Researchers untangle energetics of extinct dinosaurs

June 12, 2014 10:49 PM

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( —Dinosaurs dominated the landscape for more than 100 million years, but all that remains today are bones. This has made it difficult to solve a long-standing and contentious puzzle: were dinosaurs cold-blooded animals that lumbered along or swift warm-blooded creatures as depicted in Jurassic Park? The answer, according to scientists at the University of New Mexico, is neither. Instead, dinosaurs took a middle path between warm-blooded mammals ('endotherms') and cold-blooded reptiles ('ectotherms').

"Most dinosaurs were probably mesothermic," said John Grady, a graduate student at UNM who led the research. "A thermally intermediate strategy that only a few species – such as egg laying echidnas or great white sharks – use today."

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