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New paper on modeling dinosaur physiology



I haven't seen this mentioned on the list yet (nor any real news feeds). I 
suspect this might have to do with the two month lead time the online 
publication has over the "official" publication.

Clarke, A. 2013. Dinosaur Energetics: Setting the Bounds on Feasible 
Physiologies and Ecologies. Am. Nat. Vol. 182(3):283-297


http://www.jstor.org/stable/info/10.1086/671259


Abstract:

The metabolic status of dinosaurs has long been debated but remains unresolved 
as no consistent picture has emerged from a range of anatomical and isotopic 
evidence. Quantitative analysis of dinosaur energetics, based on general 
principles applicable to all vertebrates, shows that many features of dinosaur 
lifestyle are compatible with a physiology similar to that of extant lizards, 
scaled up to dinosaur body masses and temperatures. The analysis suggests that 
sufficient metabolic scope would have been available to support observed 
dinosaur growth rates and allow considerable locomotor activity, perhaps even 
migration. Since at least one dinosaur lineage evolved true endothermy, this 
study emphasizes there was no single dinosaur physiology. Many small theropods 
were insulated with feathers and appear to have been partial or full 
endotherms. Uninsulated small taxa, and all juveniles, presumably would have 
been ectothermic, with consequent diurnal and
 seasonal variations in body temperature. In larger taxa, inertial homeothermy 
would have resulted in warm and stable body temperatures but with a basal 
metabolism significantly below that of extant mammals or birds of the same 
size. It would appear that dinosaurs exhibited a range of metabolic levels to 
match the broad spectrum of ecological niches they occupied.

There is also a short blurb about the paper from Dr. Clarke here:

http://www.amnat.org/an/newpapers/SepClarke.html

Jason