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Re: unusual question



At 12:41 PM 9/17/97 +0100, you wrote:
>Hi,
>As you also know the Troodon was a quite intelligent dinosaur and as I know 
>they had the same brain/body mass ratio like the baboons or large male
gorillas 
>( from Carl Sagan ).

Unfortunately, that is a MAJOR exaggeration.  Troodontids did have fairly
large brain-to-body sizes (scaled for size) compared to most other dinosaurs
(ornithomimids and therizinosauroids probably had comparable brain-to-skull
sizes, but had smaller skulls relative to body size).

However, they do not approach even the smallest-brained primates in
big-brainedness.  Their values fall among the lower values for modern
mammals and birds.

So, although it MIGHT be possible that troodontids (or some other group of
coelurosaur) could have developed even bigger brains, there is no evidence
known of the approaching anything like a baboon or gorilla, much less an
Australopithecus, Paranthropus, or Homo.

There are no indications of tool-use of even a simple stage among
coelurosaurs, much less higher technology.

Although there is disagreement over the cause of the Cretaceous-Tertiary
extinction event (and other events), this does not indicate that NONE of the
proposed theories are true!

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661