At a time, scientists believed all dinosaurs were cold-blooded. However, with a recent discovery of a dinosaur found with a fossilized heart in the northern part of South Dakota in 1993, many paleontologists are starting to think that there were some dinosaurs that were warm blooded.
Dinosaurs were first believed to be cold-blooded because they were thought to be related closely to reptiles which are cold-blooded creatures. Cold-blooded animals don’t actually have “cold” blood, instead they rely on the temperature from their environment to regulate their own body temperature. They do this by taking advantage of external heat by basking in the sun, and by lying in the shade to cool down. A more correct term is “ectothermic” which means “heat from outside.” On the other hand, a warm-blooded animal creates heat internally by chemical reactions inside their body. They are able to regulate their body temperature internally instead of relying on their environment. Author of the article, “Dinosaurs: Warm or Cold Blooded?” Beverly Eschberger explains, “endothermic animals have a continually high requirement for food to fuel the heat generation. Providing they can find food their constantly-optimum body temperature means that they can stay active even when it is very cold” (par 3). Even though it was believed that dinosaurs were closely related to cold-blooded reptiles, most dinosaurs had similar behaviors of a bird which is a warm blooded animal. Believing dinosaurs were warm blooded would help explain the reason why dinosaurs were so dominant and plentiful for such a long period of time. There are many other factors that play a vital role in ...
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...s: Cold vs. Warm-Blooded?” 15 Dec. 2000
Russell, Dale A. “Cardiovascular Evidence For An Intermediate or Higher Metabolic Rate In An Ornithischian.” Science Vol 288 (2000): 503-505. 23 April 2000 <http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/288/5465/503>.
“Warm Blooded vs. Cold Blooded.” Dino Database. 2004. Arts and Letters Corporation 2004 <http://www.dinodatabase.com/dinothry08.asp>.
“Were Dinosaurs Warm or Cold Blooded?” BBC News 5 April 2004
“66 Million–Year–Old Dino With A Heart.” Media Kit 17 April 2000. North Carolina University. 2000 <http://www.dinoheart.org/mediakit/index.html>.
“66 Million–Year–Old Dinosaur With A Heart.” Science Daily 4 April 2000
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