Tuesday, May 16, 2006


“Dinosaurs dominated the terrestrial ecosystem over 160 million years and these vertebrate animals first appearing approximately 230 million years ago” (1). They were vertebrates animals because they were characterised by back bone. Today only fossils records of the dinosaurs is the evidence that this animals once existed and they had suffered a devastating loss and they have gone extinct which ended their dominance in the land. However it is believed that "birds evolved from the dinosaurs" (1). “The earliest recorded dinosaurs fossils were found in Madagascar” (1). The dinosaurs were “slightly built and were of different diets, there were carnivores, herbivores, omnivores and others were insectivores” (1).

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” (1). The "current evidence by the scientist that the dinosaurs were warm blooded animals" (2) 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” (2). The dinosaurs are able to keep their body temperature by regulating their metabolic process rates.

The “discovery of polar dinosaurs in Australia and Antarctica is also evidence that they were warm-blooded animals” (1). This is because they were able to “survive under very cooler condition” (1). 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 and the analysis carried on their blood vessels structures shows that of endortherms in dinosaurs bone” (1).

"The dinosaurs had the skeleton structure which suggested that their lifestyles were so active similar to those of endortherms we know in todays life" (1). The body size of the dinosaurs is also another factor which the scientists believed that these animals were warm-blooded. This is because the size of animal plays a role in maintaining the body temperature; animals with large body size are able to maintain their body temperature at constant level. Their body size made them to be called bulk endortherms. These “bulk endortherms are animals that are warmer than their environments through sheer size rather than through special adaptations like those of birds” (2).

It is said that “the warm-blooded animals grows faster than the cold blooded animals and the fact that the dinosaurs reach substantial size while they are still in the nests (Horner, j 1978). This was “proved through the isotope of their bones” (3).
The above evidence resulted to the conclusion that the dinosaurs were really warm-blooded animals and thus they managed to cope under cooler conditions in areas they existed using that ability as a mean of survival.


1. Wikipedia contributors. Dinosaur [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 May 24, 06:00 UTC [cited 2006 May 24]. Available from:

2. Wikipedia contributors. Warm-blooded [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 May 9, 17:29 UTC [cited 2006 May 24]. Available from:

3. Wikipedia contributors. Jack Horner (paleontologist) [Internet]. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; 2006 May 23, 00:29 UTC [cited 2006 May 24]. Available from:

Mr Lufuno Mukwevho
CSIR Pretoria
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