11 July 2006

Ages old debate

That age-old debate on whether dinosaurs were warm- or cold-blooded has a tentative answer: Yes. By examining growth rates observed in fossil bones, the paleontologists determined that most dinosaurs don't have any process to regulate their body temperature, so small dinosaurs stayed at ambient temperature while big dinosaurs stayed warm b/c body processes generate heat and they can't dissipate it.

To make matters even more complex though, there's one species that switches from being warm-blooded when young, to cold-blooded when adult! Ain't that freaky? "Is it just me, or is it warm in here?" "You're just having hot flashes honey."

1 comment:

Bob V said...

It strikes me as unlikely that any of the flying species could have been cold-blooded. It would seem that the nuances of movement required to stay in the air requires a static body temperature.