University of Toronto study dispels decades-old theory
After decades of debate, a U of T researcher has finally determined that duck-billed dinosaurs massive but hollow crests had nothing to do with what many scientists suspected -- the sense of smell.
Speculation about their function has led to theories that the crests functioned as everything from brain coolers to snorkels for underwater feeding. Now, David Evans, a PhD student in zoology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, has been able to use a reconstructed brain cavity to rule out one historically popular theory: that the crests evolved to increase the animals sense of smell. "From the brain case, theres no indication that the nerves curled upwards into the crest, as we would expect if the crest was used for the sense of smell," Evans says.
Nicolle Wahl | EurekAlert!
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