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Re: re:T. rex hot blood
The Times was able to cover the T. rex homeothermy paper so soon because
Science (and Nature too) give the press a few days' advance notice of their
contents, as long as we promise not to report them until the cover date. They
will also fax us their galleys if we ask, so I've now seen the T. rex paper
and Science's own news story on it, by Virginia Morell.
I now see that when I wrote homeothermy before, I meant endothermy.
Other extra facts: The rex was excavated by Horner. Barrick and Showers say
they see evidence the animal had the same body temperature year round: no
seasonal variation. The maximum temperature variation, seasonally and
core/extremity, is 4 degrees C. They argue that gigantothermy would lead to
both a greater core-extremity difference and a greater seasonal variation
assuming the animal experienced cold winters.
Both the Times and the Virginia Morell story report criticisms of the study
similar to those made by Dieter Birks. I'm not sure which ions Barrick and
Showers were looking at, but they do discuss the issue of the isotope ratios
in the water.
The reference is Science, 8 July 1994, Vol. 265, page 222.
Thanks for everyone's comments.