The University of Manchester team, comprising biologists and palaeontologists, has found that theropod dinosaurs like the Velociraptor had similar respiratory systems to present-day diving birds, such as marine birds and wildfowl.
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences tomorrow (Wednesday), present for the first time an explanation of how these dinosaurs may have breathed.
“A number of studies have shown that dinosaurs were the direct ancestors of birds and have identified a suite of avian characteristics in theropods,” said Dr Jonathan Codd, who led the research in the Faculty of Life Sciences.
“Our findings support this view and show that the similarities also extend to breathing structures and that these dinosaurs possessed everything they needed to breathe using an avian-like air-sac respiratory system.”
Birds, and in particular diving birds, have one of the most efficient respiratory systems of all vertebrates which they need in order to supply their bodies with enough oxygen to sustain the high levels of energy required for flight.
Palaeontologist and co-author Dr Phil Manning, in Manchester’s School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, studied the fossilised remains of maniraptoran dinosaurs and extinct birds such as Archaeopteryx and found that breathing structures, known as uncinate processes, were also present in the dinosaurs.
Dr Codd said: “Our work on modern birds has shown that the way these animals breathe is more complex than originally thought. The uncinate processes are small bones that act as levers to move the ribs and sternum during breathing. Interestingly, these structures are different lengths in different birds – they are shortest in running birds, intermediate in flying birds and longest in diving birds.
“The dinosaurs we studied from the fossil record had long uncinate processes similar in structure to those of diving birds. This suggests both dinosaurs and diving birds need longer lever arms to help them breathe.
“Finding these structures in modern birds and their extinct dinosaur ancestors suggests that these running dinosaurs had an efficient respiratory system and supports the theory that they were highly active animals that could run relatively quickly when pursuing their prey.”
The research was funded by the German Research Council and The University of Manchester.
Jon Keighren | alfa
New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy