Paleontologists have recently discovered fossilized brain tissue from a dinosaur. Scientists got one step closer to finding out what and how were dinosaurs thinking. Apparently, the brain of a dinosaur was slight compared to the size of their head. Ten years ago, a scientist had discovered the fossilized brain tissue in Sussex, England. The fossil looked just like a brown stone.
- This spectacular breakthrough helped scientists closely analyze the brain of dinosaurs.
- The fossilized brain tissue revealed similarities with the brains of reptiles.
It is indeed surprising to reveal such a significant discovery. Experts argued that brain matter is very likely to decay faster than other parts of the dinosaur’s body. It was a miracle to unveil such valuable material for the world of science. We know that dinosaurs lived approximately 66 million years ago, being very tough for scientists to find any fossil.
Experts have assumed that this brain tissue was most likely preserved somehow after the death of the dinosaur. David Norman, the co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Cambridge, has argued that it is a possibility for this dinosaur to have died in the closeness of a body of water. Probably its head was buried in the layer of sediments from the bottom of that water.
Scientists argue that the composition of the water which was partly acid has contributed to the preserving process. Experts have used a microscope designed for scanning electrons (SEM) being able to develop a very detail image of an object while moving a ray of electrons over it. Paleontologists were amazed to unveil different structures in the brain tissue.
The sophisticated technology made it possible to identify the strands of collagen, meninges, structures most likely about the cortex of the brain and even blood vessels. Norman together with his team has uncovered that the brain tissue belonged to a similar species to Iguanodon one. This was a massive herbivorous dinosaur which inhabited the planet during the Cretaceous period, approximately 133 million years ago.
Some structured in the brain tissue looked similar to those of the crocodiles’ or birds’ brain. Norman asserted that the framework of the brain resembled those of the reptiles living today. In the case of reptiles and most likely in the case of dinosaurs too, the brain usually occupied half of the cranial cavity’s space. The rest is filled with an extremely vascularized area, surrounding the brain.
Image source: flickr