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Giant sea reptiles were warm-blooded

A new study suggests that prehistoric underwater predators could control their body temperatures.

Researchers found that ancient ocean predators possibly regulated their body temperatures, which allowed for aggressive hunting, deep diving, and fast swimming over long distances.

“These marine reptiles were able to maintain a high body temperature independently of the water temperature where they lived, from tropical to cold-temperate oceanic domains,” said study co-author Christophe Lécuyer, a paleontologist at Université Claude Bernand Lyon 1 in France.

The prehistoric reptiles may have had body temperatures as high as 95 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit (35 to 39 degrees Celsius)—comparable to those of modern dolphins and whales, Lécuyer noted.

Most modern reptiles and fish are cold-blooded, which means their internal temperatures vary along with those of the surrounding water.

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