Scientists digitally built a dinosaur brain reconstruction

Thanks to new technologies, scientists are able to learn more about dinosaurs, in this case about a man who lived more than 200 million years ago. A new study involving digital reconstruction of the brain belonging to one of the earliest dinosaurs has shed new light on eating habits and flexibility.

Scientists from the University of Bristol have digitally reconstructed Thecodontosaurus’ brain and found information that was “previously unseen in the fossil,” according to the press release.

The research was published in the Journal of the Zoological Society of Ages.

The little dinosaur was very different

Thecodontosaurus, better known as the Bristol dinosaur, was about the size of a large dog and lived at the end of the Triassic age. His fossils were discovered in the 1800s in Bristol, hence his famous name.

It was assumed that the dinosaur walked on all fours and fed directly on plants. After two centuries, scientists have now used imaging software to extract new information from the fossil without damaging it.

Brain scientists picked up one of the oldest dinosaurs
Source: Antonio Ballell and colleagues / University of Bristol

The researchers used advanced design techniques and 3D modeling using 3D models generated from CT scans. Antonio Ballell, lead author of the study, said: “Even though the brain itself is long gone, the software allows us to recreate the shape of the brain and inner ear through the dimensions of the caverns that are leave. ”

The results

He also explained, “Our analysis showed that parts of the brain involved in keeping the head and eyes stable and the fetus stable during movement were well developed. This could also be means that Thecodontosaurus may occasionally catch prey, although dental morphology shows that plants are the main part of its diet. “

Brain scientists picked up one of the oldest dinosaurs
Source: Antonio Ballell and colleagues / University of Bristol

All of this was seen thanks to details of the floccular lobes revealed in his brainstem, each CNN.


By reconstructing the inner ears, the researchers were able to estimate how well they would hear. It turns out, the highest listening frequency was relatively high, and he was probably able to recognize different squeaks and honors from different animals.

Professor Mike Benton, co – author of the study, concluded, “It ‘s great to see how new technologies allow us to learn more about how this little dinosaur lived more than a century ago. 200 million years. “