNDINOS project in his opening talk, ‘Were dinosaurs special? Old questions meet new tools.’ Further talks followed later from Dr Alex Dunhill, Lecturer in Palaeobiology at the University of Leeds on the mass extinctions and Professor Paul Barrett from the Natural History Museum on the humble origins that led to the dinosaur explosion.


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Prof Hutchinson delivers his talk ‘Were dinosaurs special? Old questions meet new tools’ in the Great Hall at Camden
Dr Krijn Michel talks to visitors about how we use living birds and crocodiles, X-ray videos and digital techniques to get dinosaurs moving again!
Dino cakes show artistic reconstructions of the eleven study animals in the DAWNDINOS project. (Artwork courtesy of John Conway)
Professor Friedl De Groote from KU Leuven, Belgium explains how muscle properties, gravity and load carrying, change the walking or running pattern of a computer model!
Prof Paul Barrett from the NHM and Dr David Button (pictured) show visitors how 3D models of dinosaur skulls generated from CT scans and 3D prints of dinosaur skulls illustrate the early evolution of dinosaur feeding.
Bones are all we have left for many fossil species. Dr Andrew Cuff shows they are full of information which we can use to reconstruct the animals and understand how they lived. Dr Peter Bishop explores how we use musculoskeletal models, the laws of physics, and mathematical optimization theory to simulate and reconstruct walking, running and other movements in dinosaurs.


…. A few more photos from the evening!



August 2018

RVC summer school  students had fun at DAWNDINOS outreach event 

On 29th August (Year 11) students on the RVC Summer School programme visited the Structure and Motion Lab and met the DAWNDINOS team to learn about our research.

Following a short talk by Prof Hutchinson students enjoyed interactive practical sessions in the Structure and Motion Lab.

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John Hutchinson explains how we measure ground-reaction forces ( doing a foot rollover demo) and use XROMM to measure skeletal motions; all to produce and test computer simulations better.


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DAWNDINOS postdoc Peter Bishop gets students excited about how muscles work in lever systems! Using chicken vs. human crouched vs. upright gaits.


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DAWNDINOS postdoc Andrew Cuff demonstrates how we reconstruct soft tissues in extinct archosaurs, featuring the sauropodomorph Mussaurus

We received great feedback from the students on how much they enjoyed the session.

To arrange a visit to the RVC’s Structure & Motion Lab to meet the DAWNDINOS team  please contact Louise Kermode at lkermode@rvc.ac.uk

July 2018

50 Students from the Sutton Trust meet the DAWNDINOS research team.

On 25th July the DAWNDINOS team welcomed Year 12 students from the Sutton Trust for an afternoon of interactive learning and lots of fun!

Prof John Hutchinson opened the session with an introduction to the research, the aims of the project and some background on archosaurs during the Triassic/ Jurassic transition.

Prof Hutchinson gives overview of the DAWNDINOS project

He explained how the DAWNDINOS teams’ technical and scientific expertise is being used to pioneer new and exciting  technologies using cutting edge techniques including XROMM and high resolution cameras for the measurement and analysis of movement in animals.IMG_7494

Students then participated in three activity sessions held at  the Structure and Motion Lab.

At Prof Hutchinson’s  session students were able to walk/run on a pressure pad  to show how their behaviours involve forces and motions that we can measure precisely and can be used in computer simulations.

Prof Hutchinson’s activity session, “How do Skeleton’s move?”

At Dr Peter Bishop’s session students learnt how muscles work and control movement.

Dr Bishop’s activity session, “How do muscles move the skeleton?”

Students demonstrated how muscles work as levers to understand how the leverage of a muscle versus its load influences how effective at performing work it can be. They tried lifting  a heavy bucket of water close to chest, and then out at arm’s length. It was a lot more difficult to do it at arm’s length because of a lower leverage.

At Dr Andrew Cuff’s stand students were fascinated to learn the science of 3D digital modelling on extant species and how the anatomical data from the living relatives (“living archosaurs”) of Triassic crocodiles and dinosaurs will help us estimate muscle function in these extinct animals.

Students watched demos on computers and held 3D printed/real bones (living + fossil archosaur limbs).

Dr  Cuff’s activity session, “How do we make fossils move again?”

An enjoyable afternoon was had by all and feedback from students was very positive indeed.   They said that the research team were all very friendly and explained the concepts really well. Typical comments following the session were that they did not know that “birds are the living relatives of dinosaurs” and they were amazed at the “different digital techniques that are now used to study locomotion.”

Thanks to everyone involved!

We look forward to welcoming the RVC Summer School on 29th August. If other schools would like to arrange a visit to meet the DAWNDINOS team please contact Louise Kermode at lkermode@rvc.ac.uk


June 2018

 ‘I Know Dino Podcast’ –  Professor John Hutchinson interview

I Know Dinosaurs 140618I Know Dinosaurs ‘The Big Dinosaur Podcast’ released its 185th episode this week which features an interview with Professor John Hutchinson talking about the DAWNDINOS project and other dino -related things, including his work on the T. rex Autopsy . It’s an interesting, informative and fun listen for scientists and dinosaur enthusiasts! To hear the interview:  https://iknowdino.com/procompsognathus-episode-185/