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From: (David Palmer)
Newsgroups: sci.astro,alt.sci.planetary,sci.astro.amateur,sci.geo.geology
Subject: Re: Smart Dinosaurs (It was Re: Satellite Hypothesis for finding alien 
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 22:04:17 -0400

In article <01bd7159$5d393460$LocalHost@mario>, "del Rio Bros"
<> wrote:

> escribiÛ en artÌculo
> <>...
> > Judging by the fossil record, none of the dinosaurs had big enough
> > brains to be as smart as modern birds (at least not the smarter
> > birds).
>         That's right. Today, "intelligence" is measured by "encephalization
> index", that is, relations between theoretical brain weight and real brain
> weight. For example, real brain weight for Homo sapiens is 7 times bigger
> that theoretical brain weight (that is, the weight we'd expect to find for
> a mammal with man size and mass). It seems to be that H. sapiens is the
> most "encephalized" animal. Who's next? Dolphins, of course (4 times).
>         Well, that's the way to know if there were smart dinosaurs. I
> don't know any dinosaur fossil whose real brain weight was quite bigger
> than its theoretical one, but maybe we'll find it. I'd like it.

There are people of above-average intelligence walking around with less
than 10% of a normal person's brain mass.  They are hydrocephalics, with
the interior of the brain, which would ordinarily be white matter, filled
with cerebro-spinal fluid.  They are totally unimpaired, and were only
discovered in the 70's with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMR) or CAT scans.
(There was a NOVA about this titled 'Is the brain really necessary'.)

I don't know what evolutionary disadvantage this has that prevents
everybody from doing it--keeping all their smarts while shrinking their
heads to make it easier on their mothers.  Perhaps it gives a significant
loss in redundancy.

But somebody with a dinosaur's-sized brain might be smarter than the
average dinosaur.
            David Palmer

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