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Tallest dino fell short of brains

Chinese scientists on Friday dispelled the long-held view that the world's longest-necked dinosaur, Mamenchisaurus raised its head like a giraffe.

tech reviews Updated: Jul 12, 2003 15:53 IST

Chinese scientists on Friday dispelled the long-held view that the world's longest-necked dinosaur,

Mamenchisaurus

raised its head like a giraffe.

A new study of the neck bones of a well-preserved dinosaur revealed that it could raise its head only slightly higher than the body within an angle of 20 degrees, the scientists said.

If the head and neck span was 6.5 metres, the most comfortable head position would be within two metres above its body, Xinhua news agency quoted Ouyang Hui, a scientist with the Chengdu University of Science and Engineering in Sichuan province as saying.

For the first time, scientists used computerised tomography (CT) scanning technology to study the head of a well-preserved dinosaur fossil, Amenchisaurus youngi, and unveiled new information on its skull cavity size, shape and construction - all rare stuff for dinosaur neurology study.

The head contains 78 millilitre of brains, tiny compared to the huge body, but with relatively advanced structural divisions.

Study of the sclerotic ring, a structure to adjust light into the eyes, indicated the animal had great eyesight.

When the dinosaur's teeth wore out, new ones grew at the same time in other cavities on the gum so that it could continue to chew food, the study showed.

First Published: Jul 12, 2003 00:00 IST