Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS Biol. 2006 Jul;4(8):e248.

Dinosaur fossils predict body temperatures.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA. gillooly@zoo.ufl.edu

Abstract

Perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding dinosaurs concerns whether they were endotherms, ectotherms, or some unique intermediate form. Here we present a model that yields estimates of dinosaur body temperature based on ontogenetic growth trajectories obtained from fossil bones. The model predicts that dinosaur body temperatures increased with body mass from approximately 25 degrees C at 12 kg to approximately 41 degrees C at 13,000 kg. The model also successfully predicts observed increases in body temperature with body mass for extant crocodiles. These results provide direct evidence that dinosaurs were reptiles that exhibited inertial homeothermy.

PMID:
16817695
PMCID:
PMC1489189
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.0040248
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center