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Sea Monster Reptiles Warm Blooded!

  • 11-06-2010 11:21am
    Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean

    I must say I was very surprised by this finding. Following on from the story we ran recently on an incredible new technique that allowes scientists to determine the body temperatures of long extinct animals, the same technique has nowbeen used on sea going reptiled from the Mesozoic such as plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs! It appears that they were in fact warm blooded and could actively pursue prey. There is even the possibility that some may have had blubber like modern whales!
    "These [sea reptiles] all came from land reptiles, who we're pretty sure were so-called cold-blooded, and it was probably the same when they started swimming. But over time it looks like homeothermy evolved, and so we need to figure out when that happened and why," he said.

    "Maybe it evolved as they became better at cruising, or [because] there were changes in average temperature or in sea level."

    Full article here.



  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 87,125 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight

    Don't forget that above a certain size and energy expenditure animals are warm blooded simply because the surface to volume ratio means they hold on to heat far longer.

    But interesting to see that the mososaurs weren't fully warm blooded.

    Did they do any research on whether the younger animals were as warm blooded as the adults, as a way to see how much was down to size or homoregulation ?

    Whales don't need blubber to keep warm.