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33: (Case Study) Dino Debates - dinosaur ecological controversies

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    Key Concepts
    • Dinosaurs have many lines of circumstantial evidence that implies social groups, like mass graves and footprints
    • There is still no direct evidence of pack hunting, but there is direct evidence of other hunting strategies
    • Dinosaurs have strong evidence that at least some species had intensive care of their young, including nests and parental help
    • Many dinosaurs might not be separate species or valid due to incomplete remains, sexual dimorphism, and changes to animals as they age
    • Famous examples include Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus, Triceratops/Torosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus/Stygimoloch/Dracorex
    • Though not every fossil shows impressions of skin or feathers, enough have been found to show how they developed in theropods
    • Recent studies have shown a larger number of species had feathers, though large animals like Tyrannosaurus rex probably were still featherless
    • Dinosaurs have significant evidence that they were not ectothermic (cold blooded), and may have been endothermic (warm blooded)
    • Feathers and their size may have helped dinosaur thermoregulation
    • At the very least, dinosaurs were agile and active animals who could move much more like mammals and birds than lumbering lizards as they were presented prior to the dinosaur renaissance

    This page titled 33: (Case Study) Dino Debates - dinosaur ecological controversies is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Callan Bentley, Karen Layou, Russ Kohrs, Shelley Jaye, Matt Affolter, and Brian Ricketts (VIVA, the Virginia Library Consortium) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.