Friday, September 01, 2006

Dr Jonathan Codd

University of Manchester

My research broadly spans all areas of respiratory biology and aims to better understand the breathing mechanics of birds and bats. These animal models are of interest as both face similar functional constraints: fluctuations in body temperature and breathing during locomotion. To this end current research interests include an examination of the biochemical and biophysical adaptations in the pulmonary surfactant system associated with torpor and the role of hypaxial musculature during locomotion.

Given the evolutionary link between some birds and dinosaurs we are also attempting to apply the knowledge we have gained from our studies of birds to allow us to reconstruct the breathing mechanics in some theropod dinosaurs.

We approach the study of respiratory biology utilising techniques applicable from the whole animal down to the molecular level, encompassing ecological, anatomical, biochemical, molecular and physiological methods to answer questions arising from our research. Ultimately we hope to gain a better understanding of the evolution of breathing mechanics in these two groups of flying vertebrates.


At October 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm a 15 year old high school student. I have a question about birds and dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs evolved into birds right? A Christian friend of mine doesn't think that could be true, because bird lungs are so different from any other animals. So my question is, how similar are dinosaur lungs with bird lungs?

Thank you.

At October 25, 2006, Blogger Jonathan Codd said...

There is now overwhelming evidence that dinosaurs did indeed evolve into birds. This includes dinosaurs having light bones, fused clavicles and a special bone in the wrist called the semi-lunate carpel which allows extended movements and ultimately flapping flight. In fact you can trace so called bird characteristics right back through the theropod dinosaurs. There are as yet no fossilised dinosaur lungs so we have to use other evidence to reconstruct what their lungs might have been like. The strongest evidence is that air sacs which are found in the bones of dinosaurs are very similar to those in modern birds. Dinosaurs and birds also have uncinate processes on their ribs which we believe is further evidence for a bird like respiratory system in theropod dinosaurs.

At October 31, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your quick response! You answered my question perfectly. Thanks again, have a great day.

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