Study: Dinosaur ‘shrinking’ to pave way for warm-blooded animals

Researchers believe dinosaurs played a key role in the evolutionary history of humans, paving the way for the emergence of warm-blooded mammals, the Daily Mail of London reported. Over millions of years, these behemoths have shrunk in size as they adapt to faster metabolism. This evolutionary process allowed dinosaurs to burn the energy they derive from food more quickly and regulate their own body temperature, allowing the population to thrive.

Study: Dinosaur 'shrinking' to pave way for warm-blooded animals

Warm-blooded animals need more energy than cold-blooded animals, such as reptiles and fish, that rely on environmental heat sources. But warm-blooded animals can live in a wider geographical range, with greater mobility and brainpower. Previously, scientists had struggled to explain the origins of warm-blooded animals, mainly because of the lack of fossil evidence.

However, researchers at the University of Chile say their latest findings shed light on how mammals become warm-blooded animals. They analyzed how animals regulate their body temperature and compared them to animal-footed sub-species of different sizes. Beast-footed dinosaur is a two-legged, three-toed dinosaur, there is a view that birds evolved from this dinosaur.

Study: Dinosaur 'shrinking' to pave way for warm-blooded animals

The report says warm-blooded animals must balance the heat generated by the body with the heat that needs to be lost in the body or in cold weather. The new findings suggest that, about 180 million years ago, animal metabolism rates rose steadily for most of the early to mid-Jurassic period.

The researchers also showed that warm-blooded animals needed to shrink nine times to have the same energy needs as cold-blooded animals of the same size.

According to the report, Science Advances has pointed out that a 43-kilogram modern warm-blooded bird has the same needs as its 370-kilogram cold-blooded “dinosaur ancestors.” The study showed that as warm-blooded animals evolved, their size dwindled, and the number of sub-species increased 30-fold.

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