Plates of the Dinosaur Stegosaurus: Forced Convection Heat Loss Fins?

  title={Plates of the Dinosaur Stegosaurus: Forced Convection Heat Loss Fins?},
  author={James O. Farlow and Carl V. Thompson and Daniel E. Rosner},
  pages={1123 - 1125}
It is suggested that the plates along the arched back and tail of Stegosaurus served an important thermoregulatory function as forced convection "fins." Wind tunnel experiments on finned models, internal heat conduction calculations, and direct observations of the morphology and internal structure of stegosaur plates support this hypothesis, demonstrating the comparative effectiveness of the plates as heat dissipaters, controllable through input blood flow rate, temperature, and body… 

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Skeletal and dermal armor reconstruction of Euoplocephalus tutus (Ornithischia: Ankylosauridae) from the Late Cretaceous Oldman Formation of Alberta

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Evaluating combat in ornithischian dinosaurs

Ornithischia, a diverse clade of herbivorous dinosaurs, has numerous members with structures hypothesized to function in combat, and three main lines of evidence support analogy with modern animals; biomechanical analysis and simulation; and paleopathology.


The study of dinosaurs has always been hindered by a body of unsubstantiated or false beliefs about their biology, and about the biology of other animals that can be applied to dinosaurs. Some of

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A model-based approach to body temperatures in dinosaurs allows us to predict what ranges of body temperatures and what thermoregulatory strategies were available to those dinosaurs and suggests that endothermic metabolism and metabolic heating might have been useful for intermediate and large-sized dinosaurs but often in situations that demanded marked seasonal adjustment of metabolic rates and/or precise control of metabolism.

Internal vascularity of the dermal plates of Stegosaurus (Ornithischia, Thyreophora)

In Stegosaurus the potential thermoregulatory role of the plates may have been greater than in other thyreophorans, by virtue of their extensive external and internal vascularity, their large size, thin cross-sections above the plate base, dorsal position, and alternating arrangement.

Anatomical Evidence for a Counter-current Heat Exchanger in the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

FRAIR et al.1 have recently given strong circumstantial evidence that leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) can maintain a deep body temperature at least 18° C higher than the ambient

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Temperature and the Galapagos marine iguana--insights into reptilian thermoregulation.

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    Comparative biochemistry and physiology. A, Comparative physiology
  • 1973

A Mathematical Model for Body Temperatures of Large Reptiles: Implications for Dinosaur Ecology

These calculations show that a large reptile would have a relatively constant high body temperature when exposed to warm, diurnally fluctuating environmental conditions, even with a low metabolic rate, as long as the average values of the physical parameters result in a body temperature within tolerable limits.

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Thermoregulation of the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

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  • 1975
Despite the substantial literature concerning behavioral and physiological thermoregulation of reptiles, the crocodilians have received little attention and a relatively stable body temperature for large reptiles due mostly to thermal lag and heat storage is predicted.

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The extent to which the vascularity of the horn contributes to the regulation of body temperature in goats is evaluated and evidence is presented which indicates that the circulation of blood is regulated by the horn.


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