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RE: DOWNY STEGOSAURS (WAS: Re: Feathers on Bloody Everything)

        -----Original Message-----
        From:   Scott A Hartman [SMTP:ottscay@uwyo.edu]
        Sent:   Tuesday, October 13, 1998 4:13 PM
        To:     Betty Cunningham
        Cc:     dinosaur@usc.edu
        Subject:        Re: DOWNY STEGOSAURS (WAS: Re: Feathers on Bloody

        I only maintain that if you restore dinosaurs as
        endotherms, then to be consistent you have to insulate them.

        Scott Hartman


        But, what if different species of dinosaurs used different
strategies?  James Horner indicates that he believes that the evidence for
Tyrannosaurus rex supports them being "metatherms".  That their bone growth
pattern changed after around 4 ½ years (from endothermic to gigantothermic).
One wonders if this might have been true for other varieties of dinosaurs as
well?  And, let's face it; the strict division of animals into endotherms OR
ectotherms doesn't seem as clear cut as it once did.  Marine biologists now
think there is ample evidence that some sharks are at least partially
endothermic, including the Great White.  Certainly, most modern forms are
either endo or ectothermic.
        If the growth rates implied for dinosaurs are accurate, that
certainly implies at least partial endothermia.  My son is a reptile fancier
& owned a couple of boa constrictors, numerous turtles, newts, & has a
Savanna Monitor as a pet ATT.  He bought his pets from reputable dealers & I
know it took his last constrictor YEARS to grow to 12 feet.  At 15 feet, he
donated her to the San Antonio Zoo.  He accidently overfed Manny (the
monitor) & the poor creature nearly died.  As someone stated on the list:
the lizard could not handle the
        Over feeding, got fat, & his liver nearly failed.  (Eggs were the
        So, I don't see how most dinosaurs could have been ectothermic, per
se.  But, maybe they weren't endothermic in the sense of modern mammals or
birds, either.
        P.S.: The Savanna Monitor is fine now & on a very strict diet! :-)