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Re: dromaeosaurid intelligence

    I´ve to apologize to some mistakes I´ve made and Adam Britton corrected
very precisely. Indeed the crocs have social behaviors, now being much
deeply studied than before, and just a few of them keep the agressive
position at others.
    Then Adam reinfoced what I was trying to say: that the crocodilians,
even if they're that primitive, have very advanced behaviors, including the
social ones. So, if you transfer these notes to a dinosaur, such
Dromaeosaurids, they might have been very smart and probably capable of
doing things we cannot even imagine nowadays. But, it's only a theory.
Another real fact is the density of neurons per inch. If the Droameosaurids
had a big density of neurons per inch, they could have been much more
smarter than if they've had small density.
    If we take the predator/prey point of view, as the predators evolved
more complex hunting tactics, so do their preys, developing more complex
deffensive tactics. Then, the nature keeps its balance.
    Apologies and greetings,

        Marcel Bertolucci
    ( mbertol@zaz.com.br )
"Dinosaurs are the most interesting and amazing mystery of nature!"

----- Original Message -----
From: "Adam Britton" <abritton@wmi.com.au>
To: "Dinosaur Mailing List" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 10:54 AM
Subject: Re: dromaeosaurid intelligence

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Marcel Bertolucci" <mbertol@terra.com.br>
> > To the brain mass to body mass ratio matter, the question is: how
> > far does it goes?
> There has to be a lot more to it than just this. Take _Craseonycteris
> thonglongyai_, the bumblebee bat. Once a candidate for smallest mammal on
> Earth, adults weigh around 2 to 3 grams. I have no idea what percentage of
> body weight the brain takes up, but even if we say brain weight is 1% of
> body weight, we have 0.02 grams of neural tissue that is capable of highly
> advanced echolocation (sound production, hearing and interpretation),
> behaviour (bats are highly social animals), significant spatial memory and
> orientation ability, complex flight AND the various behaviours associated
> with controlling a relatively complex body. Pretty neat stuff for such a
> physically tiny creature, regardless of its brain to body weight ratio.
> > This is
> > strange to crocs, because they normally are territorialists and
> > with each other, mostly in feeding matters. This tolerance behavior
> be
> > explained by the survival instinct, but not for crocs. Other question is
> > that the male crocs accept female crocs in their territory in the mating
> > season, but not other male crocs, as it happens in this case. Could it
> > the 'smart' sense of crocs working for their benefit?
> Actually, the majority of crocodiles are highly gregarious and social, and
> only a few species are considered territorial (eg. saltwater crocodiles)
> solitary (eg. dwarf caimans) - and then only as mature adults. Social
> behaviour is vastly underestimated in crocodilians, and definitely never
> your information on crocodilian social behaviour from the Discovery
> A large array of different behaviours have been recorded in crocodilians,
> including their ability to produce a remarkable array of complex (ie.
> combined) signals using visual, auditory, chemical and tactile cues.
> Crocodilians also have a well-developed ability to learn associatively,
> to recognise any combination of signals (visual, auditory, chemical,
> tactile) linked to events in both space and time. For example, Nile crocs
> will move to particular locations at particular times of year to take
> advantage of events (eg. migrations), and they hunt cooperatively. Pack
> hunting behaviour has been reported in Cuban crocodiles, and all species
> show complex parental care and short-term pair bonding in some. In
> captivity, crocodilians can be trained to respond to specific signals (ie.
> names) and commands. They learn such commands very quickly, sometimes
> only 1 to 2 reinforcement attempts through habituation, operant or
> conditioning. Most zoological exhibits are now considering training their
> crocodilians for management purposes (eg. moving into a holding area when
> bell sounds), and most people who work with crocs recognise their ability
> take advantage of routine opportunities. This is from an animal whose
> weighs 0.005% of its body weight, although in hatchlings it starts out
> relatively much larger (0.9% body weight).
> I can't find it right now, but there was some work being conducted in
> on American alligators which showed they had a proportionally higher
> density in the cerebral cortex of their brains compared with certain other
> vertebrates (quoted, but I can't remember so I won't make a guess),
> tentatively suggested by the neurobiologist as a possible explanation for
> their apparently high degree of complex behaviour relative to their brain
> size. If I can relocate the notes I'll elaborate further.
> Adam Britton