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Showing posts from January, 2009

Olfactory bulb in theropods

Ever since I started having suspicions of the role of olfaction in scavenging behaviours of Tyrannosaurus rex, I have been interested in the olfactory capabilities in predators and how they correlate with their behaviours. So much that I bought a nice book called Predator-prey dynamics: the role of olfaction. However, I shan't write about that book today, even though I quite like it. Instead I shall comment on a paper that became available in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

I refer to the new study by Darla Zelenitsky and colleagues on the olfactory bulbs in theropod dinosaurs and alligator. Zelenitsky et al. (2009) provide the "first quantitative evaluation of the olfactory acuity in extinct theropod dinosaurs". They calculate relative olfactory bulb sizes (olfactory ratio: the size of the olfactory bulb relative to the size of the cerebral hemisphere) in 21 species of theropods (including Archaeopteryx) and 1 species of crocodilian (Alligator mississippiensis) using…

Muscle reconstructions: doing the homework

I know I have been lazy with the postings here, and I really need to finish my Pachyrhinosaurus reconstruction. But I have been faced with a bit of a problem since I've decided to reconstruct this dinosaur one layer at a time, i.e. I wanted to be as accurate in the muscle reconstructions as possible so that the fleshed out version would look realistically three-dimensional even over the skin. Basically, I don't know enough about the postcranial musculature. Previously, I would have just roughly fleshed the whole creature out, from the outside in - basically imagining what a dinosaur would have looked like in life and just sketching it. This way, I didn't really need to be accurate in the myology just as long as the animal looked good enough. However, reconstruction from the skeleton up requires a bit more accuracy on the muscle reconstruction, or at least I would want to be as accurate.

If you have been following my blog for any period of time, you would know by now th…