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cold-blooded dinos (revisited)
Sorry to bring this topic up again. I recently asked for information about
the current "conventional wisdom" with regard to the cold- or
warm-bloodedness of dinosaurs. I received some excellent replies (which
corresponded with my reading). They generally expressed the opinion that
some dinos were probably endothermic, some ectothermic, and some in-between
(had some ability to regulate temperature). .
However - this week, as I was catching up on my pile of Science News
magazines - I read came upon a discussion of an article by John A. Ruben et
al.( the article was published in the January issue of Science).
Ruben and his colleagues (who are physiologists) examined a fossil of
Scipionyx samniticus, a small meat-eating theropod. They think the fossil -
which has traces of internal organs - shows that the diaphragm was used for
breathing (like in mammals). However, Ruben et al. state that dinosaurs
(S. samniticus included) are cold-blooded. In addition, James O. Farlow - a
paleontologist - is quoted as saying that dinsoaurs were cold-blooded, but
that theropds were "as active as" warm-blooded animals. These scientists
(apparently) categorically state that dinosaurs were cold-blooded; they don't
even tip their hats (so to speak) in the direction of any other theories.
Any thoughts? (I want to put the most current information into my dinosaur
book for kids).