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No. 93: May-Jun 1994

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Cold-blooded birds?

Zoologists have been taking it for granted that birds evolved from warm-blooded, active dinosaurs. They may now have to redraw that part of the avian family tree, because the microscopic structure of the leg bones of two species of long-extinct birds suggest otherwise.

"Cross sections of the bones of these birds, which lived during the time of the dinosaurs, reveal growth rings -- concentric rings where normal bone growth was interrupted, possibly because of seasonal temperature changes. No such rings are found in the bones of modern birds, which maintain their body temperatures metabolically even in cold weather. But growth rings are found in such reptiles as crocodiles, which cannot maintain their temperatures metabolically, and in some fossil dinosaurs."

(Browne, Malcolm W.; "Study May Shake Birds Down from the Dinosaur Tree," New York Times, March 17, 1994. Cr. J. Covey.)

From Science Frontiers #93, MAY-JUN 1994. 1994-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987