Researchers Find the Ampelosaurus Had a Tiny Brain

Posted on January 26, 2013

Ampelosaur with Tiny Brain


Researchers have found that the ampelosaur had a tiny brain. The remains of an ampelosaur found in 2007 at the site of Lo Hueco in Spain have enabled researchers to make a 3D reconstruction of the dinosaur's brain. The ampelosaur was a titanosaur, a group of huge plant-eating sauropods that were dominant during the last half of the Cretaceous.

The researchers say the huge dinosaur (which may reached 15 meters in length) had a tiny brain that was no bigger than 8 centimeters (about 3 inches).

Ampelosaur Brain


Fabien Knoll, a researcher from the National Museum of Natural Sciences (CSIC), said in a statement, "This saurian may have reached 15 m in length; nonetheless its brain was not in excess of 8 cm." Knoll also says, "Increase in brain size was not favored in the course of sauropod evolution."

The findings were published here in PLoS One.

This video featuring CSIC's Fabien Knoll is in Spanish. You can use the CC button for Google powered text translations. Take a look:



Images: O. Sanisidro/CSIC