Ginormous Dinosaur Had a Tiny Brain, Almost As Big As a Tennis Ball

One of the biggest animals to walk the face of the earth couldn't have been very witty

By on January 24th, 2013 20:41 GMT

Only yesterday, the scientific journal PLOS ONE witnessed the publication of a new study stating that the Ampelosaurus, a species of herbivore dinosaurs currently labeled as one of the biggest animals ever to walk the face of the earth, could not have been very witty.

This is because, at least when compared to the impressive size of its body, this dinosaur had a relatively tiny brain.

More precisely, it is the researchers' belief that the brain of an Ampelosaurus could not have been any bigger than a run-off-the-mill tennis ball.

Prior to their reaching this conclusion, the specialists who embarked on this investigation went through the trouble of analyzing some skull fossils whom they believed to be roughly 700-million-years-old, Live Science says.

The data collected while analyzing said fossilized remains was later on used to piece together a three-dimensional reconstruction of the dinosaur's brain.

As Fabien Knoll, a paleontologist currently working with Spain's National Museum of Natural Sciences explains, “This saurian may have reached 15 meters (49 feet) in length; nonetheless, its brain was not in excess of 8 centimeters (3 inches).”

When asked about how these animals managed to go on with their lives despite their having such small brains, Lawrence Witmer, an anatomist and paleontologist at Ohio University joked as follows:

“Maybe we should flip that question on their end — maybe we shouldn't ask how they could function with tiny brains, but what are many modern animals doing with such ridiculously large brains. Cows may be triple-Einsteins compared to most dinosaurs, but why?”

According to the same source, the fossilized skull fragments used in this research were found in Cuenca, Spain, back in 2007.

Interestingly enough, the people who stumbled upon these dinosaur remains were not even looking for them. Quite the contrary: the fossils were unearthed while constructing a high-speed rail track between Madrid and Valencia.
Despite its impressive body size, the Ampelosaurus had a rather small brain
   Despite its impressive body size, the Ampelosaurus had a rather small brain
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