HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Math and fossils resolve a debate on dinosaur metabolism

Of the many mysteries surrounding the life history of dinosaurs, one of the more enduring is how such gigantic organisms--some reaching 42 feet tall and weighing 90 tons--regulated their body temperature. In a new study published in PLoS Biology, James Gillooly, Andrew Allen, and Eric Charnov revisit--and resolve--this debate.

Some scientists had assumed that dinosaurs, which evolved from reptiles, were cold blooded (ectotherms), whereas others thought that dinosaurs, like mammals and birds, might have been warm blooded (endotherms). Still others argued that while most dinosaurs had a metabolism similar to contemporary reptiles, the large dinosaurs managed a higher, more-constant body temperature through thermal inertia, which is how modern alligators, Galapagos tortoises, and Komodo dragons retain heat. Thermal inertia allows the body to approach homeothermy, or constant body temperature, when the ratio of body mass to surface area is high enough. If this "inertial homeothermy" hypothesis is correct, dinosaur body temperature should increase with body size.

The researchers used a model that provided estimates of dinosaur body temperature based on developmental growth trajectories inferred from juvenile and adult fossil bones of the same species. The model predicts that dinosaur body temperature did increase with body mass, and that large dinosaurs had body temperatures similar to those of modern birds and mammals, while smaller dinosaurs' temperatures were more like contemporary reptiles. These results suggest that the largest dinosaurs (but not the smaller ones) had relatively constant body temperatures maintained through thermal inertia. Gillooly et al. then compiled data from eight dinosaur species from the early Jurassic and late Cretaceous periods that ranged in size from 30 pounds to 28 tons. The growth trajectories, taken from the published research papers, were determined by using bone histology (microscopic study) and body s
'"/>

Contact: Natalie Bouaravong
press@plos.org
415-568-3445
Public Library of Science
10-Jul-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Agonized death throes probable cause of open-mouthed, head-back pose of many dino fossils
2. An ancient bathtub ring of mammoth fossils
3. Microfossils unravel climate history of tropical Africa
4. Paleontologists to discuss gap fossils that link fish and land animals
5. Oldest animal fossils may have been bacteria
6. Oldest complex organic molecules found in ancient fossils
7. Embryo fossils reveal animal complexity 10 million years before Cambrian Explosion
8. Possible evidence of cell division, differentiation found in oldest known embryo fossils
9. Case Western Reserve University paleontologist discovers South American mammal fossils
10. Research into salt, oil, ice and fossils
11. Hominid fossils from Ethiopia link ape-men to more distant human ancestors

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... a leading provider of secure digital communications services, today ... biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in ... facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... Florida , March 14, 2016 ... the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a ... channels starting the week of March 21 st .  The ... CNBC, including its popular Squawk on the Street show. ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing ...
(Date:3/10/2016)...   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today ... is testing its biometric identity solution at the Otay Mesa ... help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving the country. ... help determine the efficiency and accuracy of using biometric technologies ... run until May 2016. --> the United ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... PrecisionAg® Media has ... 2017 and Beyond. The paper outlines the key trends that are creating both ... “We’ve witnessed a lot of highs and lows as the precision agriculture market ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... Foresight Institute , a ... winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. , These prestigious prizes, ... one for experiment and the other for theory in nanotechnology. Prof. Markus J. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... ... The recent recall by Costco and Trader Joes of 47 million pounds of ... demonstrates the need for faster and more cost effective bio-threat detection to ensure food ... , PathSensor’s latest solution uses a biosensor technology called CANARY®. CANARY®, an ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... 2016 Regen BioPharma, ... RGBPP) announced today initiation of a preclinical development ... based cancer immunotherapeutic product leveraging its NR2F6 immunological ... a generation of cord blood derived killer cells ...  The product in development will be a "universal ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: