Feeds

DINOSAUR BLOOD: JUST RIGHT, as Goldilocks might say, if drinking it

Not too hot, not too cold. Yum

The next step in data security

It's one of the mysteries of the ages: what temperature was dinosaur blood? Some studies seemed to show the physiology of warm blood, others cold. Now, research led by the University of New Mexico suggests they fell neatly in the middle.

Led by PhD student and lead author John Grady, the researchers decided to take a fresh look at what's known about dinosaur growth rates, which comes from analysis of fossil bones. However, they note, prior studies have been “constrained by a lack of data and an appropriate energetic framework”.

To get over this, Grady's team built a data model based both on living and extinct vertebrates including dinosaurs, and as they say in their abstract, “we find that growth and metabolic rates follow theoretical predictions across [all major dinosaur] clades”.

Taking into account the effects of size and temperature, the researchers reckon dinos fell between endotherms (warm-blooded) and ectotherms (cold-blooded).

That notion also provides an insight into dinosaurs' metabolic rate, as Grady explained to the BBC: “If I were eating sandwiches all day... I might have to eat five,” he told the Beeb, “But a reptile [my size] can eat maybe a couple of sandwiches in a whole week.”

Doubling an animal's metabolic rate, Grady says, also roughly doubles its growth rate compared to a slower-metabolism critter of similar size.

To reach the “Goldilocks” conclusion – the term he's coined is “mesothermy” – Grady's analysis covered 381 species including 21 dinosaurs.

If Grady's team's conclusions are right, it would place dinosaurs in a small category: among living creatures the best-known animal with a similar metabolic profile is the Great White Shark. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.