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Dinosaurs fit middle of metabolic continuum

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A research has shown that dinosaurs’ metabolism places them in the middle of the metabolic continuum, forbidding their definite classification as either warm or cold-blooded creatures.

The study used dinosaurs’ body mass and their growth rates to arrive at an evaluation of their metabolism.

University of New Mexico biologist John Grady said, “…By examining animal growth and rates of energy use, we were able to reconstruct a metabolic continuum, and place dinosaurs along that continuum. Somewhat surprisingly, dinosaurs fell right in the middle.”

“Our results showed that dinosaurs had growth and metabolic rates that were actually not characteristic of warm-blooded or even cold-blooded organisms. They did not act like mammals or birds nor did they act like reptiles or fish,” said University of Arizona evolutionary biologist and ecologist Brian Enquist.

He characterized dinosaurs’ physiology as one which is uncommon these days.

Grady compared dinosaurs to some existing animals such as the great white shark, leatherback sea turtle, and tuna, which can not be assigned to a definite classification as far as their metabolisms are concerned.

In 2011, a report showed that a team led by researchers at the California Institute of Technology who analyzed fossil teeth from two sauropods found that they were about as warm as most modern mammals, but cooler than what experts expected from animals of such gigantic size.


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