Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why Dinosaurs Had 'Fowl' Breath

Date:
November 7, 2007
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Scientists have discovered how dinosaurs used to breathe in what provides clues to how they evolved and how they might have lived. Theropod dinosaurs like the Velociraptor had similar respiratory systems to present-day diving birds, such as marine birds and wildfowl.

Fighting Dinosaurs: Whole Specimen Protoceraptops fighting with Velociraptor mongoliensis showing long uncinate processes present on rib cage of the velociraptor.
Credit: Photo by JRCodd, Image courtesy of University of Manchester

Scientists have discovered how dinosaurs used to breathe in what provides clues to how they evolved and how they might have lived.

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 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."

This research was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. The research was funded by the German Research Council and The University of Manchester.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Why Dinosaurs Had 'Fowl' Breath." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107074326.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2007, November 7). Why Dinosaurs Had 'Fowl' Breath. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107074326.htm
University of Manchester. "Why Dinosaurs Had 'Fowl' Breath." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107074326.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mother And Son Find Woolly Mammoth Tusks 22 Years Apart

Mother And Son Find Woolly Mammoth Tusks 22 Years Apart

Newsy (Aug. 15, 2014) A mother and son in Alaska uncovered woolly mammoth tusks in the same river more than two decades apart. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fossils Reveal Ancient Flying Reptile With 'Butterfly Head'

Fossils Reveal Ancient Flying Reptile With 'Butterfly Head'

Newsy (Aug. 14, 2014) Newly found fossils reveal a previously unknown species of flying reptile with a really weird head, which some say looks like a butterfly. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clearing WWII's Explosive Legacy in the Pacific

Clearing WWII's Explosive Legacy in the Pacific

AFP (Aug. 11, 2014) The hulks of tanks can still be found rusting in the jungles of Palau, but the fierce fighting that scarred the Pacific island nation in WWII has left a more dangerous legacy - unexploded bombs that pose a constant risk to locals. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins