Academic journal article Science and Children

Evidence for Warm-Blooded Dinosaurs

Academic journal article Science and Children

Evidence for Warm-Blooded Dinosaurs

Article excerpt

University of Adelaide research has shown new evidence that dinosaurs were warm-blooded like birds and mammals, not cold-blooded like reptiles as commonly believed.

Professor Roger Seymour of the University's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, argues that cold-blooded dinosaurs would not have had the required muscular power to prey on other animals and dominate over mammals as they did throughout the Mesozoic period.

"Much can be learned about dinosaurs from fossils but the question of whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded or cold-blooded is still hotly debated among scientists," says Professor Seymour.

"Some point out that a large salt-water crocodile can achieve a body temperature above 30[degrees]C by basking in the sun, and it can maintain the high temperature overnight simply by being large and slow to change temperature.

"They say that large, cold-blood-ed dinosaurs could have done the same and enjoyed a warm body temperature without the need to generate the heat in their own cells through burning food energy like warm-blooded animals."

In his paper Professor Seymour asks how much muscular power could be produced by a crocodile-like dinosaur compared to a mammal-like dinosaur of the same size.

Saltwater crocodiles reach over a ton in weight and, being about 50% muscle, have a reputation for being extremely powerful animals. …

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