Dinosaurs thrived in the snow

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/04/dinosaurs-thrived-in-the-snow.html

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I’m not sure why this is surprising. Life adapts, and it also tries to find unoccupied niches where it can be successful. Dinosaurs wouldn’t have been any different.

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Now I want to see a Diplodocus do this.

giphy-2

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With the large dinosaurs, dumping heat would have been a problem.

A snowy day would be perfect for overclocking your T-Rex!

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Got something related to a Diplodicus doing it.

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I read dinos were mesothermic. Would that have something to do with it?

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Beat me to it. I was going to say:

Still do:

In fact it is a dinosaur that handles the harshest temperatures survived by an animal today.

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No. No you don’t. That’s how you get icebergs the size of Greenland. :wink:

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There’s growing evidence that a lot of them were warm blooded in various ways. At a minimum mesotherms.

If I’m remembering it right the further you get from reptiles, and the closer to birds, on a cladogram the more likely endothermy was. With endothermy default in at least therapods, if not saurischians entirely depending on where you’re at. And various mesothermic approaches over in ornithischians.

One of the reasons we know this is we keep finding them in places that would be pretty cold. Often ones that were too small for size alone to keep them warm, cause most dinosaurs were pretty small. It’s all the cool ones that were huge.

It’s because older understandings of dinosaurs are the default in pop culture.

The swamp dwelling giant lizards take finally faded out in the 90’s. Mostly thanks to the Jurassic Park film.

Thing is we’re now stuck on the shrink-wrapped, tropical murder beast take from that film. Along with state of the art circa 1980’s info from the Dinosaur Revolution. Very little of what’s been learned since the original film was made has penetrated pop culture. And a lot of what was known as of when the book was written hasn’t made the jump.

We started finding cold climate Dinosaurs in the 70’s.

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Life doesn’t always adapt. When Antarctica froze over and the forests disappeared, most of the animals went with it, and what exists there today are just a handful of things very dependent on the coasts.

Most reptile lineages have a difficult time with the cold. As you go further north, things like lizards and crocodylians disappear. Some snakes and turtles make it farther, but you sure won’t find them active in the snow. The exception, of course, are the birds…but they are very modified reptiles. Since other dinosaur groups ran from somewhere between more original-reptile-like to more bird-like, I think it’s not unreasonable to wonder about how they did. Ankylosaurs and sauropods for instance are not much like birds…the article says that the one adapted well, and the other did not.

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Hmm.

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Dinosaurs were reptiles

No they weren’t They were Dinosaurs which became birds. Look at their hips. And current thinking has them as warm blooded

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Yes and no. “Reptile” is a paraphylitic (i.e. bullshit) clade.

Something which never ceases to amuse me: dinosaurs are divided into two major groups; Saurischians, or Lizard-hipped dinosaurs and Ornithischians, or Bird-hipped dinosaurs.

Unfortunately for the paleontologist who came up with the name scheme, birds themselves turn out to be Saurischians.

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Thanks for your input!

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