Dinosaurs were cold too
A team of paleontologists from France and China has shown that during a part of the Lower Cretaceous, temperatures were colder than previously assumed , which implies that in the age of the dinosaurs the climate was not always warm.
The paleontologists authors of the study determined the temperatures of the time from fossils of dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles and fish from deposits in northeast China , in the Dabeigou, Yixian and Jiufotang formations -Jehol group-, as well as in Japan and Thailand , as published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in its latest edition.
The scientists analyzed the isotopic composition of oxygen in each of the samples and reconstructed the air temperature and living conditions of the dinosaurs of the Early Cretaceous in Asia. The results show that the average temperatures of that period were very similar to those recorded today at equivalent latitudes, so that the Jehol fauna lived under a moderate cold climate characterized by “harsh winters” .
During this period, cold-blooded animals had to hibernate, while warm-blooded animals such as mammals, birds and dinosaurs took advantage of their fur and plumage to maintain their activity in winter. “These results do not prove at all that the feathers arose with an insulating role, but rather that the plumage should provide the Jehol dinosaurs with a physiological advantage over their contemporaries with scales”, explains Romain Amiot, scientist at the French CNRS and co-author from work.
Also read: When Mammals Replaced Dinosaurs