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Re: Raptor Intelligence



Garry Platt asks:

> The Raptor's level of intelligence...
> 
> Is there any factual or scientific evidence...

There's some evidence but not anything like enough to support the
primate-level suppositions of JP.  The evidence consists mostly of well
preserved skulls (Nanotyrranus, for one) and CAT scans.  By analyzing
the CAT scan of a skull that was saved from massive damage by being
filled with matrix, a computer can "separate" the matrix and display a
good representation of the brain case.  

There are also a few brain case casts, I think, from fossils whose bone
was destroyed after the matrix hardened.

The size of a creature's brain relative to its body is part of the
intelligence equation; another is the density of cerebral -- oh, rats,
the word just went away but someone else will provide it -- "wrinkles."
It's very difficult to determine the latter because fossil casts are
rarely detailed finely enough; but the size of the brain, and the sizes
of its various lobes (optic, olfactory, auditory...) relative to the
size of the cerebral cortex, can sometimes be reconstructed quite well.
These kinds of information can suggest intelligence; estimates based on
likening dinosaurs to large birds have suggested that a 'raptor might
have been as intelligent as an ostrich.

My info here is all secondhand - I'm awaiting more on this from the
people who really know it.

-dick

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