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Return of the ectotherms!



Shortly before I got disappeared, Randy King sent the following to the
dinosaur list:

> According to yesterday's Oregonian, the University of Oregon (I
> think) is set on proving that dinosaurs are cold blooded.  Does
> anyone know why or what this is based on?  It seems a lot of effort
> has been spent getting the idea of them being warm blooded to be
> accepted, so what gives?  :-(
>
> -Randy King

Tom Holtz answered, but I thought I'd refresh the topic anyways.
Debates about the physiology of dinosaurs will probably never go away.
Remember back a couple of months when Ken Carpenter made some strong
statements about what we can and can't really "know" about dinosaur
behavior?  Well, our ability to reliably support statements about
their physiology isn't much better.  Although I think everyone
suspects (some e.g. Bob Bakker quite strongly) that dinosaurs behaved
more like mammals than the lumbering brutes of pre-Jurassic Park
horror movies, there's still plenty of room to argue about how fast
their internal fires burned.

When the topic came up here almost exactly a year ago, Anusuya
Chinsamy suggested a couple of references that you might want to look
into:

  Here are some more references or "rebuttals" for Bakkker's arguments
  of dinosaurian endothermy:

  Spotila, J R., M. P. Connor, P Dodson, F. V. Paladino, 1991. Hot and
    cold running dinosaurs: body size, metabolism and migration. Modern
    Geology 16:203-227.

  Paladino, F. V. Does the physiology of large living reptiles provide
    insights into the evolution of endothermy and paleophysiology of
    extinct dinosaurs?  In: G D Rosenberg, J F Pachut & D Wolberg
    (eds) The dinofest souvenir volume.

  The Paladino paper is in press at the moment but keep a lookout for it. 
  It is expected to be out shortly.

I just did a literature search to see if the latter paper is out, but
I couldn't find any reference to _The Dinofest Souvenir Volume_, or
any such article by Paladino.  Anybody else know if it's out yet?  If
you really want to get into it, there are plenty of other articles,
including an article recently mentioned here and published in
_American Scientist_: "Inside a Dinosaur Bone", by Anusuya Chinsamy
and Peter Dodson.  It's in the March-April issue.

-- 
Mickey Rowe     (rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu)