A research group at Caltech has developed the first direct method for measuring body temperature of dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs like T. rex were clad or cold blood? How they regulate their body temperature? And why evolution has favored warm-blooded animals? These questions haunt them for a long time on paleontologists, but now, a group of researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) made a fundamental step in obtaining some answers.
In an article published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they described the first method of direct measurement of body temperature of large vertebrates, using radio-isotopic analysis of rare elements in bones, the teeth and egg yolk. Technique developed by scientists is based on the measurement of carbon 13 and oxygen 18. “These heavy isotopes bind to each other, and this now depends on temperature,” said Robert Eagle, one of the researchers. “At high temperatures we observe a random distribution of these isotopes in May, and a smaller number of aggregates, at lower temperatures, they are instead more,” said Eagle.
Live animals, these aggregates can be detected in the mineral form of crystalline reticulum are formed bones, teeth and shell egg. “When the mineral is thrown from the bloodstream, and isotopic composition may be preserved <freezen> remain for millions of years,” explained researcher.