Researchers untangle energetics of extinct dinosaurs

June 12, 2014 10:49 PM

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Researchers untangle energetics of extinct dinosaurs

(Phys.org) —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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