Fos­sil proves di­nosaur was as clever as a croc

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

BEXHILL- ON- SEA, Sussex: Al­though they were the largest crea­tures ever to walk the Earth, we’ve looked down on di­nosaurs for hav­ing tiny brains.

But a fos­sil hunter’s find on a Sussex beach may mean the ex­tinct gi­ants had more grey mat­ter than we thought.

A peb­ble mea­sur­ing 10cm long has been con­firmed as the first fos­silised di­nosaur brain, thought to have come from the plant-eat­ing 9m Iguan­odon.

Scientists be­lieve it died in a swamp about 133 mil­lion years ago and its brain was “pick­led” in mud at the bot­tom.

Fos­sil hunter Jamie His­cocks picked up the spec­i­men in 2004 but scientists have only now con­firmed what it is.

Dr Alex Liu, from Cam­bridge Univer­sity’s Depart­ment of Earth Sci­ences, said: “The chances of pre­serv­ing brain tissue are in­cred­i­bly small, so the dis­cov­ery of this spec­i­men is as­ton­ish­ing.”

Ex­perts now think the Iguan­odon could have been as clever as a croc­o­dile and ranked among the “in­tel­li­gent” di­nosaurs such as the bird-like theropods. – Daily Mail

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