“Maybe these changes are related to changes in lactation habits,” he said. “Predators generally need more cognitive skills.”
These details of the Buriolestes’ brain are interesting because they are early dinosaurs, said Lawrence Witmer, a paleontologist and anatomy professor at the University of Ohio who studies sauropods.
“It gives us a window into the early evolution of the brain and sensory systems of sauropod dinosaurs, the largest animals that can walk on land,” he Buriolestes.‘s The inner ear canal and cohesive lobes suggest that they used fast, coordinated movements of the head, neck, and eyes.
“There was no premium in maintaining that ability for slow-moving sauropods. Now we know they must have lost this ability, because ancestral races like Buriolestes had it.”
Our knowledge of the brains of early dinosaurs is very small, said Fabian Nool, a paleontologist at the Dinopolis Foundation in Teruel, Spain. One of the oldest dinosaurs, Buriolestes and its contemporaries, are mainly found in Brazil and Argentina. When fossils are found, the skulls break or disappear, making this study rare.
It’s a dark but fascinating evolutionary story to help uncover. That is, a small, fast, two-legged hunter slowly turns into a giant, unhurried four-legged animal that ate only plants.
“The study of dinosaur brains is booming because digital technology has made it easier than ever to reconstruct brain morphology,” Dr. Knoll said. “But information about the brains of early dinosaurs is hampered by the lack of quality fossils. So, I would like to say that it is important to keep digging sites that have the potential to offer well-preserved early dinosaurs in Brazil, Argentina and elsewhere.”