Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Dinosaurs dominated the terrestrial ecosystem over 160 million years. These vertebrate animals first appeared approximately 230 million years ago. They are vertebrates animals because they were characterised by back bone. It is said that the dinosaurs suffered a disastrous extinction. Therefore going extinct ended their dominance in the land. However it is believed that birds are descendents of the dinosaurs. According to the scientist the earliest recorded dinosaurs fossils were found in Madagascar. They were slightly built and were of different diets, there were carnivores, herbivores, omnivores and others were insectivores.

According to the current studies by the scientist, it is believed that the dinosaurs were warm blooded animals unlike the early debates that they were cold-blooded animals. The current evidence by the scientist that the dinosaurs were warm blooded animals proved seems to be true based on the available evidence. Warm-blooded animals are animals that able to maintain thermal homeostasis, they keep their temperature at constant level in spite of the temperature of the surrounding environment. They are able to maintain their body temperature by regulating their metabolic rates.

The discovery of polar dinosaurs in Australia and Antarctica is also evidence that they were warm-blooded animals. This is because they were able to survive under very cooler condition. This mean that their body able to maintain the body temperature for them to survive. Their feathers may have played a role in providing regulatory insulation. The analysis carried on their blood vessels structures shows that of endotherms in dinosaurs bone.

The structure of the skeleton also suggests that dinosaurs had active lifestyles similar to that of endotherms. The body size of the dinosaurs is also another factor which the scientist believed that these animals were warm-blooded. This is because the size of animal plays a role in maintaining the body temperature. Their body size made them to be called bulk endortherms. These bulk endotherms are animals that are warmer than their environments through sheer size rather than through special adaptations like those of birds.

It is said that the warm-blooded animals grows faster than the cold blooded animals, there fore it was proved by Jack Horner that dinosaurs reach substantial size while they are still in the nests. This was proved through the isotope of their bones.
The above evidence is another way to believe that the dinosaurs were warm- blooded meaning that they manage to cope with different climatic conditions of the areas they existed.

1. Wikipedia contributors, Warm-blooded [Internet]. Wikipedia, The free Encyclopedia, [Cited 2006 May 16] Available from:
2. Wikipedia contributors, Dinosaurs [Internet]. Wikipedia, The free Encyclopedia, [Cited 2006 May 16] Available from:

Mr Lufuno Mukwevho
CSIR Pretoria
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Tel: (012) 841 2133
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E-mail: lmukwevho@csir.co.za
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