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Re: Lingham-Soliar's tracks



ekaterina A wrote:

> There was another comment in that
> report by some other paleontologists that the study of
> the brain of Allosaurus was suggestive of a lack of
> behavioral complexity in it. He said that study of the
> endocast indicated that it showed no greater
> complexity than that of an extant varanoid lizard. 

So they are suggesting that humble lizards (let alone varanids, that are
basically your average lizard on steroids) are incapable of complex
behaviours? Lizards can have complex social structures, be capable of
communicating with each other, and are often highly adaptable and
resiliant creatures. Being compared to a creature that has survived for
so long (even outliving the dinosaurs themselves) can't be all that bad.
Perhaps if Allosaurus was MORE lizard-like it may have survived!

Besides, did the study look at the inner brain structure itself (rather
unlikely), or just endocasts or, worse still, the brain cavity? The last
two reveil nothing about the complexity of the brain, just its
approximate size, and in the case of endocasts, the relative sizes of
those areas of the brain that show at the surface.

Even knowing the details of a brain doesn't mean we know exactly how it
functions. I believe that birds have little in the way of cerebral
cortices, yet some still manage to grasp complex abstract concepts.
Obviously they "think" differently than primates do. In fact, there was
one rooster that survived for four years after it had its head cut off.
Apparently there was enough of the brain stem left to keep it ticking
over. His owner fed it with an eye dropper (straight down the exposed
neck hole). It even made the cover of Time magazine at one point. The
rooster managed to perform seemingly complex behaviours without the aid
of a brain. It makes you wonder how much of the "complex" behaviour seen
in birds is actually hard-wired in the more primitive parts of the
brain, and not an indicator of high intelligence (however you quantify
that) at all.

For more of "Miracle Mike", see:
http://members.tripod.com/earthdude1/headless_chicken/mike.html

-- 
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Dann Pigdon                   Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist         http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/
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