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University of Manchester biologists used lasers to measure the minimum amount of skin required to wrap around the skeletons of modern-day mammals, including reindeer, polar bears, giraffes and elephants. They discovered that the animals had almost exactly 21% more body mass than the minimum skeletal 'skin and bone' wrap volume, and applied this to a giant Brachiosaur skeleton in Berlin's Museum für Naturkunde. Previous estimates of this Brachiosaur's weight have varied, with estimates as high as 80 tonnes, but the Manchester team's calculations -- published in the journal Biology Letters -- reduced that figure to just 23 tonnes.
When plankton die, they fall to the bottom of the sea. The plankton are trapped under many layers of sand and mud. Over millions of years, the dead animals and plants got buried deeper and deeper. The heat and pressure gradually turned the mud into rock and the dead animals and plants into oil and gas.