30 September 2010

Plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs were warm-blooded

Sea-dwelling reptiles hundreds of millions of years ago were warmblooded, according to a new study led by Lyon University. It’s the clearest sign that some ancient reptiles, unlike modern ones, had a metabolism similar to that of mammals. Oxygen atoms in fossil teeth show plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs (ten-foot-long Stenopterygius quadriscissus) had internal temperatures of 95 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, even in chilly water.
Source:  “Resolution of Body Temperature by Some Mesozoic Marine Reptiles,” Aurélien Bernard et al., Science, June 11, 2010

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