Монологи на английском языке с текстом и переводом. №87. Тема: Динозавры - теплокровные или холоднокровные.

This week, we have been discussing paleontology. I hope you still remember what paleontology is - it's what paleontologists do. Just in case you have forgotten, paleontology is the study of old bones, or fossils. Our topic for today's lecture has a great deal to do with paleontology. We are going to discuss dinosaurs.
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Dinosaurs, of course, have been studied for many centuries as we continue to uncover dinosaur bones. Throughout the years, professional paleontologists have been able to "reconstruct" dinosaurs. They do this by finding all of the pieces - that is, bones - of the dinosaurs and put them back together. In this way, the paleontologist is able to reconstruct a skeleton of the dinosaur.
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Since we now know what many dinosaurs looked like from these reconstructions, we can begin to ask new questions. One question, which actually isn't very new, is about the biochemistry of the dinosaur. Specifically, we have been interested in finding out if dinosaurs were warm blooded or cold blooded.
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You may remember from your classes in the biology department that warm-blooded animals are called "endotherms." Cold-blooded animals, on the other hand, are called "ectotherms." Historically, dinosaurs were considered to be cold blooded, that is, ectotherms. This belief does not come from hard scientific evidence.
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On the contrary, it comes from the similarity of dinosaur skeletons to other reptiles. Other reptiles, such as lizards, look very similar to dinosaurs. Reptiles, including lizards, are cold blooded. For this reason, early paleontologists speculated that dinosaurs must have also been cold blooded. However, we now believe that at least some dinosaurs were actually warm-blooded.
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There is a lot of strong evidence to support this point. For example, dinosaurs were enormous animals. Very large animals we can observe today are typically warm blooded, while only smaller animals are cold blooded. Secondly, dinosaur bones themselves look much more like bones from other warm-blooded animals.
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If we compare the bones of dinosaurs to cold-blooded animals, the structure of the bones is very different. Finally, dinosaurs lived in many places on Earth. They lived in both warm and cold climates. Cold-blooded animals typically only live in very warm places, so the geographic distribution of dinosaurs leads us to believe that they were warm blooded.
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