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Scientists solve ancient dinosaur riddle about T-Rex


The long-pondered question about whether dinosaurs were cold-blooded or warm-blooded has finally been answered.

Dinosaur experts, also known as paleontologists, have often wondered whether or not the most feared animals to ever live were warm or cold blooded, but they never had an answer.

That is until now, thanks to a study created by a team lead by Dr Jasmina Wiemann of Yale University.

It had been thought that dinosaur’s were slow creatures because they were cold-blooded and had to conserve energy.

But, Dr Wiemann explains in her new report, this was not the case and the answer lies in the beasts metabolism.

She said: “Metabolism is how effectively we convert the oxygen that we breathe into chemical energy that fuels our body.



This microscopic view of extracted soft tissues from the bones of one of the dinosaur specimens used in the study helped to answer the mysterious question
This microscopic view of extracted soft tissues from the bones of one of the dinosaur specimens used in the study helped to answer the mysterious question

“This is really exciting for us as paleontologists – the question of whether dinosaurs were warm- or cold-blooded is one of the oldest questions in paleontology, and now we think we have a consensus, that most dinosaurs were warm-blooded.

“Having a high metabolic rate has generally been suggested as one of the key advantages when it comes to surviving mass extinctions and successfully radiating afterwards.

“We are living in the sixth mass extinction, so it is important for us to understand how modern and extinct animals physiologically responded to previous climate change and environmental perturbations, so that the past can inform biodiversity conservation in the present and inform our future actions.”



This was one of the colourful subset of animals looked at for the study
This was one of the colourful subset of animals looked at for the study

She did later clarify that while larger dinosaurs such as the T-Rex were warm-blooded, the smaller ones such as ancient lizards were probably still cold-blooded.

Birds were also cold-blooded, which is, she adds, why they survived a mass extinction event – although that is not definitive because “many non-avian dinosaurs with equally high metabolic rates went extinct,” she later tweeted.

We could have an even more clearer answer by 2025, thanks to the man who inspired the hit Jurassic Park films.



Dinosaurs could return by 2025, according to the man who inspired Jurassic Park
Dinosaurs could return by 2025, according to the man who inspired Jurassic Park

Dr Jack Horner said, in 2015, that he planned to genetically engineer chickens (living ancestors of dinosaurs) to reactivate their ancestral traits. In other words, make them look as scary as they do in Jurassic Park.

“Of course birds are dinosaurs,” he explained. “So we just need to fix them so they look a little more like a dinosaur…Dinosaurs had long tails, arms, and hands, and through evolution they’ve lost their tails, and their arms and hands have turned into wings.

“Actually, the wings and hands are not as difficult,” Horner said, adding that a “chickenosaurus” is well on its way to becoming reality. “The tail is the biggest project,” he said.

“But on the other hand, we have been able to do some things recently that have given us hope that it won’t take too long. Birds are living dinosaurs.”

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