Scientists reconstructed fox-sized dinosaur ‘pea brain’

buriolestes schultzi dinosaur brain
Buriolestes schultzi brain and skull. Credit: Márcio L. Castro/Rodrigo Temp Müller

According to [a] new study, Buriolestes schultzi’s brain had an elongated shape and weighed about 1.5 grams, as much as a pea, Tibi Puiu writes for ZME Science. That’s pretty small for an animal. For comparison, a similarly-sized fox has a 53 gram brain. But relative to its body size, Buriolestes had more brain power than its descendants.

Over the course of about 50 million years spanning the late Triassic period and the early Jurassic Epoch, the two-legged, carnivorous Buriolestes’ lineage evolved into gigantic, four-legged, plant-eating sauropods. While the dinosaurs grew bigger, their brains didn’t keep up. By the time the sauropods, like brontosaurus, reached 100 tons and 110 feet long, their brains were only the size of tennis balls.

Related article:  'Interesting puzzle' created by hand tools found near long-vanished Arabian rivers

This feature is strange because usually, evolution favors larger brains over time. The new study revealed other changes in the brain structure between Buriolestes and sauropods, too. While the early dinosaur had small olfactory bulbs, sauropods had large ones, meaning their sense of smell improved over time, [researcher Rodrigo] Müller tells SWNS.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

“It gives us a window into the earliest evolution of the brain and sensory systems of the largest animals ever to walk on land,” says [paleontologist Lawrence] Witmer.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend