back to article Dinosaurs were super mums, nest find proves

They may have been cold-blooded, but it turns out dinosaurs were caring parents – arranging their eggs neatly and letting their scaly offspring stay in the nest until they had at least doubled in size. Fossil-bothering boffins poking around in a 190-million-year-old nest in South Africa have published a new study into the the …

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correction needed

"6m-long (9ft 8in) " - it's more like 20ft isn't it?

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Coat

What's that...

... in linguini?

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Anonymous Coward

arranging their eggs neatly

So, they kept all their eggs in one basket?

Well, we know how that turns out...

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Happy

On the other hand

This may be the very first instance of anal compulsive behavior.

This explains why I get so hungry when I'm vacuuming. I want to throw a stegosaurus on the barbie.

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min

mummy Tyrannosaur:

''pookie, do you want mayo on your Bronto-burger?''

i suppose, thouugh, that such behaviour would not be unexpected...

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MJI
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Were they cold blooded?

Or warm blooded as a form of bird/reptile intermediate form?

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Mushroom

Yes they were warm blooded

Bearing in mind that lizards shouldn't even be part of herpetology, but some kind of cold-blooded precursor to the rest of aves, then yes. Big yes.

And don't start throwing megalothermy about. It's an embarrassing parachute for biologists with a piss-awful grasp of physics.

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MJI
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megalothermy?

Did a search - which lead straight back to here (only)

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Anonymous Coward

Megalothermy - being big saves heat...

Megalothermy is the idea that a big dino, while it may have been "cold blooded" in the metabolic sense (not burning calories just to stay warm), might still have had a blood temperature much higher than the surroundings.

The idea is that the incidental heat (e.g. heat produced by a muscle being used to maintain posture) would be lost slower due to a big dino having less surface area relative to its volume (surface area varies as the square of size, volume as the cube of size, so double size, surface area goes up by 4, volume by 8, area/volume goes down by 2).

However, not everything scales when you make an animal bigger, so a bigger animal won't necessarily have a lower area/volume ratio, and even if it does, differences in things like convective losses tend to eliminate the differences.

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Re: Megalothermy - being big saves heat...

I'm guessing the rationale goes something like this:

But, but... polar bears are big and so are king crabs... uhhh, besides the lungs are on the inside so heat can't escape that way.

Lulz icon please.

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Headmaster

Dinosaurs probably not cold-blooded

Speaking as a biologist, the general consensus is that dinosaurs were probably warm blooded - just like their immediate descendants, birds.

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Boffin

Cold blooded?

"They may have been cold-blooded"?

More likely not.

The sole surviving branch of the dinosaurs (birds) is warm-blooded.

One of the three types of scales on birds' legs can be induced (by chemical treatment of the embryo) to turn into feathers (down feathers, not flight feathers).

Fossils of several dinosaur species have been found to have feathers (flight feathers in archaeopterix, down feathers in others).

Down feathers provide insulation. Important in WARM-blooded animals.

So probably warm-blooded.

Of course, you did say "may," but in context that reads as "Despite being cold-blooded..."

Now I shall go outside to watch the dinosaurs.

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Coat

How do you get down from a duck...?

... Why are you up on a duck in the first place?!

DARFC :-)

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Coat

How do you get down from an elephant?

You don't, you get down from a duck.

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Anonymous Coward

warm blooded, caring families

less primitive than many humans today then!

Seriously, these animals aren't primitive are they? They are just extinct like the dodo and Tasmanian tiger. Like the coelacanth and bob, they might just be hiding behind the sofa.

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Confusion

Are we confusing an emotion ("caring") with an imperative (preservation of the species)?

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This post has been deleted by its author

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The emotion of caring is nothing more than an evolutionary response designed to further the imperative of genetic propagation.

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Anonymous Coward

Caring for eggs - like a CROC?

Crocodiles and alligators also care for their young, and are most definitely cold blooded, so why is "caring for young & cold blooded" such a surprise?

(ignoring for the moment all the theories that dinos were warm blooded.)

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WTF?

Caring mom Dino, what a big story ...

... when I first read about it (http://www.librarything.com/work/8157968).

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Facepalm

VERY old news, see "Maiasaura"...

You might at least mention Jack Horner's discovery of Maiasaura in the 70's. Arranged nests, embryonic dinos, etc. They established long ago that dinos stayed in the nest and were cared for by the adults. I saw Horner himself talk about that dig in 1986.

This new find adds more to the story and relates to earlier animals, but it's decades-old news that dinos cared for their young. And were probably not cold-blooded, by the way.

Headsmack for not doing basic research first...

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Facepalm

re:very old news

This discovery is dated even earlier. So pushing back the earliest recorded behaviour of this type.

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