back to article POLAR DINOSAURS prowled ARCTIC NIGHT, cast doubt on COLD BLOOD theory

Everybody knows that the dinosaurs were cold-blooded, right? Lizards, cold blood, there you go. But maybe not. A new species of dino, lately discovered among fossils found in chilly Alaska, has confirmed that the mighty lizardoids of the remote past could actually survive in much colder regions than had been thought - and this …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    wtf?

    active around 69 million years ago

    But the world is only 6000 years old.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: wtf?

      Seven downvotes? Proof, not that it's needed, that Creationists have no sense of humour either.

      1. Jonathan Richards 1

        Re: wtf?

        To get a diagnosis of sense of humour failure, you have to challenge the patient with an actual joke. That whole 'only six thousand years old' thing is so old, it doesn't qualify any longer, so several downvotes were probably from readers, or petunias, thinking "Oh, no, not again".

  2. a_yank_lurker

    Warm blooded dinos

    Actually many contend dinosaurs were and are warm-blooded with many species feather covered even today. The contention is birds are dinosaurs. So when you eat a chicken you are munching a close relative of T Rex.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Warm blooded dinos

      I'd love to wrap my gums around that bargain bucket and no, I'm not David Cameron.

      Seriously, though, one would imagine that layers of downey feathers would've helped considerably but to have survived in sub-zero conditions as a cold-blooded animal does sound most unlikely.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Warm blooded dinos

        Kentucky fried lizard partes! Yummy!

        (RIP, Harry.)

      2. Purple-Stater

        Re: Warm blooded dinos

        " the dinosaur was so far north that it would have lived in darkness for months at a time"

        From the points of darkness, and frigid cold... even beyond the likelihood that they were actually warm-blooded, and the fact that the planet was a lot warmer overall back then, perhaps they simply had seasonal migrations.

      3. Truckle The Uncivil

        Re: Warm blooded dinos

        People are missing a point of significance. Feathers are of little thermal use to a creature that is not exothermic. i.e. If it had feathers in a cold environment and did not use them aerodynamically it is unlikely to be cold blooded.

    2. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: Warm blooded dinos

      We have photographic proof that duck-billed dinosaurs can indeed thrive in snowy conditions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Warm blooded dinos

        Getting down with the dinos eh?

    3. Charles Manning

      That also explains...

      why dinosaurs never had a space program.

      They just turned into birds and flew away!

    4. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Warm blooded dinos

      A couple of years ago I had a long chat with a professor who knew considerably more about dinosaurs than I ever will (not especially hard) and he stated that he believed that there was no evidence for dinosaurs being cold blooded and the belief that they were cold blooded was more likely a cultural "they must have been primitive as they were such a long time ago" attitude than anything based on fact. He specifically pointed to birds and asked the question "when did they become warm blooded"? He also doubted that a such broad genus(?) could have been been so successful if it was made up of large land based cold blooded animals as in the current world the only incidences of successful "large" cold blooded land animals are in niche environments.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Warm blooded dinos

        Back in the 70's there was a book called "Warm blooded dinosaurs" which had a pretty complete history of this, it's been a recurring debate throughout the short history of paleontology, many Victorian era researchers noted the similarity of many dinosaurs skeletal design to birds, but the visual imagery of huge lumbering primitive lizards was just to compelling an image (Stephen Spielberg seems to agree, despite the mounting evidence not a feather in sight in the new Jurassic World movie.)

        Victorian era archaeologists did a lot to shape our views of the past according to their own prejudices, we are now starting to discover many dinosaurs probably weren't cold blooded, and that the Dark Age's were not particularly dark.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Warm blooded dinos

          To be fair to Speilberg and co, it is explained in the latest film that the animals aren't really dinosaurs. They're genetically engineered animals designed to meet the public's perception of dinosaurs. It explains why the raptors are so big and none of the animals have feathers.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Warm blooded dinos

            "To be fair to Spielberg and co, it is explained in the latest film that the animals aren't really dinosaurs. They're genetically engineered animals designed to meet the public's perception of dinosaurs. It explains why the raptors are so big and none of the animals have feathers."

            Yep nice try by Spielberg, but we all know if they had tried to show feathered raptors or heaven forbid a T Rex they wouldn't look so fearsome (even if they actually were probably extremely dangerous even with feathers ...and turkey sized raptors, Chris Pratt would look a bit silly with them escorting his bike lol)

            1. Brian Souder 1

              Feathered T-Rex Test Group Trial

              if they had tried to show feathered raptors or heaven forbid a T Rex they wouldn't look so fearsome (even if they actually were probably extremely dangerous even with feathers

              They tried a feathered version of the T-Rex in with test groups, but like you said, didn't work for the film. They did end up using it in another picture though:

              Feathered T-Rex

      2. ToddR

        Re: Warm blooded dinos

        We have known for donkeys years that dinosaurs, (Jurassic onwards), were warm blooded. We now think that some species of shark and tuna are warm blooded which explains there endurance.

        Also pretty sure that during the late Cretaceous the arctic regions were sub-tropical.

        Crap arcticle, geddit

        1. joeldillon

          Re: Warm blooded dinos

          'We now think'? Surely that's pretty easy to verify with species that exist now - go fishing, grab a fish, kill it, cut it open, stick your finger in it, what's the temperature?

          1. Sweep

            Re: Warm blooded dinos

            It is, and it has been.

            Certain predatory fish are regional endotherms- they use heat generated by the contraction of their muscles to keep certain muscles/ organs etc above ambient temperature.

        2. Primus Secundus Tertius

          Re: Warm blooded dinos

          @ToddR

          We are still living in the aftermath of an ice age that ended only some 20,000 year ago. For most of the time since the Cambrian era the world has been much warmer than it is now. That was especially so before Antarctica became isolated some 30 million years ago by an unbroken southern ocean.

          The question is whether the world will revert to a fifth ice age (four in the last two million years) or will improve to a more historical level of warmth. It's no use asking the greenies, they don't know, nor does anybody.

  3. Neoc

    My question is: How far North was this "far North" 65 million years ago?

    1. Quortney Fortensplibe
      Headmaster

      I Get Your [Continental] Drift

      <i>"...My question is: How far North was this "far North" 65 million years ago?..."</i>

      My thoughts exactly. Don't these continents have a habit of wandering about the globe, over the aeons. Isn't that why we also find fossils of tropical trees in the far north?

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Hadrosaurus?

    Does that family includes Mesosaurus and Baryosaurus and is distinct from Leptosaurus?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Hadrosaurus?

      They also required several representatives of Bososaurus to stick together.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Boffin

    Duck billed, right?

    Obviously, their feathers kept them warm.

  7. roger stillick
    WTF?

    WIKI= Azolla Event...

    My Son told me about this when he was in Botany class at NAU many years ago... it is common knowlege by most Biologists / Bio Chemists, but kept a quiet subject as it upsets grant funders.

    Seems 49 MY ago CO2 levels went from 3500 ppm to 650 ppm, over an 800k year span... Azolla weed sequesters CO2 very efficiently and later becomes crude oil... YUM, my car loves that stuff.... RDS.

  8. artificial bitterness

    Alaska?

    It proves nothing. Probably the bones were carried there by African swallows.

    1. Ragarath
      Joke

      Re: Alaska?

      Are you sure it was African and not European swallows? If these swallows were laden it would have affected their airspeed would it not?

      This must have been an effort on par with the building of the pyramids.

      Did the swallows build the pyramids and we (as in the Egyptians) were just their slaves?

      Long live our swallow overlords watching from on high.

      Must stop rambling...

    2. TitterYeNot
      Coat

      Re: Alaska?

      "It proves nothing. Probably the bones were carried there by African swallows."

      Don't be ridiculous. Everyone knows that African swallows are non-migratory.

      <Coughs>

      1. Brian Souder 1

        Re: Alaska? T-Rex Tastes Like Chicken?

        The swallows are dinosaurs, so it would not matter if they migrated or not. They could just drag them there. Not to mention I would imagine a prehistoric swallow to be much larger than your lay African or European swallow.

        Imagine the fryer needed to get those T-Rex thighs in! Buffalo T-Rex arms. Maybe that is why they were so small and useless - they were bred to fit in the fryer more efficiently.

  9. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Boffin

    Er...

    Plate tectonics?

    1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

      Re: Er...

      Indeed, as I recall, around that time, Alaska was in a latitude akin to where New England lies today.

      Meanwhile, modern science has decided that quite a few, if not all dinosaurs were warm blooded.

      So, there'd be *some* snow, on occasion. But, food was always available, as warm bloodedness rather requires a constant source of food or hibernation, which is a bit absent in the animal kingdom for reptiles.

      1. DJV Silver badge
        Alert

        @Wzrd1

        "Indeed, as I recall, around that time, Alaska was in a latitude akin to where New England lies today."

        YOU WERE THERE!!!??

  10. TheTick
    Headmaster

    Early Earth?

    "...chillier norther climes of early Earth"

    I wouldn't call ~69 million years ago "early Earth", that's like a centenarian saying "Back when I was a young whippersnapper at 98..."

  11. thondwe

    Warm Blooded

    Thought that Warm Blooded Dinosaur theory was pretty much set in stone now!? (Sorry!!)

  12. Bc1609

    "Norther"?

    "[...] chillier norther climes of early Earth [...]"

    Good use of "norther" there. Don't think I've heard it used since 1700 or so.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: "Norther"?

      "Good use of "norther" there. Don't think I've heard it used since 1700 or so."

      YOU WERE THERE!?!?!?!

  13. Nosher

    Vegetarian?

    Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice/ethical position. Herbivorous is the word you're looking for.

    1. A K Stiles
      Coat

      Re: Vegetarian?

      +1 - Could also be a general dislike of meat flavour & texture without the 'choice' aspect. Truly there are people for whom the smell of cooking bacon doesn't immediately make them subconsciously reach for the ketchup/brown sauce...

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Vegetarian?

        Truly there are people

        for whom the smell of cooking bacon

        doesn't immediately make them

        subconsciously reach for the ketchup/

        brown sauce...

        You say people, I say abominations.

        1. A K Stiles

          Re: Vegetarian?

          I like to think of it as leaving more bacon for the 'normals' to lovingly encase between slices of white bread or a floury bap! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/09/28/bacon_sarnie_poll/?page=1

          1. jake Silver badge

            @ A K Stiles (was: Re: Vegetarian?)

            "leaving more bacon for the 'normals' to lovingly encase"

            In dark chocolate. The darker the better. I like 100%, the wife prefers 95% cacao. And yes, I'm totally serious! Two major food groups in one taste treat!

            Now, you Brits are going to hate me here[0], but I'm OK with that[1] ... Try my methodology before you poo-poo the concept. Take streaky bacon, fry/bake/broil/grill until crispy, drain, cool, and dunk in melted dark chocolate. Allow the chocolate to solidify. Eat. Simples.

            [0] This does NOT work with proper bacon, nor with watery bacon. Go with the salt-cured & smoked streaky bacon. Trust me. It's an eye-opener the first time you try it.

            [1] After all, what else is new ;-)

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: @ A K Stiles (was: Vegetarian?)

              "In dark chocolate. The darker the better. I like 100%, the wife prefers 95% cacao. And yes, I'm totally serious! Two major food groups in one taste treat!"

              The local pub has just installed a special Vodka machine which dispenses mixed drinks, one of which is BACON flavoured. No, I've not tried it!!!!

    2. Kubla Cant

      Re: Vegetarian?

      Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice/ethical position. Herbivorous is the word you're looking for.

      "herbivorous" is only the word you're looking for if they ate leaves or grasses. If they ate fruit, it's "fructivorous". It's odd that there doesn't seem to be a word for anything-except-meat-eaters.

      1. Vic
        Joke

        Re: Vegetarian?

        It's odd that there doesn't seem to be a word for anything-except-meat-eaters.

        There is - "odd".

        Vic.

    3. Brian Souder 1

      Re: Vegetarian? Herbivorous Hippos Eat Meat

      Herbivorsaurus even ...

      Hippos are herbivores, so they eat mostly plant food to fuel their large frames. Grasses and fallen fruit make up the diets of wild hippos, On rare occasions, hippos in the wild will eat meat or insects. Usually this is due to scarcity of the grasses, vegetation and fruit that makes up their regular diet, such as during a drought. Hippos may chew on water plants, but these flora do not make up a significant portion of their diet.

      Must have smelled the bacon and reached for the ketchup/brown sauce...

  14. Paul Cooper
    FAIL

    This is news???

    Dinosaurs have been known from the Polar regions for many years; so much so that the BBC had an entire episode of "Walking with Dinosaurs" devoted to them! And to avoid confusion, the dinosaurs concerned lived in an area that was close to the South Pole. Some of my former colleagues studied these dinosaurs; the BBC didn't invent them!

    Concerning the temperature regulation of dinosaurs, a) Birds are dinosaurs (related to Velociraptor!), and are warm-blooded and b) the latest publications suggest that some dinosaurs occupied a sort of middle ground on thermal regulation; it only cut in if their temperature dropped below some limit.

    1. Dr Dan Holdsworth
      Boffin

      Re: This is news???

      Feathers or feather-like structures have been found in every dinosaur group except sauropods, and there have been next to no fossils of juvenile sauropods found (juveniles are much more likely to need feathers than huge adults). Insulation is only any use to an animal that internally generates heat; a cold-blooded animal is actually hampered by insulation.

      The current hypothesis is that homeothermy (warm-bloodedness) is ancestral to dinosaurs; an internally-maintained warm blooded condition evolved before dinosaurs did. Homeothermy in a small animal and in a big one is different; the surface to volume ratio alters so much that very big animals have more trouble losing heat than they do retaining it (whales lose heat through their tongues, for example).

      Big herbivores would have had another advantage; they were essentially fermenting huge volumes of plant material in their guts, which generates quite a lot of heat. Cows do this very thing today, and benefit quite a bit from having what amounts to an internal heating system. Bison, when over-wintering, can store enough fat to get through the winter without feeding much, but nevertheless still dig into snow to feed just to keep the bacterial colony in their guts ticking over and generating heat.

      1. oldcoder

        Re: This is news???

        Umm. no.

        If wales did not have a HUGE blubber layer, they would die. They need the insulation to keep warm. Water is very good at sucking heat out of a body - even at the equator the water temperature is RARELY high enough to keep a warm blooded creature from dying of hypothermia.

        Large LAND animals have trouble losing heat - hence less insulation than small ones. Air is a pretty good insulator. The advantage feathers have for insulation is that feathers trap air rather efficiently.

        If all dinosaurs were warm blooded (likely), it would seem reasonable that feathers would be most useful at hatching/shortly afterwards (pin feathers? down?). As they grew larger they would gradually shed the feathers (internal heat may damage the cells producing the feathers... and feathers just fall out, or are plucked out, going bald).

        Insulation doesn't help the cold blooded because it makes it harder to warm up.

        1. Vic

          Re: This is news???

          If wales did not have a HUGE blubber layer, they would die

          Nah.

          Swansea can be a bit chilly, but it's not *that* bad...

          Vic.

  15. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Why don't dino-hunters consult geoloists before spouting rubbish? 65 mil years ago there wasn't even the Himalayas (they're about 35 mil years old which is why they, as the newest hills, are the tallest=no weather errosion). South and North American weren't joined (Donald Trump probably recalls those halcyon days) and Alaska was further south.

    No Himalyas meant the winds could traverse the globe unimpeeded, no Panana meant the ocean currents could go around the earth unimpeeded. Everything was warmer until plate tectonics shoved what is now India into the bottom of Russia/China and North and South Americas joined up. This shifted weather and current patterns to the extent you see today. Cold bits top and bottom, hot in the middle.

  16. Cuddles

    "Everybody knows that the dinosaurs were cold-blooded, right?"

    No, it's been known for quite a while that they weren't. Or at least, that not all of them were; early dinosaurs way well have been, but their modern descendants certainly aren't.

    "Lizards, cold blood, there you go."

    Dinosaurs aren't lizards.

    1. Quortney Fortensplibe
      Coat

      Wait for it...

      <i>"...Dinosaurs aren't lizards..."</i>

      You could almost say dinosaurs make 'terrible lizards'!

  17. hatti

    Possibly

    Yes but 69 million years ago was the warmest winter since records began.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Possibly

      They died out in a mass suicide after being brainwashed by the green community that they were responsible for the global warming that had been happening for 69 million yerars

      1. Brian Souder 1

        Al Gore Invented That

        "They died out in a mass suicide after being brainwashed by the green community that they were responsible for the global warming that had been happening for 69 million years"

        No No No - humans invented global warming, Al Gore invented it right after the Internet.

  18. Gobhicks

    So what? ...

    ... God planted some fossils in the wrong place. Nobody's perfect.

  19. sisk

    Haven't we known for several years now from examining bones that many dinos were more than likely warm blooded?

  20. Bela Lubkin
    Linux

    (icon: the only available dinosaur)

    @jake, thank Roger for Kentucky Fried Lizard Partes -- not Harry.

    But indeed, RIP to both.

    1. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: (icon: the only available dinosaur)

      Amber, not SSR! Damn, you are correct. Mea culpa. They say the mind is the first thing to go ... I'll have to re-read both collections. It's been a while. I think I'll back 'em up with Spider's Callahan's series, my granddaughter ain't getting any younger, and I'd like to start her out right ;-)

      Beers all around, and may Mr Robinson live long enough to entertain us into our dotage.

  21. anonCoward24

    those dinos were DEAD!

    am I the only one that notices that what they say they found was bones? Those dinos obviously did NOT survive the cold...

    As it should be, cadet...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    jUST THINK ...

    There could be a Dinando's ... and I'm sure they serve Panana in this mythical place.

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