Essay topics: tpo 04
Endotherms are animals such as modern birds and mammals that keep their body temperatures constant. For instance, humans are endotherms and maintain an internal temperature of 37°C, no matter whether the environment is warm or cold. Because dinosaurs were reptiles, and modern reptiles are not endotherms, it was long assumed that dinosaurs were not endotherms. However, dinosaurs differ in many ways from modem reptiles, and there is now considerable evidence that dinosaurs were, in fact, endotherms.
One reason for believing that dinosaurs were endotherms is that dinosaur fossils have been discovered in polar regions. Only animals that can maintain a temperature well above that of the surrounding environment could be active in such cold climates.
Leg position and movement
There is a connection between endothermy and the position and movement of the legs. The physiology of endothermy allows sustained physical activity, such as running. But running is efficient only if an animal's legs are positioned underneath its body, not at the body's side, as they are for crocodiles and many lizards. The legs of all modern endotherms are underneath the body, and so were the legs of dinosaurs. This strongly suggests that dinosaurs were endotherms.
There is also a connection between endothermy and bone structure. The bones of endotherms usually include structures called Haversian canals. These canals house nerves and blood vessels that allow the living animal to grow quickly, and rapid body growth is in fact a characteristic of endothermy. The presence of Haversian canals in bone is a strong indicator that the animal is an endotherm, and fossilized bones of dinosaurs are usually dense with Haversian canals.
The reading and lecture are both about dinosaurs who were the reptiles. The author of the reading feels that though modern reptiles differ from dinosaurs in many ways, thus dinosaurs are endotherms and presents some reasons for holding this view. The lecturer challenged the claim made by the author. She is on the opinion that many scientists proved that dinosaurs are not endotherms.
To begin with, the author argues that many dinosaurs fossils had found near the polar regions. He also states that only endotherm animals can sustain in this cold temperature. The specific argument is challenged by the lecturer. She mentions that fossils found many regions were warmer than today. She also claims that may be dinosaurs hibernate or migrate in the other regions like today's reptile.
Second, the author suggests that endotherm animals had a connection between position of the legs and how they use the leg efficiently. He also adds that it is only possible if their legs under the body. The lecturer rebuts this by mentioning that may be their legs under the body because of their weight. Moreover, these legs supported to the body and no connection with the energy.
Third, the author posits that a kind of Haversian canal that was found only on the endotherm animals which increase the growth of the animals. He also additionally says that this kind of canals was found densely to the dinosaurs fossil. In contrast, the lecturer position is that bone structure has a canal growth rings indicate that it may stop growing or not growth.
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