Things I learned while reading “Dinosaur Heresies,” by Dr. Robert T. Bakker:  pp. 323-394. Part 4

On page 327, Bakker referred to an Ur-amphibian.  Somehow, I have overlooked the meaning of this term, so If you know the answer, please comment below.  Your knowledge is important.

On page 336, Bakker talked about extreme uniformitarianism as it relates to evolution.  The idea is that evolution works the “same way at all times.”  The topic discussed was the paradoxical prevalence of fin-backed dinosaurs in the early Permian that were not seen as commonly in other periods of time.

Bakker talked about the peculiar slow growth of humans as representatives of the Mammals.  He says that we are just about the slowest growing and that this is because it takes us a while to learn the “do’s and don’ts” of our parents (Bakker 348-349).  Funny.

On page 349, in his discussion of alligators he said: “And the species that fills the swamp with offspring monopolizes the natural economy.”  Interesting.

Bakker said that microscopic bone density examinations of dinosaur fossils showed that growth patterns in dinosaur bones looked more like warm blooded than cold blooded animals (Bakker 353).  The presence of many Haversian canals (which he said were found in many dinosaur bones) is attributed to a warm-blood need for easy access to soluble calcium. Bakker, page 354, explained that Haversian canals may help maintain bone minerals in a soluble form so that they can be easily accessible to the host metabolic system.  He also said that the canals are more prevalent in human adults than young.  Interesting what one might learn about microscopic human anatomy when studying dinosaurs.

On page 356, the revelations continued:  Animal bones have dark banding rings when growth slows down in winter, just as trees.  The banding is lighter and broader during growing season.

Interesting purpose for a second sacral brain:  Critters with large backsides and tails utilize the second brain for posterior coordination.  Stegosaur had it and ostriches have it (Bakker 367).

Upon analysis of brain case versus body size, Bakker indicated that dinosaurs were about as smart as a modern-day alligator (Bakker 369).

On page 375, Bakker intimated that warm-blooded animals eat about 10 times more calories per year than cold-blooded animals.

By measuring fossil footprints, Bakker determined that dinosaurs moved through life rather rapidly, like a mammal and much faster than cold-blooded lizards, such as a finback  (Bakker 392).

The main thrust of this section was to illustrate that dinosaurs were most likely warm-blooded.

Citation

Bakker, Robert T. The Dinosaur Heresies.  William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1986.