The Warm and Cold Blooded Nature of Dinosaurs
The debate of whether dinosaurs were cold blooded or warm blooded has been ongoing since the beginning of the century. At the turn of the century scientists believed that dinosaurs had long limbs and were fairly slim, supporting the idea of a cold blooded reptile. Recently, however, the bone structure, number or predators to prey, and limb position have suggested a warm blooded species. In addition, the recent discovery of a fossilized dinosaur heart has supported the idea that dinosaurs were a warm blooded species. In this essay, I am going to give supporting evidence of dinosaurs being both warm and cold blooded. I will provide background information on the dinosaur that was discovered and what information it provides scientists.
Until recently, scientists believed the chances of finding a fossilized dinosaur heart were extremely slim. The heart belonged to a 66 million year old dinosaur found in Harding County in Northwestern South Dakota. The dinosaur, found in 1993, weighed over 650 pounds and was 13 feet long. The dinosaur was in fairly good condition with the exception of the left side of the skeleton. The small, plant-eating Thescelosaurus, nicknamed ‘Willo’ has been acquired by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Thescelosaurus was an ornithischian, or "bird-hipped," dinosaur that lived in the latter stage of the Cretaceous period. This was approximately 1 million years before the end of the dinosaur era. Native to North America, its range extended from the northern United States up into Canada. Since using the 3-D software to reveal Willo's heart, scientists have also used it to create 3-D images of the fossil's skull, and of remains from other dinosaurs in the museum's collection. (Fisher, Paul)
A group of scientists from North Carolina and Oregon used medical technology to search an iron-stained concretion inside the specimen’s chest. With the assistance of imaging equipment and...
Cited: 1. Dinosaur Blood 2 April 2004 <www.priweb.org>
2. Hot Blooded or Cold Blooded 3 April 2004 <www.ucmp.berkeley.edu>
3. Willo the Dinosaur with a Heart 2 April 2004 <http://www.memphisgeology.org/p_willo.html>
4. Fisher, Paul. Cardiovascular Evidence for an Intermediate or Higher Metabolic Rate in an Ornithischian Dinosaur 3 April 2004 http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/288/5465/503
5. Dinosaur Heart Found 1 April 2004 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/720871/stm
6. Willo the Dinosaur with a Heart 1 April 2004 http://www.dinoheart.org/
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