The movie “Jurassic Park” in the plot has recently been confirmed by fossil: Velociraptor Chenzheyese predation, and food plants in a big man who eat almost all day long. Ago people thought that the dinosaurs diurnal animals, they come out to feed during the day, will leave the small mammals at night. Now the eye of the fine structure of dinosaur fossils rejected this conjecture. The study, published in “Science” magazine research tells us that many predator dinosaurs are “Night Man.” In addition, the study also shows us how ecological factors in the transformation of millions of years of animal body.
Dinosaurs, birds and lizards have a bone part of the eye, called scleral ring, but not mammals and crocodiles. From the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), Professor of R. Motani and collaborators measured 33 fossil scleral ring inner diameter, outer diameter and orbital size, these fossils, including dinosaurs, early birds and pterosaurs. They also collected 164 extant animal bones, and do the same measurement process, for comparison and verification.
Previous studies have confirmed that diurnal animals, the middle of a small scleral ring openings, and opening larger nocturnal animals, all-day activities of the animal, the size of the scleral ring opening between the two. This size difference is well received on the environmental impact, there are genetic factors. For example, two species may be close genetic relationship life completely upside down, but the eye size is very similar. Therefore, only the correct distinction between environmental factors and genetic factors, in order to understand the dinosaurs lifestyle.
To solve this problem, Motani and postdoctoral L. Schmitz wrote a computer program, the 164 species data are input operation, the operation results and compare the actual situation of animal validation. They found that the eye size of data to accurately reflect the animals rhythm. After which they will apply this technology in the dinosaurs, pterosaurs and early bird fossils.
Program operation results show that a large plant-eating dinosaurs were active day and night, probably because they have to stop eating a huge appetite, only the hottest day of that period of time in a little rest, to avoid hyperthermia. This modern large plant-eating animals such as elephants rhythm similar. Raptor and other small predators are Chenzheyese haunt. Most birds and pterosaurs were active during the day, but there is a aquatic filter-feeding pterosaurs (habit similar to ducks) and a fish-eating pterosaurs show a clear nocturnal features. The most intriguing than the Tyrannosaurus rex of “rest time”, but because of incomplete fossil preservation, and its rhythm is still a myth.
With the help of modern technology, paleontologists were able to distinguish between environmental and genetic factors, so that we can better study period in the history of the interaction of biology and environment.