Plant roots

EDGE - - DROPPING SCIENCE -

Most games can get away with creat­ing just a few types of veg­e­ta­tion and past­ing them around the world, but Sau­rian’s de­vo­tion to pa­le­on­to­log­i­cal truth made creat­ing its Hell Creek an enor­mous job. The team wanted at least 25 species, from ground cover to trees, plus vari­a­tions of each, in­clud­ing saplings and par­tially grown ex­am­ples. The re­sult was the need to cre­ate be­tween 100 and 150 mod­els. “There are lots of mixed-up records about fam­ily groups,” Turinetti says, de­scrib­ing the process of find­ing real-world ana­logues on which to base the recre­ations as a “multi-year odyssey”. Gink­goes were easy, since they haven’t changed in mil­lions of years; oth­ers were far trick­ier, such as Dryophyl­lum, which sci­ence has reg­u­larly moved be­tween dif­fer­ent plant fam­i­lies. Even­tu­ally, the team re­alised it’s sim­i­lar to a wal­nut tree and dis­cov­ered a species from South East Asia to base it on, with leaves that closely re­sem­ble the fos­sils.

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