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Archaeopteryx braincase

Introduction

Artist's reconstruction of Archaeopteryx

Archaeopteryx shares characters (similarities in body shape) with certain primitive dinosaurs, such as teeth, a long bony tail, and feathers. However, Archaeopteryx possessed feathers adapted for flight on its wings and tail. The wing feather arrangement is similar to that of modern birds.

The feather arrangement suggests some degree of powered flight capability, but little was understood about the extent to which its brain and special senses were adapted for flight.

Museum scientists and colleagues in the USA investigated this problem by 3D reconstruction of the braincase of the Natural History Museum’s specimen of Archaeopteryx, from computed tomography (CT) x-ray scanning images.

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