Thermoregulatory adaptations of Acrocanthosaurus atokensis - evidence from oxygen isotopes

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Title: Thermoregulatory adaptations of Acrocanthosaurus atokensis - evidence from oxygen isotopes
Author: Missell, Christine Ann
Advisors: Reese Barrick, Committee Chair
Jonathan Karr, Committee Member
Harold Heatwole, Committee Member
Dale Russell, Committee Member
Abstract: Isotopic analyses of bone phosphate oxygen from a modern alligator, ostrich, and elephant have provided a means for examining diagenesis and thermoregulatory strategy within the dinosaur Acrocanthosaurus atokensis. The Acrocanthosaurus specimen is assumed to retain an original isotopic signature, based on a lack of linear correlation between δ18Ophosphate and structural δ18Ocarbonate, equal standard deviations between δ18Ophosphate values for spongy and compact bone, and a significant difference between δ18Ophosphate and cement δ18Ocarbonate. Interbone and intrabone temperature variation patterns suggest that Acrocanthosaurus followed a homeothermic pattern of heat distribution (i.e. maintenance of a 4°C temperature range). Comparison with the modern animals yields a closer resemblance to the ostrich and elephant versus the alligator, thereby suggesting Acrocanthosaurus was endothermic. The Acrocanthosaurus sacral spines and palatal bones show evidence of use as heat shedding structures and the braincase yields a significantly higher calculated temperature than the body.
Date: 2004-04-07
Degree: MS
Discipline: Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

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