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Warm-blooded lizards? Yes, and we don’t know just how yet

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From New Scientist:

First warm-blooded lizards switch on mystery heat source at will

The first known warm-blooded lizard, the tegu, can heat itself to as much as 10 ̊C above its surroundings – making it unique among reptiles.

But bizarrely, it only switches on its heating system at certain times of the year.

Even when the scientists removed access to sunshine or food for a few days, the lizards still warmed up before dawn. But how do they do it?

Last year another group reported the first known warm-blooded fish – the opah – which generates heat by the muscular flapping of its fins.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG What became of all those theories about how warm-bloodedness evolved in mammals and birds, but not in reptiles and fish? What really drives these trends?

But Tom Kemp, emeritus research fellow at the University of Oxford, says that warm-bloodedness is such a complex phenomenon that it is too simplistic to think that any one feature or adaptive purpose is alone responsible for its evolution. More.

Hey, a start in the right direction!

And from… New Scientist?

See also: Dino blood cells revive “warm-blooded” controversy

Furry, feathery, and finny animals speak their minds


Evolution: What the fossils told us in their own words

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This enthusiast reports the tegu as intelligent:

Good threead idea. aMEN. Defining creatures by being cold blooded was always a wrong idea in classification. There are no such group as reptiles. jUst creatures who suited some like traits with other creatures. Yet not created by God as a group and not evolved from a common ancestor. Its no big deal to be cold blooded. Or warm blooded. its trivial reaction to need. If one can warm up then why not two or three? Maybe the dinosaurs could warm up. I don't think they were cold blooded or a group either. The more they research and think about these things the more the wrong ideas of the past, but enduring, will be corrected. Just like evolutionism. Just evolution won't last that long at this rate or correction in a curve on the graph. Robert Byers

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