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Teyumbaita (Triassic rhynchosaur) sense of smell



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new paper in open access:

Marcos A.F. Sales and Cesar L. Schultz (2014)
Paleoneurology of Teyumbaita sulcognathus (Diapsida: Archosauromorpha)
and the sense of smell in rhynchosaurs.
Palaeontologia Electronica 17.1.15A
http://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2014/705-olfaction-in-rhynchosaurs

Rhynchosaurs were a group of archosauromorphs that dominated the guild
of herbivores during the early Late Triassic. Despite the large number
of specimens available, paleobiological studies are rare in the
literature, especially concerning the South American species. The
present study analyzes the paleoneurology of Teyumbaita sulcognathus,
a Brazilian hyperodapedontine rhynchosaur, along with its nasal
cavity, based on tomographic images of the specimen UFRGS-PV-0232-T.
Although the endocast only reveals the morphology of the posterior
half of the encephalon due to the incompletely ossified braincase, it
is possible to infer the presence of great olfactory bulbs because of
their impressions left on the ventral surface of the frontals.
Although the snout is relatively short, the areas of the nasal cavity
probably devoted to olfaction were also large and, along with the size
of the olfactory bulbs, it is possible to infer that olfaction was
important for the behavior and ecology of T. sulcognathus, as
previously proposed for Hyperodapedon.