Navigation Links
Fossil brain teaser

A new study conducted at the University of Bristol and published online today in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology sheds light on how the brain and inner ear developed in dinosaurs.

Stephan Lautenschlager from Bristol's School of Earth Sciences, together with Tom Hbner from the Niederschsische Landesmuseum in Hannover, Germany, picked the brains of 150 million year old dinosaurs.

The two palaeontologists studied different fossils of the Jurassic dinosaur Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki: a very young (juvenile) individual of approximately three years of age and a fully grown specimen of more than 12 years of age.

Stephan Lautenschlager, lead author of the paper, said: "The two different growth stages of Dysalotosaurus provided a unique opportunity to study their brain, and how it developed during the growth of the animal."

Using high-resolution CT scanning and 3D computer imaging, it was possible to reconstruct and visualise the brain and inner ear of Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki a small, plant-eating dinosaur, which lived 150 million years ago, in what is now Tanzania.

Co-author Tom Hbner said: "Well-preserved fossil material, which can be used to reconstruct the brain anatomy is usually rare. Thus, we were fortunate to have different growth stages available for our study."

By looking at the brain and inner ear anatomy, the two researchers found that the brain of Dysalotosaurus underwent considerable changes during growth most likely as a response to environmental and metabolic requirements. However, important parts responsible for the sense of hearing and cognitive processes were already well developed in the young individual.

Stephan Lautenschlager said: "Our study shows that the brain was already well-developed in the young dinosaurs and adapted perfectly to interact with their environment and other individuals."

This study has important ramifications for the understanding of how parts of the brain developed in dinosaurs. However, further research into that field is necessary to investigate if the pattern of brain development in individual dinosaurs is also reflected in a large scale trend during the more than 150 million years of dinosaur evolution.


Contact: Caroline Clancy
University of Bristol

Related biology news :

1. Actor Johnny Depp immortalized in ancient fossil find
2. Clam fossils divulge secrets of ecologic stability
3. UF fossil bird study on extinction patterns could help todays conservation efforts
4. Color in fossil insects, diamonds from the ancient ocean floor and modeling the worlds largest rivers
5. Survival of the prettiest: Sexual selection can be inferred from the fossil record
6. New dinosaur fossil challenges bird evolution theory
7. First fossil bird with teeth specialized for tough diet
8. EARTH: Famous fossils and spectacular scenery at British Columbias Burgess Shale
9. After 121 years, identification of grave robber fossil solves a paleontological enigma
10. Recent studies bring fossils and genes together to piece together evolutionary history
11. Fossil study helps pinpoint extinction risks for ocean animals
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)...  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the leading ... into the automotive market with a comprehensive and dedicated ... consumer electronics human interface innovation. Synaptics, industry-leading touch controllers, ... automotive industry and will be implemented in numerous locations ... , Japan , and ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute ... "DNA Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for ... Health and Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers ... --> --> Synthetic ... the potential to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... the growing mobile commerce market and creator of ... leading marketplace to discover and buy innovative technology ... on StackSocial for this holiday season.   ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... MUMBAI , November 26, 2015 ... --> Accutest Research ... accredited Contract Research Organization (CRO), has ... Chase Cancer Center - Temple Health ... ,     (Photo: ) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... --> ... 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking workflow will ... long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving the workflow ... errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate sample barcoding ... a vital role in blood fractionation, DNA extraction, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 2 nouvelles études permettent ... les différences entre les souches bactériennes retrouvées dans la ... des êtres humains . Ces recherches  ouvrent une nouvelle ... prise en charge efficace de l,un des problèmes ... chats .    --> 2 nouvelles études ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants for ... will present at the LD Micro "Main Event" ... p.m. PT. The presentation will be webcast live and ... will also be available at the conference for one-on-one ...
Breaking Biology Technology: