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Re: Proof at last?
>A question from Noel "Son of David" Hill
>I've recently seen the Discovery Channel's show "Beyond T-Rex".
>In that program a scientist demonstrates how he claims to be able to prove
> The experiment is supposed find the consistency of oxygen molecules
>throughout the animal's body. if the oxygen molecules are equally
>distributed, than that means that the animal had the same body tempiture
>everywhere in it's body therefore the animal is warm-blooded. The
>experiment concluded that dinosaurs had oxygen molecules equally
>distributed. It would seem that the great debate is finally over,... Is
>this actually feasible proof?
> Though I believe that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, I am skeptical
>of the credibility of the procedure.
> I Would like to know if there is any rebuttal to this particular
>argument. Any responses would be appreciated.
This material is treated pretty well in the Complete Dinosaur. I think the
data you're referring to relates to the oxygen isotope ratios: 16O /18O if I
remember correctly. This ratio is temperature sensitive -- in fact
exquisitely temperature sensitive, and has been used to measure past sea
water temperatures with what is thought to be unprecedented accuracy.
Unfortunately, in the area of paleontology, the technique is absolutely
crammed with possible artifacts. Still, the practitioners of the art have
been equally adept at inventing corrections and controls, and at least some
of the studies are well worth looking at. The current bottom line, as I
understand it, is that the figures are inconclusive. The results *suggest*,
but do not require, that dinosaurs had partial homeothermy. What "partial
homeothermy" means remains unclear.