The image of a gigantic dinosaur towering above its helpless prey just got a little bit more frightening, as it turns out dinosaurs had thick layers of cartilage between their bones that added up to an extra 10% of height.

Casey Holliday, a professor of anatomy at the University of Missouri, explains how his team made this shocking finding:

"Our study of the limbs of modern-day relatives of dinosaurs shows that dinosaurs were significantly taller than original estimates. The ends of many dinosaurs' long bones, which include leg bones such as the femur or tibia, are rounded and rough and lack major articulating structures like condyles, which are bony projections. This indicated that very thick cartilages formed these structures, and therefore the joints themselves, and would have added significant height to certain dinosaurs. This study offers new data into how and why reptiles, and mammals, such as humans, build their joints with such different amounts of bone and cartilage."

You can read a full overview of his research at the University of Missouri news site, and check out the research paper at PLoS ONE.