Dinosaurs Were Neither Warm Nor Cold Blooded

Dinosaurs Were Neither Warm Nor Cold Blooded

Dinosaurs weren't warm-blooded like mammals or cold-blooded like reptiles, which may have given them a unique evolutionary advantage.

Contrary to what you may have learned from Jurassic Park, dinosaurs actually didn't look much like the reptiles you imagined. (Please take a moment to pick up the shattered pieces of your childhood off the floor before you continue reading.) If that wasn't enough, a new study suggests that they aren't exactly cold-blooded reptiles either. But before you start thinking dinosaurs evolved into mammals from the Super Mario Bros. movie, they're not warm-blooded either. Scientists are now realizing that dinosaurs fell right in the middle of both classifications, which would have provided a massive evolutionary advantage millions of years ago.

Paleontologists have debated for decades whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded or cold-blooded, but a new database on the growth and energy of vertebrates has proven them both right. You see, on average warm-blooded creatures grow about 10 times faster than cold-blooded reptiles, which correlates with a faster metabolism. But when looking at the growth rates of 21 dinosaur species, researchers found that metabolic rates were lower than birds but higher than reptiles. In short, dinosaurs could generate their own metabolic body heat in some circumstances, but are still subject to external temperatures.

Species in this middle-energy range are known to exist, but tend to be rare; leatherback turtles, tuna, great white sharks, and echidnas are some examples. "They generate enough heat to warm their blood above ambient temperature, but don't do anything to maintain it, such as shivering which humans do when they are cold," said John Grady of the University of New Mexico. "Meanwhile, echidna body temperatures can fluctuate by up to 10 degrees when they are active."

Grady notes that this gave the dinosaurs a distinct advantage. Creatures with high metabolic rates grow quickly and move much faster when hunting or eluding prey, at the cost of needing more food. Cold-blooded creatures are slower by comparison, but can eat sporadically to support their growth. The middle-ground of dinosaurs suggests that they could grow quickly while eating less, which is a plus if you're the size of a building.

"It is doubtful that a lion the size of T. Rex would be able to eat enough wildebeasts (or elephants) without starving to death," Grady explained. "With their lower food demands, however, the real T. Rex was able to get really big while still maintaining their advantage over their competition."

In other words? Life finds a way.

Source: Discovery

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Dinsosaurs were hybrids before it was cool. Does that make them hipstersauruses?

Well... the scientific terms are endothermic (temperature regulated from within) and exothermic (temperature regulated from without), and it seems to me that this still puts dinosaurs in the endothermic category. They just didn't regulate their temperatures as strictly as modern mammals do.

Actually, warm-blooded and cold-blooded are no longer used as scientific terms because both are inaccurate. There are several different kinds of temperature regulation in animals and many have qualities that were previously associated with both terms. So, to say the dinosaurs were neither warm blooded nor cold blooded is misleading, because most animals can be described that way.

Wonder what Dr.Malcom would have to say about this. So if they could possibly generate their own body heat and have had feathers does this mean that there is a whole range of ice type dinosaurs that are still out there?

Clearly, it is a miracle of Raptor Jesus.

Ya learn something every day. Dinosaurs are to be served at room temperature.

So what are they then? Lukewarm blooded?

Life doesn't find a way. I wish people would stop writing things like that. Life is not a thing that is actively planning how to fit into its environment. There may have been ten thousand mutations of whatever preceded the Tyrannosaur before something came out that could survive in the particular environment that it was born into. It all happens quite by accident. People are saddened that a million species have gone extinct? Think how a million mutations that just don't fit their environment might die out every month, or maybe every day. The albino this or the crooked legged that or the stunted this or the elongated that or the more orange this or the more blue that. If they stand out like a sore thumb or can't get enough food, die they will. Life doesn't find a way. The way is constantly changing and only once in a very, very random while does a way lead to a means. That's evolution. Within the confines of biochemistry, pure constrained random chance. There is nothing noble in it, nothing to admire, and no one is keeping score.

So, what DID they look like then?

JediMB:
Well... the scientific terms are endothermic (temperature regulated from within) and exothermic (temperature regulated from without), and it seems to me that this still puts dinosaurs in the endothermic category. They just didn't regulate their temperatures as strictly as modern mammals do.

id argue exothermic. They did not do anything to maintain the heat, and the heat generated was just a byproduct of them moving around (muscles release heat when moving). they didnt actually regulate temperature or generate heat, it was merely a byproduct that stayed inside the body for a while till it cooled down.

CelestDaer:
So, what DID they look like then?

Feathers. Dinosaurs are basically very strange birds.

Rex Dark:
So what are they then? Lukewarm blooded?

Well, I doubt they would be lukecold-blooded... So, I guess either no-blooded or some-blooded...

OT: Dinosaurs always seem to be OG even before/after we call them OG the more we learn about them... Next, you're going to to tell me that they know if what we call "aliens" exists (or exited) or not... and they called them something that translates to "Life" or something "simple" like that...

But how does this affect the theory that an isolated population of dinosaurs evolved into something more humanoid, developed ftl, and left earth?

Cookie if you get it 8D

 

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