Dr Emily Rayfield of the University of Bristol and PhD student Stephan Lautenschlager of the University of Bristol who were part of an international team of scintists have been looking into the heads of Dinosaurs with interesting results.

They had a close look into the head of the plant eating therizinosau which lived 90 million years ago. They used  high resolution CT scanning and 3D computer visualisation in their quest to find out more……..

 

Therizinosaurs are an unusual group of theropod dinosaurs which lived between 145 and 66 million years ago.  Members of this group had evolved into up to 7m (23ft) large animals, with more than 50cm (20in) long, razor-sharp claws on their forelimbs, elongated necks and a coat of primitive, down-like feathers along their bodies.  Although closely related to carnivorous dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor, and in spite of their bizarre appearance, therizinosaurs were probably peaceful herbivores.

Inspired by this paradox, the international team of palaeontologists decided to take the first close look inside the heads of these enigmatic dinosaurs.

They studied the brain and inner ear anatomy of therizinosaurs using high-resolution CT scanning and 3D computer visualisation to find out more about their sensory and cognitive capabilities and how these had evolved with the transition from meat- to plant-eating.

The focus of the study was the skull of Erlikosaurus andrewsi – a 3-4m (10-13ft) therizinosaur, which lived more than 90 million years ago in what is now Mongolia.

Read more here……..http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2012/9024.html

 

Catch up with all the details and the important ramifications in the understanding of different dinosaur groups at the link above.