A paleontologist revisited a 2014 study focusing on the metabolism and growth of dinosaurs. The re-analysis provided evidence that the dinosaurs were warm-blooded instead of the earlier belief that the extinct species was neither cold-blooded nor warm-blooded.
Paleontologist Michael D'Emic of Stony Brook University in New York looked at the same data obtained from the dinosaur fossils including the Tyrannosaurus rex. He concluded that the dinosaurs were more similar to the modern mammals instead of the reptiles.
"The study that I re-analyzed was remarkable for its breadth -- the authors compiled an unprecedented dataset on growth and metabolism from studies of hundreds of living animals," D'Emic said in a press release.
"Upon re-analysis, it was apparent that dinosaurs weren't just somewhat like living mammals in their physiology -- they fit right within our understanding of what it means to be a 'warm-blooded' mammal," he said.
He explained that the previous study failed to account that the dinosaurs had an uneven growth. He observed that the fossils had rings, which are similar to tree rings, suggesting a slow down or pause in the annual growth of the dinosaurs due to the season changes and stressful situations.
"This is problematic because many animals do not grow continuously throughout the year, generally slowing or pausing growth during colder, drier, or otherwise more stressful seasons," he explained.
The new findings provided additional information on the research of the metabolism and growth of the dinosaurs. D'Emic hopes that his study will open research opportunities that will explain how the pauses or slowdowns affected the growth of the dinosaurs, which might also be beneficial in the study of bone diseases experienced by modern species including animals and humans.
The study was published in the May 29 issue of Science.