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Re: Quo vadis, T. rex? [long]

At 01:11 AM 2/7/96 -0500, Tompaleo@aol.com wrote:
>In a message dated 96-02-06 20:55:13 EST, you write:
>>  ...and, of course, another reason why, in my mind, it's likely that they
>>all had feathers is the question of insulation on the smaller dinos.
>Insulation from what? The entire Mesozoic was warmer  than Florida is today.
>The polar climes of the later Mesozoic were still much warmer than the modern
>day poles are. Then there is the nasty problem of endothermy/homeothermy
>especially in regards to the migrating dinos. The thermoregulation problem is
>at least much more apprachable to solving than speculating about feathers.

   I've seen that argument before and I've seen real paleontologists (not
fans like me) completely refute it.  Unfortunately I don't recall what their
refutation was, but it was enough to convince me.

   Off the top of my head I believe there were comments about nighttime
temperatures (look how cold it gets in the desert at night) and the fact
that, despite the higher Mesozoic temperatures, areas near the poles 1) were
dark for several months of the year and 2) got cold enough to form frost and
3) there were dinosaurs that lived there all year 'round (the big-bug-eyed
ornithomimids, for example).

   ...and unless the ambient temperature was greater than body temperature,
heat loss would occur without some type of insulation.  Big energy loss
there, most likely.

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