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Cold blood, hot skin
I was reading though an old favourite of mine, Dinosaur! by Dr David
Norman (1991) when I came across this:
"Indeed the larger a reptile is, the more difficult it becomes to
use basking as a means of temperature control. One fact which is not
often mentioned in the work of
Colbert, Cowles and Bogert on body temperature control in small and
large alligators is that is that several of the larger alligators
involved in their experiment apparently died of the effects of sunburn
after prolonged exposure to the sun. Their skin actually began to bake
rather than being able to pass the heat which was being absorbed
directly into the blood and around the body."
Alligators presumably avoid this by swimming under water, or by finding
Wouldn't this be a serious danger for a large cold-blooded dinosaur too?
Would, say, a big cold-blooded sauropod have to spend its life in shade
to avoid "cooking" its own skin?
John Conway, Palaeoartist
"All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde