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Dinosaurs May Have Been Neither Warm-blooded Nor Cold-Blooded 54

An anonymous reader writes An article published in Science (abstract) points to the possibility that dinosaurs were mesotherms more akin to modern Tuna. Their internal temperature would have been warmer than their surrounding environment, conferring on them the ability to move more quickly than any ectotherm ("cold blooded" animal), but wouldn't have been constant or as warm as any endoderm ("warm blooded" animal). Their energy use and thus their necessary food intake would have been greater than an ectotherm, but much less than an endotherm. In order to arrive at this possibility, bone growth rings in fossilized bone were used to establish growth rates and then compared to modern ectotherms and endotherms.
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Dinosaurs May Have Been Neither Warm-blooded Nor Cold-Blooded

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  • by jphamlore ( 1996436 ) <jphamlore@yahoo.com> on Friday June 13, 2014 @04:44PM (#47232815)
    So did the dinosaurs become birds or were they parallel evolved species after some earlier branching point?
  • New theory? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2014 @04:51PM (#47232861)

    TFA makes this sound like a new theory, but the first time I read an article proposing this (with supporting evidence) was at least 20 years ago, and may well have been longer ago than that.

    It's nice that they've come up with more evidence for it, but it would also be nice if every time someone tested an idea out they didn't feel compelled to pretend they were the first to have it.

  • Re:New theory? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Friday June 13, 2014 @05:25PM (#47233085)

    Yep. Paleontology is a field rife with one-upmanship. Cold blooded, warm blooded, hot blooded and meso. All had their day multiple times. My personal belief is that the theropods were most likely hot-blooded like the birds and the sauropods were meso-blooded. Their respective activity levels make this likely to me.

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