Earth Science News  





. Were Dinosaurs Truly The First Great Migrators

Polar dinosaurs.
by Staff Writers
Edmonton, Canada (SPX) Oct 24, 2008
Contrary to popular belief, polar dinosaurs may not have traveled nearly as far as originally thought when making their bi-annual migration.

University of Alberta researchers Phil Bell and Eric Snively have suggested that while some dinosaurs may have migrated during the winter season, their range was significantly less than previously thought, which means their treks were shorter. Bell and Snively's findings were recently published in Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Paleontology.

The idea that these animals may have travelled distances nine times further than mule deer or four times those of wildebeest would have made them the greatest migrators in history. "There are strong opinions regarding dinosaur migration, but we decided to take a different approach, looking at variables such as energy requirements," said Bell.

Their research led them to suggest that migrating dinosaurs could have travelled up to 3,000 kilometres in a round trip-lasting perhaps up to six months-half of the distance suggested previously.

According to Bell, the notion of migrating polar dinosaurs is not new; however, previously-held beliefs were that the animals followed the centrally shifting sunlight, or latitudinal "sun line," as part of their migration and would travel as far as 30 degrees of latitude, or 3,200 kilometres, in order to survive.

Given their size and physiology, Bell and Snively have concluded that dinosaurs would have been incapable of sustaining the effort needed to make the trip.

"When we looked at the energy requirements needed to support a three-tonne Edmontosaurus over this distance, we found it would have to be as energy efficient as a bird. No land animal travels that far today," said Bell.

Bell does not dispute the evidence of migration and points to discoveries of large bone beds as evidence that many dinosaurs also traveled. In order to sustain the herd, "it seemed to make sense that they would be moving to and from the poles," he said.

While this view of migration is feasible for some species of polar dinosaurs, it does not hold for all, Bell noted. "Many types of dinosaurs were surviving in polar latitudes at the time, and getting along quite fine," said Bell. "They were not physically able to remove themselves from the environment for a variety of reasons and had to adapt to the cold, dark winters just as the rest of us mammals do today."

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
University of Alberta
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Caste In The Colony
Champaign IL (SPX) Oct 23, 2008
"The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms...the exploitation of one part of society by the other". - Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • ICSU Launches Major Research Programme On Natural Disasters
  • 15 billion combat search and rescue helicopter delayed: air force
  • Experts Clash Over Mud Disaster
  • Storm leaves 250,000 homeless in Central America

  • Potent Greenhouse Gas More Prevalent Than Assumed
  • Sarkozy's carbon footprint as big as 1,000 Frenchmen: report
  • Impacts Of Climate Change On Lakes
  • Cloud-Hopping In The Pacific Improves Climate Predictions

  • GeoEye Releases First Image Collected By GeoEye-1
  • Maps Shed Light On CO2's Global Nature
  • 2008 Ozone Hole Larger Than Last Year
  • Smog Blog For Central America And Caribbean Debuts

  • Analysis: Estonian-Kazakh ties deepen
  • Russian minister says no oil pipeline to China in 2009: report
  • Ducker Worldwide Predicts Problems For US Wind Power Industry
  • London's First Biogas Fueling Station Installed

  • After setbacks, hunt for AIDS vaccine pushes on
  • Earliest Known Human TB Found In 9,000 Year-Old Skeletons
  • Waterborne Disease Risk Upped In Great Lakes
  • Analysis: Flu pandemic would overwhelm

  • Shifting To Life On Land
  • Were Dinosaurs Truly The First Great Migrators
  • Caste In The Colony
  • Walker's World: Year of the frog

  • Fertilizers: A Growing Threat To Sea Life
  • Lawyers blast verdict in Ivory Coast toxic waste case
  • 'Toxic' ship dismantled in Bangladesh despite court ban
  • 20-year jail term handed down in ICoast toxic pollution case

  • US nuclear family also technology family
  • US women office-workers prefer computers to men: study
  • Which Way Out Of Africa
  • First-Ever Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement