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First ever dino brain fossil found: Iguanodon

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File:Iguanodon Dinopark.jpg
Iguanodon with brood (sculpture)/Marcus Ringer

Can it tell us about dinosaur intelligence? From Brian Resnick at Vox:

Closer analysis revealed a few-millimeter-thick layer of structures that looked like blood vessels. There were also traces of meninges, the tough outer layer that protects the brain, preserved in mineral form.

More dinosaur brain specimens could help solve a big mystery about dinosaur intelligence: Were their brains more like modern-day reptiles or more like modern-day birds?

In modern reptiles, the brain typically does not take up all the space in the skull. It’s much smaller than the skull, supported by tissue that pads it. In birds, however, the brain does typically take up most of the skull.

A more birdlike brain would suggest dinosaurs were more intelligent than typical reptiles.More.

We don’t doubt Iguanodon (125 mya) will offer some surprises. But insight into dinosaur intelligence will not likely be one of them but we can enjoy fun-but-inconclusive speculation anyway.

For one thing, it isn’t accurate to assume that intelligence depends on a specific size or type of brain. Some birds outperform some primates, depending on the test, and reptiles are not as stupid as they are made out to be. They are exothermic, which reduces their need for activity. Some fish are found to be quite intelligent.

See also: Does intelligence depend on a specific type of brain?


Fish that are as smart as primates?

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