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Dinosaurs homeostasis

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Dinosaurs homeostasis

Postby Cotton King » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:22 am

If dinosaurs were ectotherms how would a very large dinosaur such as a T Rex or Diplodocus ever warm itself up enough from its surroundings to move, let alone run? Bearing in mind they were huge and so had a v. large vol:SA ratio. Was it because the world's climate was much warmer then?
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Postby nugget » Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:48 am

well what else explains it?
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er...

Postby kotoreru » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:54 pm

Well, endothermy does.
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Postby Darby » Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:21 pm

It's not just size, it's surface area, and the theropods were pretty slender.

Also, ectotherms still generate internal heat from metabolic processes, moreso for large animals, there's just no homeostatic control. It's thought that sauropods, which were particularly bulky, might have been very stable, temperature-wise, but not technically endotherms.

Personally, I suspect that most theropods were endotherms, like their surviving cousins. One problem with the question is that it assumes that endothermy has to apply for an entire group, because the examples found today work that way (if you ignore examples in fish).
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Postby nugget » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:35 am

Perhaps they were ectotherms and different specializations they had in terms of body shape too assisted their maximal use of the suns heat. Look at the Pelycosaurs for example? the shape of that sail resembling back perhaps? maybe increases the surface are the way leaves are surfaces for photosynthesis. They might have also had highly vascuralized skin, but there are somethings that we just dont know about them to be absolutely sure and deduce the truth from.
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Postby nugget » Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:07 pm

haha.... have we thought about the feathered dinosaurs? dorsal feathers on the Sinosauropteryx may be a clue to endothermic donosaurs, some method to perhaps keep heat? or maybe to reflect light if they were ectothermic?
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