New scent detection algorithm integrated into Dinosaur Island.

The finished equation for determining the probability of a dinosaur detecting the smell of another given wind direction, velocity, distance and bearing. Click to enlarge.

The finished equation for determining the probability of a dinosaur detecting the smell of another given wind direction, velocity, distance and bearing. Click to enlarge.

Above is the equation for calculating the probability that one dinosaur can smell another dinosaur given the wind direction, wind velocity, distance and bearing of dinosaur one to dinosaur two. A great deal of work went into this equation and I must thank my good friends and colleagues, Alberto Segre and Mike Morton, for all their help, feedback and encouragement.

Below are examples of the output of the equation with various wind direction and wind velocities:

Results of the equation showing likelihood of detecting a scent at a specific location given the wind direction and wind velocity. Each square is 100 meters. Click to enlarge.

Results of the equation showing likelihood of detecting a scent at a specific location given the wind direction and wind velocity. Each square is 100 meters. 

    Results of the equation showing likelihood of detecting a scent at a specific location given the wind direction and wind velocity. Each square is 100 meters. Click to enlarge.

Results of the equation showing likelihood of detecting a scent at a specific location given the wind direction and wind velocity. Each square is 100 meters. 

    Results of the equation showing likelihood of detecting a scent at a specific location given the wind direction and wind velocity. Each square is 100 meters. Click to enlarge.

Results of the equation showing likelihood of detecting a scent at a specific location given the wind direction and wind velocity. Each square is 100 meters.

Below is a screen capture from Dinosaur Island showing the results of the new scent detection algorithm (coupled with the newly added olfactory acuity variable, see New sight and smell variables added to Dinosaur Island).

Screen capture of Dinosaur Island with new scent detection algorithm integrated.

Screen capture of Dinosaur Island with new scent detection algorithm integrated into the AI. Note AI output on right (highlighted by red box): Gertie, the Edmontosaurus, cannot see Jim, the T. rex, but she can smell him. Click to enlarge.

While developing the scent detection algorithm and reading about the extent and frequency of injuries sustained by T. rex (broken ribs appear in about 25% of known T. rex fossils) it seemed very likely that an old T. rex (and T. rex did not achieve sexual maturity until their twenties) had to be a very cautious hunter. An Edmontosaurus regalis tail could break T. rex ribs if the Edmontosaurus was aware that the T. rex attack was imminent. As we will see in the next post, a smart hunting T. rex must have had to employ clever tactics to avoid both visual and olfactory detection as it approached its prey.

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