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PART 3. Are correlations between modern animal behavior & metabolism reliable as evidence of dinosaur metabolism?


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? Your textbook (208-9) also addresses this problem.

3. What is the problem with using correlations between modern predator-prey ratios & metabolism as evidence of dinosaur metabolism? See your textbook (210-11) for additional discussion of the problem.

4. What is the problem with using correlations between modern animal blood pressure & metabolism as evidence of dinosaur metabolism? Your textbook (206-7) has illustrations which help explain the problem.


PART 4. How strong is the evidence of metabolism from the dinosaur fossils themselves?

1. Review the following topics in your textbook: “relative brain size” (202-3), “feeding adaptations” (203-4), “bone microstructure” (204-6) & “body size” (211-12). Now 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?


PART 1. What is good science?

1. Go to the website ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/buzz/dinoscience. Review the discussion “What is Good Science?”.

2. What is the difference between an opinion & a scientific fact?

3. What is a falsifiable scientific hypothesis?

4. Visit the webpage ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/extincthypo. Review “The Invalid Hypotheses”. Your textbook presents many similar hypotheses in Box 15.1 (232-3). What makes most of these hypotheses invalid?


PART 2. Can scientists prove what caused dinosaur extinction?

1. Review the webpage entitled “The Great Mystery” at ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/extinction. Then search the term “Hell Creek Formation” & pay a virtual visit to the best fossil record of dinosaur extinction. List your favorite virtual visit website(s).

2. Why are even the best fossil localities only imperfect records of extinction?

3. Why is it so difficult to reconstruct global paleoecology at the end of the Cretaceous?

4. Why are “why” questions in paleontology so difficult to answer?

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ART 3. Are correlations between modern animal behavior & metabolism reliable as evidence of dinosaur
metabolism?
No they are not reliable.
1. Return to the website...

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