How Did Dinosaurs Regulate Their Body Temperatures?
This activity extends concepts covered in the film The Origin of Birds. Students analyze and interpret data from a scientific paper to explore thermoregulation in living and extinct animals, including dinosaurs.
The activity challenges students to use data to investigate the following question raised in the film: How did dinosaurs regulate their body temperature? Students will consider whether dinosaurs regulated their body temperature more like birds (endotherms), reptiles (ectotherms), or something in between. In the process, they will learn about the methods used to determine animals’ metabolic rates, and will analyze, interpret, and graph scientific data.
Student Learning Targets
- Analyze and interpret scientific data.
- Make claims based on evidence from scientific data.
- Participate in a collaborative discussion about the evidence with classmates.
ectotherm, endotherm, growth rate, homeostasis, mesotherm, metabolism, resting metabolic rate, thermoregulation
Grady, John M., Brian J. Enquist, Eva Dettweiler-Robinson, Natalie A. Wright, and Felisa A. Smith. “Evidence for Mesothermy in Dinosaurs.” Science 344, 6189 (2014): 1268–1272. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1253143.
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Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS1-7, HS-LS4-1; SEP2, SEP4, SEP5, SEP6
SYI-2.C, EVO-1.N, EVO-3.B,EVO-3.C ; SP1, SP2, SP4
2.8, 5.1, 8.1
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.H, SP1, SP3, SP5
ELA.RST.9–12.2, ELA.RST.9–12.4, ELA-WHST.9–12.1
Math.S-ID.1, Math.S-ID.3, Math.S-ID.6, Math.S-ID.7; MP2
CC1, CC4; DP1, DP2, DP3