Warm Blooded Versus Cold Blooded Dinosaurs Essay

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Warm Blooded Versus Cold Blooded Dinosaurs


At a time, scientists believed all dinosaurs were cold-blooded. However, with a recent discovery of a dinosaur found with a fossilized heart in the northern part of South Dakota in 1993, many paleontologists are starting to think that there were some dinosaurs that were warm blooded.

Dinosaurs were first believed to be cold-blooded because they were thought to be related closely to reptiles which are cold-blooded creatures. Cold-blooded animals don’t actually have “cold” blood, instead they rely on the temperature from their environment to regulate their own body temperature. They do this by taking advantage of external heat by basking in the sun, and by lying
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Because warm blooded animals don’t have to rely on their environment for body temperature, they are able to hunt at any time of the day or in any season, which is a great advantage over cold-blooded animals. Therefore this “type of intense activity needs a fast metabolism which is much too high for a cold-blooded animal. Secondly, cold-blooded animals have a hard time living in cold climates and dinosaur fossils have been found in the colder environments” (Eschberger). However, scientists believe warm blooded animals would have suffered from the heat in warmer climates, where many fossils have been discovered. Beverly Eschberger discusses how dinosaurs must have been only warm blooded animals due to the factors of, bone structure, and histology, growth rates, predator to prey ratios, speed and agility, rate of evolution, similarities with birds, and insulation. She also explains the disadvantages of being a warm blooded animal: “a much larger expenditure of energy to maintain elevated metabolism and a commensurate increase in food requirements” (Eschberger). Just as the conclusion that dinosaurs were truly warm blooded becomes clearer, factors from the cold blooded side switch everything around. Gigantothermy, rate of food supply, respiratory turbinates and lung structure all cause scientists to believe dinosaurs were in fact cold-blooded. There have been many attempts to find the real resolution of whether or not dinosaurs were warm or cold…