Wild Things: Life as We Know It
Orchids, Baboons, Ancient Reptiles and More...
- By T. A. Frail, Jesse Rhodes, Jessica Righthand, Brandon Springer and Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, September 2010
Sea-dwelling reptiles hundreds of millions of years ago were warmblooded, according to a new study led by Lyon University. It’s the clearest sign that some ancient reptiles, unlike modern ones, had a metabolism similar to that of mammals. Oxygen atoms in fossil teeth show plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs (ten-foot-long Stenopterygius quadriscissus) had internal temperatures of 95 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, even in chilly water.
“Resolution of Body Temperature by Some Mesozoic Marine Reptiles,” Aurélien Bernard et al., Science, June 11, 2010
“Lord of the Flies: Pollination of Dracula Orchids,” Lorena Endara et al., Lankesteriana, April 2010
“Structure of Social Networks in a Passerine Bird: Consequences for Sexual Selection and the Evolution of Mating Strategies,” Kevin P. Oh and Alexander V. Badyaev, The American Naturalist, September 2010
“Strong and Consistent Social Bonds Enhance the Longevity of Female Baboons,” Joan B. Silk et al., Current Biology, August 10, 2010
“The Function of Bilateral Odor Arrival Time Differences in Olfactory Orientation of Sharks,” Jayne M. Gardiner and Jelle Atema, Current Biology, July 13, 2010