Animals, News, Science

Dinos May Belong To A Different Species: Study

Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Palais_de_la_Decouverte. Image: David Monniaux
Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Palais_de_la_Decouverte. Image: David Monniaux

A new study suggests that dinosaurs may be neither reptiles or mammals, as previously thought. In fact, they could be an entirely new species.

Scientists looked at 381 creatures to study what “species” they are. In this case species is a term that helps scientists figure out what animal “group” they belong to.

The scientists tested living and extinct species. They did this by examining old bones which have growth rings, like trees; they also took the measurements of many bones. Then they compared growth rate to how much energy the creatures used to get around (known as the metabolic rate).

This showed palaeontologists (dinosaur experts) the ages of the creatures and how fast different creatures put on weight.

When the scientists connected information from the bone size to the metabolic rate they were able to tell whether the species was warm-blooded or cold-blooded.

They found the dinosaurs didn’t need as much food for energy and brain power as mammals, but they needed more than reptiles and other cold-blooded species. They concluded that  dinosaurs could be a new species – neither reptile nor mammal.

This study has made scientists wonder about other species. For example, tuna, some sharks, and leatherback turtles are like dinosaurs–they don’t need as much fuel for energy.

This new middle category of species brings new information to the riddle of whether all creatures are either warm-blooded or cold-blooded.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Many kids have favourite animals, colours, and dinosaurs! Do you have a favourite dinosaur? Why do you like it? What are some of its best characteristics? (Me, I like the Allosaurus best of all!)

Reading Prompt: Elements of Style
Today’s article discusses a scientific topic: biology (the science of living things).
How is the style of a scientific article different than an article that describes a current event?

Identify some elements of style, including voice, word choice, and different types of sentences, and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Identify various elements of style – including word choice and the use of similes, personification, comparative adjectives, and sentences of different types, lengths, and structures – and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Identify various elements of style – including foreshadowing, metaphor, and symbolism – and explain how they help communicate meaning and enhance the effectiveness of texts (OME, Reading: 2.4).

Language Feature: Long Words
Developing a big vocabulary doesn’t only make you look smart, it gives you the exact right word to use in order to communicate effectively and clearly. But who are we kidding, it’s also pretty awesome to use big words.

The word palaeontologists is a whopping 16 letters long!

What’s the biggest word that you know of?