Braincase anatomy of late Cretaceous tyrannosaurid revealed
|Dorsal (A) and ventral (B) views of the articulated braincase of Alioramus altai [Credit: BAMNH]|
The preservational quality of IGM 100/1844, combined with its relatively young ontogenetic age and hypothesized phylogenetic position, emphasizes the potential of this specimen for informing patterns of growth, development, and evolution within Tyrannosauroidea, a broader group that includes the derived tyrannosaurids and their closest smaller-bodied relatives and is now known to have had a complex evolutionary history lasting over 100 million years.
|Stereopairs of the articulated braincase of Alioramus altai in left lateral (A), right lateral (B), dorsal (C), and ventral (D) views. Images are reconstructed from CT data [Credit: BAMNH]|
“Our research efforts were greatly facilitated by the use of high-resolution CT data, which among other things, allowed us to study in detail the complex anatomy of the various endocranial spaces, including that which housed the brain. These spaces are a potentially rich source of information for understanding everything from sensory capabilities, to behavior, to phylogenetic relationships”, said study coauthor Dr. Stephen L. Brusatte, American Museum of Natural History.
This work was mainly supported by the American Museum of Natural History, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carthage College, and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Source: Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology [June 14, 2013]