Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earths Ancient Atmosphere

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Articles

  1. ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
  2. Oxygen levels: The key to land animals?
  3. Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth's Ancient Atmosphere
  4. VTLS Chameleon iPortal Communication Error Occurred.

There's an explanation for that, and it is that the air sac breathing system in dinosaurs and their descendants, modern birds, is more efficient than systems used by other organisms," Ward said. He and his colleagues tested that hypothesis by examining the breathing system used by birds.

ABOUT THE MAGAZINE

They found that at sea level birds breathe 30 percent more efficiently than mammals and at 5, feet in elevation birds are percent more efficient. Ward pictures a world in which dinosaurs were able to adapt to low atmospheric oxygen content relatively easily, and when oxygen levels rose the dinosaurs developed into giant creatures that dominated the Earth.

They ran rings around their prey," he said. Ward also began to wonder whether respiratory needs dictated how other organisms' bodies developed.

Oxygen levels: The key to land animals?

He thought that perhaps, rather than being based on feeding and movement, body shape and design might largely be determined by respiratory efficiency. For instance, a mollusk shell is typically thought of as protection for the marine creature, he said, but it turns out the shell actually channels water across the gill to deliver oxygen.


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Ward is the lead author of a paper confirming the existence of Romer's Gap, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Department of Energy.

Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth's Ancient Atmosphere

In the book, Ward argues that dinosaurs became the monsters that ruled the Earth for more than 60 million years - and survived mass extinctions that destroyed many other species - because they developed respiratory systems far more efficient than other terrestrial creatures. For more information, contact Ward at or argo u. But the term has typically been applied only to pre-dinosaur amphibians, and there has been little understanding of why the gap occurred. But 55 million years later, atmospheric oxygen levels sank to 10 percent to 13 percent.

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I wonder if there is a minimum level of oxygen that has to be reached or nothing could ever have gotten out of the water. Department of Energy.

VTLS Chameleon iPortal Communication Error Occurred.

In the book, Ward argues that dinosaurs became the monsters that ruled the Earth for more than 60 million years — and survived mass extinctions that destroyed many other species — because they developed respiratory systems far more efficient than other terrestrial creatures. Dinosaurs first appeared in the last part of the Triassic period, about million years ago.

When The Earth Was Purple

That was during one of the lowest ebbs of atmospheric oxygen content of the last million years, but he speculates that it took some time, until oxygen levels rose appreciably, before dinosaurs grew to their familiar gargantuan sizes. He and his colleagues tested that hypothesis by examining the breathing system used by birds.

They found that at sea level birds breathe 30 percent more efficiently than mammals and at 5, feet in elevation birds are percent more efficient.