BioQuakes

AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: dinosaurs

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

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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.

 

We used to be shrews!?!

Ever think where did we come from?  Well, one answer to that could be evolution. While it is not yet a proven fact, it is a theory that shows promise to be true.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfws_pacificsw/5665647177/

Experts on the matter of evolution “recorded 4,500 physical traits for 86 mammalian species, including 40 that are now extinct.”  Using this information in tandem with DNA samples, the experts were able to figure out the probable start of placental mammals.  One of the findings was that the rise of placental mammals came after the dinosaurs had become extinct.  This was an earlier hypothesis that was now confirmed. The death of the Dinosaurs would allow for mammals to fill the top of the food chain where the dinosaurs once stood.  Less competition makes it easier to rise to the top.  Dr. Jonathan Bloch, who works at the Florida museum of Natural history, said “This gives us a new perspective of how major change can influence the history of life, like the extinction of the dinosaurs. This was a major event in Earth’s history that potentially then results in setting the framework for the entire ordinal diversification of mammals, including our own very distant ancestors.”

I think this is incredibly cool how all species could be related to one primal and ancient ancestor.  It shows how we are all linked in some way.

What do you guys think on the matter?

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/feb/07/ancestor-humans-mammals-insect-eater