AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Throw Away Those Old Dinosaur Toys, Theres A New Kind of Dino in Town



Growing up, dinosaurs were always cold-blooded, reptile-like creatures, right? Well recent research has put that theory to rest. Dinosaurs may have been much more warm blooded, than we previously thought.

Originally, scientists thought that dinosaurs were slow, low-energy creatures that only required heat from sunlight to go about their daily lives. This thought changed drastically in the 1960s when research showed that dinosaurs were much more like birds in the sense that they actually use lots of energy and internally regulate their body temperature. These theories created our super fast Jurassic Park dinosaurs.

Recently, though, paleoecologist John Grady stated that it isn’t quite so black and white for these animals. Grady got together with a team of colleagues and calculated the growth rate of an animal in relation to it’s energy use and put it on a scale ranging from animals such as crocodiles, slow-moving and low metabolism, to ostriches, fast moving and high metabolism. From there, the research team was able to estimate where on the scale dinosaurs fell, and to their surprise, it was right in the middle.

It turns out that dinosaurs may have had metabolisms similar to that of a great white shark or tuna. And while it may be hard to believe that dinosaurs are similar to tuna, these findings will help scientists better understand dinosaurs especially things such as how they hunted and why they grew to such large sizes!

Our view of what kind of creatures dinosaurs were could change completely in the next few years! Discoveries like these will help us understand how they lived on the planet so long, and possibly help us understand how to better the longevity of the human race.


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1 Comment

  1. sgagocytosis

    Very interesting article, Fishinthesie! I always think of reptiles being more closely related to dinosaurs than birds but it is actually the reverse. It’s interesting to see the comparison between dinosaurs and tuna because the two creatures seem so vastly different.
    I remember reading this article and it spoke about the many similarities between birds and dinosaurs.
    It’s also so interesting that paleontologists are able to learn so much about the dinosaurs just from their fossils that are millions of years old. It’s crazy how much new information they can get just by studying their bones.

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