In 2009, the remains of a small dinosaur known as Buriolestes schultzi were found in Brazil. This is one of the most ancient dinosaurs in the world. According to the calculations of scientists, the found skeleton about 233 million years... The remains were interesting in that excellentsurvived - especially the skull, which is very important for the study of ancient creatures. By examining the internal structure of the head, scientists can figure out what the brains of dinosaurs looked like. And based on the structure of the brain, they are able to identify the features of their behavior. Thanks to the skull of an ancient creature, they really managed to learn a lot of interesting things about dinosaurs. But how can you create a model of the brain with only the skull of an animal? Let's figure it out.
The discovery of Brazilian scientists was reported inscientific edition of the Journal of Anatomy. At the moment, paleontologists have managed to discover more than 1000 genera of various dinosaurs. Thousands of dinosaur species can belong to each genus, so we can say that scientists know a lot about ancient creatures. They know the growth of these creatures, their diet, and many other features. But scientists still find it difficult to answer how the dinosaurs behaved. Of course, the predators were aggressive, and the herbivores were as cautious as possible. But after all, each species had to have individual character traits. For example, some hunted prey with their scent, and some relied solely on their eyesight. To identify the characteristics of dinosaur behavior, scientists need to study the structure of their brains.
How to recreate the brain of a dinosaur?
Reconstructing the brain of the Buriolestes schultzi dinosaur was not that difficult. The relief on the inner side of the skull is called endocrane... As a rule, a largepart of the structure of the brain. These are large grooves and convolutions. Sometimes traces of blood vessels even remain on it. Researchers from Brazil took a dinosaur skull and filled it with something like plaster - the exact composition of the material is not specified. When the solution dried and hardened, scientists found out that the size of the dinosaur's brain was about the size of a pea. And the brain mass did not exceed 1.5 grams.
The shape of the brain turned out to be primitive. Scientists have identified 6 parts in the brain of a dinosaur:
- cerebellum (cerebellum), responsible for coordination of movements, balance and muscle tone;
- visual lobe (optic lobe), responsible for processing visual information;
- olfactory bulb (olfactory bulb), ensuring the work of the nose;
- olfactory tract (olfactory tract), also responsible for the sense of smell.
- pituitary gland, secreting hormones for proper metabolism, growth and reproduction;
- large brain (cerebrum), which is the largest part of the brain and combines many functions.
The dinosaur had a very developed cerebellum,which means he was agile and could catch prey on the move. But the olfactory bulb and the tract are very small, so the ancient creature could hardly rely on its scent while hunting. Most likely, the dinosaur relied on its vision to detect prey, which was clearly good. However, some scientists are confident that Buriolestes schultzi was a herbivorous dinosaur. But this does not negate the fact that he was looking for food relying on his eyesight - he could hardly detect edible plants by smell.
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Dinosaur Buriolestes schultzi lived a long time ago andwas the ancestor of giant sauropods. In the course of evolution, their sense of smell has improved markedly. Scientists believe that this was due to the need to notice the approach of predators from afar. At the same time, the little Buriolestes schultzi was clearly smarter than its huge descendants. This is also an amazing discovery, since animals usually become smarter during evolution.
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If you are interested in dinosaurs and you startedstudy them from early childhood, I recommend that you read this material. In fact, in childhood, many people are interested in ancient creatures and know much more about them than adults. And the fact that dinosaurs are especially interesting to us in childhood is not surprising. It's just that children tend to want to be experts in at least something and dinosaurs are a very interesting topic to study.