News of the WeekPaleontology

Revealing a Dinosaur's Heart of Stone

Science  21 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5465, pp. 416-417
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5465.416b

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On page 503, researchers report discovering the first known dinosaur heart inside the nearly complete skeleton of Thescelosaurus, a small, plant-eating dinosaur. The heart's anatomy is more like that of birds and mammals than crocodiles or other reptiles, the team says. And a heart that beats like a bird's suggests that this dinosaur's metabolic rate would have been more like that of a warm-blooded animal than a cold-blooded one, providing yet another feature shared by dinosaurs and their putative feathered relatives, the team asserts.