PART 1. Which form of metabolism is better: ectothermy or endothermy?
1. Go to the Wikipedia pages about ectotherms & endotherms (wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectotherm & wikipedia.org/wiki/Endotherm). Review the definitions, advantages & disadvantages of each.
2. What are the advantages of being an endothermic mammal rather than an ectothermic reptile?
3. What advantages do ectothermic reptiles have over endothermic mammals?
4. How could dinosaurs have been successful if they were ectotherms?
PART 2. Does the correlation between posture & metabolism among living vertebrates indicate that posture is controlled by metabolism?
1. Go to the website ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/endothermy & review hypothesis 32. What is the difference between correlation and cause & effect?
3. What is the problem with citing erect posture as evidence of dinosaur endothermy?
PART 3. Are correlations between modern animal behavior & metabolism reliable as evidence of dinosaur metabolism?
1. Return to the website ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/endothermy & review hypotheses 5, 6 & 7.
2. What is the problem with using correlations between the modern geographic distribution of animals & metabolism as evidence of dinosaur metabolism?
3. What is the problem with using correlations between modern predator-prey ratios & metabolism as evidence of dinosaur metabolism?
4. What is the problem with using correlations between modern animal blood pressure & metabolism as evidence of dinosaur metabolism?
PART 4. How strong is the evidence of metabolism from the dinosaur fossils themselves?
1. RNow launch an internet search of the phrase “dinosaur brain size & metabolism”. Launch additional searches by replacing the words “brain size” with each of the following words “dentition”, “bone structure”, “body size” & “feathers”. You are looking for answers to the two questions posed below.
2. Assess the strength of the following fossil evidence for dinosaur metabolism:
A. brain size, B. teeth, C. bone structure, D. body size & E. feathers
Do this by answering the following two questions for each of the above dinosaur fossil categories:
1) What is the correlation with metabolism among living vertebrates?
2) What is the problem with using this correlation as evidence of dinosaur metabolism?
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