GEOL 104 Dinosaurs: A Natural History

Fall Semester 2006
Hearts, Lungs, and Faces: New Approaches to Dinosaur Physiology

Some thing to consider:

Some additional possibilities:

  • Gigantothermy:
    From geometry, as linear dimensions double, the surface area goes up by squares, and the volume by cubes:
    Side Length Surface Area (SA) Volume (V) SA/V
    1 6 1 6/1 = 6
    2 24 8 24/8 = 3
    3 54 27 54/27 = 2
    4 96 64 96/64 = 1.5

  • Heterometabolism:

    So, where do we stand on dinosaur metabolism?

    What would be necessary to justify the above observations?

    Is there evidence for these features in dinosaurs? YES!

    Dinosaur Breathing:

    For more on vertebrate breathing, check out the website of experimental work on modern amphibians and non-avian reptiles.

    Dinosaur Hearts:

    Dinosaur Temperature Regulators:

    The enlarged narial regions may support tissues for a different function: recovery of moisture. In living endotherms, rapid rate of respiration would dry out lungs if not for some specialized tissues called nasal turbinates:

    Still much work to be done in interepreting the physiology of extinct dinosaurs

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    Last modified: 14 July 2006