For the first time in the history of science in Great Britain paleontologists found the petrified tissues of a brain of a dinosaur belonging probably to the iguanodon or other utkonosy pangolin living in the territory of Europe in the Cretaceous it is told in article published in the magazine of Geological society of London.
“We think that this dinosaur died in vicinities or in a small reservoir, and his head was buried in silt and sand at the bottom. As water in this pond contained not enough oxygen and was very acidic, soft tissues of a brain were “pickled” and could fossilate still before all body of a dinosaur was buried under sedimental breeds” — David Norman from the Cambridge university tells (Great Britain).
Norman and his colleagues made this unique find thanks to amateur paleontologists who carried out excavation in the neighborhood of the town of Bekskhill in the south of the County of Sussex, at coast of English Channel, in 2004. One of them, Jamie Hiscocks, found the curious fossil reminding in a form a ball for playing rugby there.
After a while this “ball” fell into hands of Norman and his colleagues from university who understood that Hiskoksu was succeeded to find the real paleontologic jewelry – the fossilated remains of a brain of the utkonosy dinosaur living in the territory of future British Isles about 133 million years ago at the beginning of the Cretaceous.
At that time Europe broke up to set of a set of the islands separated from each other by small and shallow passages. Britain at that time represented rather large island on which the droughty climate and the related steppes and semi-deserts dominated. Most likely, then there were few sources of fresh water, and many reservoirs during especially hot periods dried up, turning into very salty and oxygen-free pools.
In one of such pools as Norman and his colleagues after studying of a fossil from Sussex found out, the iguanodon – a large utkonosy dinosaur – or one of his closest relatives living in Britain at the beginning of the Cretaceous died. Unusual chemical composition of “an acid pool” where its remains got, kept for us the internal device of his brain.
Having illuminated this “ball for rugby” by means of the scanning supermicroscope, the British scientists could see blood vessels in a brain, its internal and external covers, hints on various layers of a cortex, and also some departments of a brain.
Their studying showed that the brain of dinosaurs wasn’t primitively arranged and that even at rather simple herbivorous “pangolins of horror” it was more similar to a brain of birds and crocodiles, than to a brain of lizards. It was shown that the most part of its volume was occupied by nervous tissue, but not vessels of whose share over a half of a brain at lizards usually is the share, and also that the brain of dinosaurs occupied all their cranium.
“As we can’t consider a hemisphere, we can’t define how big was a brain of an iguanodon. It is possible that dinosaurs actually possessed more solid brain, than we have got used to consider, but one fossil for commission of such conclusion is obviously not enough. That the most important – she shows that tissues of a brain can be turned to stone under the correct conditions, and this find as I hope, will be only the first of a set of similar fossils” — Norman concludes.”As we can’t consider a hemisphere, we can’t define how big was a brain of an iguanodon. It is possible that dinosaurs actually possessed more solid brain, than we have got used to consider, but one fossil for commission of such conclusion is obviously not enough. That the most important – she shows that tissues of a brain can be turned to stone under the correct conditions, and this find as I hope, will be only the first of a set of similar fossils” — Norman concludes.