May 19, 2024

Research has found that the T. Rex dinosaur was as intelligent as a giant crocodile

A skeleton cast of a T. rex at the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. Tyrannosaurus rex lived at the end of the Cretaceous period (about 66 million years ago) and was native exclusively to western North America. Credit: Kay R. Caspar
Kerry Taylor Smith Kerry Taylor Smith Meteorite UK 4 minutes

There is controversy among paleontologists about… How smart he is T-Rex It really was. Previous research suggested that fearsome theropods were as intelligent as a monkey, but a new study concludes that they may have been. Smart as a crocodile Or it was a lizard.

Brain exploration

Paleontologists and biologists use the endophytes (mineral fillings of the brain cavity) and the shape of the cavities themselves to determine Conclusions about the size and anatomy of dinosaur brains As well as their behavior and lifestyle.

A study published last year claimed that dinosaurs such as T-Rex One An exceptionally large number of neurons possessed, allowing direct conclusions to be drawn about intelligence, metabolism, and life history. The study indicates that T-Rex He was smarter than previously thought in some of his habits Like a monkey It may have cognitive properties such as transmitting cultural knowledge and using tools.

However, an international team of paleontologists, ethologists and neurologists re-examined the size and structure of dinosaur brains and concluded that they behaved more like reptiles like crocodiles and lizards.

Research suggests that Tyrannosaurus rex is as intelligent as a giant crocodile
The ratio between brain mass and body mass in terrestrial vertebrates. In dinosaurs such as T. rex, the brain-to-body size ratio is similar to that in living reptiles. Credit: Cristian Gutierrez Ibanez

The study investigated techniques used to predict brain size and number of neurons in dinosaur brains and concluded: Previous assumptions about both variables have been overestimatedEspecially in the forebrain, the number of neurons is not a reliable indicator of intelligence.

“We say so Not good practice “It would be possible to predict intelligence in extinct species if the number of neurons reconstructed from internal cells is all we have,” explains Dr. Kai Kaspar, lead researcher at MIT. Heinrich Heine University.

See also  Chest area, H-alpha RGB wide-field image

“The number of neurons is Not a good indicator of cognitive performance“And using them to predict the intelligence of long-extinct species can lead to very misleading interpretations,” adds Dr. Ornella Bertrand from Katala Paleontological Institute Mikkel Crosafont He added.

Use evidence

In order to accurately reconstruct the biology of long-extinct species, the researchers propose Skeletal anatomy, bone tissueTo analyze the behavior of living relatives and trace fossils.

“The best way to measure the intelligence of dinosaurs and other extinct animals is… Lots of evidence “Identifying things ranging from gross anatomy to fossil footprints, rather than relying solely on estimates of neuron numbers,” explains Hadi George of Harvard University. University of Bristol.

“The possibility of that T-Rex Smart as a baboon Wonderful and scary “It has the power to redefine our image of the past,” says Dr. Darren Naish of Harvard University. University of Southampton. “But our study shows that all the data we have speaks against that idea. It was.” More like giant, intelligent crocodilesAnd that's totally cool.”

Source note:

kr caspar, et al. (2024) How smart is T-Rex? Testing claims of exceptional cognition in dinosaurs and applying neuron number estimates in paleontological research Anatomical record