Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossil brain teaser: New study reveals patterns of dinosaur brain development

Date:
May 20, 2013
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
A new study sheds light on how the brain and inner ear developed in dinosaurs. 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.

Reconstruction of the brain in the young and fully grown Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki.
Credit: Stephan Lautenschlager, University of Bristol

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.

Related Articles


Stephan Lautenschlager from Bristol's School of Earth Sciences, together with Tom Hübner from the Niedersächsische 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 Hübner 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.

The study was funded by a research fellowship to Stephan Lautenschlager from the German Volkswagen Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Lautenschlager, T. Hübner. Ontogenetic trajectories in the ornithischian endocranium. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12181

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Fossil brain teaser: New study reveals patterns of dinosaur brain development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520114017.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2013, May 20). Fossil brain teaser: New study reveals patterns of dinosaur brain development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520114017.htm
University of Bristol. "Fossil brain teaser: New study reveals patterns of dinosaur brain development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520114017.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Discovery Of 'Dragon' Dinosaur In China Could Explain Myths

Discovery Of 'Dragon' Dinosaur In China Could Explain Myths

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) — A long-necked dinosaur from the Jurassic Period was discovered in China. Researchers think it could answer mythology questions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battle of Waterloo Artefacts Go on Display at Windsor Castle

Battle of Waterloo Artefacts Go on Display at Windsor Castle

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) — Artefacts from the Battle of Waterloo go on display at Windsor Castle to mark the 200th anniversary of the momentous battle. The exhibition includes contemporary prints, drawings and personal belongings of French Emperor Napoleon. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mideast Skull Find Sheds Light on Human Ancestors' Trek

Mideast Skull Find Sheds Light on Human Ancestors' Trek

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) — A 55,000-year-old partial skull found in the Middle East gives clues to when our ancestors left their African homeland, and strengthens theories that they co-habited with Neanderthals. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Scientists Say Earliest Snakes Lived Alongside The Dinosaurs

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) — Wrongly categorized as lizard fossils, snake fossils now show the reptile could have developed earlier than we thought — 70 million years earlier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins