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RE: T rex & smell



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Michael Lovejoy
>
> Anybody got any info or references on modern herbivore brains / sense of 
> smell? Particulary birds?
>
> Also, do other Mesozoic herbivores show large olfactories? Have any endocasts 
> been studied that show small olfactories?
>
> Sorry for the flurry of questions, but this intrigues me deeply...
>
And herein lies the problem with nearly every conclusion derived so far from 
looking at T. rex olfactory lobes.

Comparative biology requires just that: comparison!! And until we have a more 
sizable database of the size of olfactory lobes of
different clades and size ranges, conclusions based on observations one taxon 
aren't necessarily particularly strong.

For example, the size of tyrant olfactory lobes might simply be allometric: it 
could well be that ALL large theropods wind up with
those suckers. Until more giant theropods are scanned (Acro, Carcharodonto, 
etc.) and published, it will be difficult to say.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742

http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
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