Bird brains of the Jurassic

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archaeopteryx endocast

You gotta love modern technology. Using computed tomography, investigators have done high resolution imaging of the fossilized cranium of Archaeopteryx lithographica, plucking out a virtual reconstruction of the creature's brain. This allows them to do some detailed comparative gross neuroanatomy, looking to see whether there are signs here of the transition from terrestrial crawler to aerial flyer.





Continue reading "Bird brains of the Jurassic" (on Pharyngula)

2 Comments

That DigiMorph site is way cool! But since I’m no anatomist, your other graph which plots reptile vs. bird vs. archaeopteryx brain sizes vs. body mass looks even more compelling: Archy’s brain size looks like a perfect transitional between reptile & bird brains.

Where did you get it? I couldn’t find it on the DigiMorph page.

The graph is straight out of the Nature paper.

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