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If dinosaurs were warm-blooded as far back as the Triassic


I would contend that the only effective way to analyze the connections between the evolutions of brains and of metabolism is to reconstruct the fossil history of intelligence separately from the fossil history of warm-bloodedness. (Dinosaur Costume)Then the two stories may be compared side by side. The microtexture of bones can be em ployed to compute metabolic levels. Judging by such criteria, even the primitive dinosaurs of the Triassic Period had a metabolism as high as a modern mammal's. The debut of warm-bloodedness in the Dinosauria certainly occurred when their brains were small. The same pattern emerges in the history of our own Class Mammalia. Bone texture demonstrates that the ancestors of mammals the protomammals of the Permian Period had already evolved the essentials of warm-bloodedness quite long before the first large-brained mammal made its appearance. This similar his-tory in both the dinosaur and mammal lines makes a good case for warm-bloodedness coming first, followed, much later, by larger brains.


If dinosaurs were warm-blooded as far back as the Triassic, it could be expected that at least one of their later lines might have evolved some sort of higher intelligence. And indeed some did. Dale Russell from the Canadian National Museum discovered the top of the braincase of a turkey-sized predator named Stenonychosaurus, in the Judith River sediments of Alberta.(animatronic dinsoaur) Clearly impressed into the inner roof of this braincase were indications left by a pair of bulging midbrain lobes. Russell concluded that his Alberta dinosaur had possessed a brain at least as large as that of many present-day birds of the same size. The dune sand laid down in Mongolia during the Cretaceous has preserved several skulls of small dinosaurs closely related to Stenonychosaurus. The Mongolian species also seem to have carried brains far larger than those of alligators and lizards of comparable weight. These large-brained dinosaurs were evolving quickly in many of their adaptive compartments. And they probably were every bit as endowed as the Late Cretaceous mammals that scampered over those very same sand dunes.

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