Scientists identify fossilised dinosaur brain tissue for first time | Reuters

LONDON British and Australian scientists have identified an unassuming brown pebble, found more than a decade ago by a fossil hunter in southern England, as the first known example of fossilised dinosaur brain tissue.The fossilised brain, found by fossil enthusiast Jamie Hiscocks near Bexhill in Sussex in 2004, is most likely from a species similar to Iguanodon - a large herbivore that lived during the early cretaceous period, some 133 million years ago. In a report of their analysis in a Special Publication of the Geological Society of London, the researchers said they believed this piece of tissue was so well-preserved because the dinosaur's brain was "pickled" in a highly acidic and low-oxygen body of water – like a bog or swamp – shortly after it died."The chances of preserving brain tissue are incredibly small, so the discovery of this specimen is astonishing," said Alex Liu of Cambridge University's department of earth sciences, who worked on its identification.

Cambridge's David Norman, who led the work, said the finding also raised questions about the common perception of dinosaurs as animals with very small brains.In typical reptiles, the brain is sausage-shaped and surrounded by a dense region of blood vessels and sinuses, meaning the brain itself only takes up about half of the space in the cranial cavity.

The tissue in the fossilised brain, however, appeared to have been pressed against the skull, the scientists said, raising the possibility that some dinosaurs had larger brains.But Norman's team cautioned against drawing any firm conclusions from this single fossil about dinosaurs' brain size or intelligence levels.

"As we can't see the lobes of the brain itself, we can't say for sure how big this dinosaur's brain was," he said. "Of course, it's entirely possible that dinosaurs had bigger brains than we give them credit for, but we can't tell from this specimen alone." (Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


Updated Date: Oct 27, 2016 23:02 PM

Also Watch

Watch: The true stories from Dharavi that inspired Rajinikanth's Kaala
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 Watch: Cyrus Khan talks about Parkour, jumping across walls and why he hates sitting
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 Unwind: India's basketball sensation Amjyot Singh has his eyes set on becoming an NBA regular
  • Monday, May 28, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 10 questions
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See