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RE: So how intelligent were troodontids?



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Thomas de Wilde
> Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 5:35 PM
> To: Vladimír Socha; dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: So how intelligent were troodontids?
>
>
> > And as for troodontids (EQ up to 5.8), were they more or less
> relatively intelligent than modern birds? I mean, intelligence of birds is
> various. Ravens can even make tools, while e.g. hans (or Galliformes in
> general) are much more "stupid". I know that dinosaur EQ values can be
> compared only with those of a modern reptiles, not birds. Some sources
> state, that troodontids were as clever as modern birds, some that
> they were
> "not even as clever".

When you see plots of the EQ of Mesozoic archosaurs superimposed upon those
of modern mammals, birds, and "reptiles", it turns out that Troodon & co.
fall out along the very bottom of the modern bird and mammal polygon.

In other words, they are dealing with the brain power that rivals opposums
and emus, not racoons and crows.

Of course, in relative terms, they were mental giants in the Cretaceous.
But (and this is painful for me to say... :-) modern mammals and modern
birds in general have much higher EQs than the the Mesozoic dinosaurs we
know and love.

Now, to be fair, I don't know that anyone has mapped out metrics of animal
intelligence against EQ. But, in general, animals with higher EQs tend to be
ones that seem more intelligent in a qualitative sense.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796