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Re: Taking the temperature of dinosaurs?

If I correctly remember the previous work in the 1990s on this subject, it was 
not the internal temperature of the animal, per se, that was important.  
Rather, it was the difference between the temperature of an extremity (say, the 
O18/O16 of a finger bone)compared to the "core" temperature (O18/O16 from a rib 
bone or from a central thoracic vertebra).

Ecto's have a smaller "spread" in the isotopic ratios, whereas endo's and mass 
homeotherms have a larger "spread" in the ratios.

That's all from memory, mind you.  My library of dinosaur papers, collected 
over 25 years, was all lost to an unethical (thief) potential landlord back in 
2006 (that explains my absence here between 2006 and 2009), so I have been 
"riding bareback" (by memory) since.


---------- Original Message ----------
From: Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Taking the temperature of dinosaurs?
Date: Wed, 26 May 2010 11:37:57 +1000

On Wed, May 26th, 2010 at 11:19 AM, "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@umd.edu> 

> It is worth noting that the analysis cannot at present resolve
> endotherms
> vs. ectotherms. It is just a thermometer: it is not a thermometer
> with a
> time component.
> Too many people in the press about this seem to think that
> warm-blooded
> animals actually have higher body temperatures than cold-blooded
> ones.

Indeed. Some varanids are able to regulate their body temperatures to about 35 
C, with a 
precision of +/- 1 C.

That's higher than your average monotreme (30-32 C).


Dann Pigdon
GIS Specialist                         Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj

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