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Answers to Exploration Questions: How do scientists study dinosaurs?

If you are wondering where the suggested answers came from, you can review the video and the articles in this tutorial.
1. What evidence have scientists found that some groups of dinosaurs traveled in groups? Draw pictures to support your answer.
Answer: The best evidence for how dinosaurs traveled comes from trackways, or sequences of fossilized footprints. From trackways, scientists can learn whether dinosaurs traveled individually or in packs, how many traveled together, which dinosaur led the herd, and even how fast they traveled. Trackways from multiple dinosaurs can reveal that they were in a herd if the tracks appear to have been made at the same time and are in the same direction. Some tracks show where dinosaurs moved side-by-side, or where the animals’ paths undulated back and forth together.
2. Explain how scientists estimate a dinosaur’s intelligence.
Answer: First, scientists estimate the size of a dinosaur’s brain based on the size of its skull. Sometimes they use CAT Scan technology to reconstruct the dinosaur’s brain. Then they estimate the dinosaur’s intelligence based on the size of its brain relative to its body size. They also consider the size of certain parts of its brain, since different parts of the brain relate to different senses or aspects of intelligence.
The transparent skull and opaque brain cast of Citipati osmolskae, an oviraptor dinosaur, is shown in this CT scan. The endocast is partitioned into the following neuroanatomical regions: brain stem (yellow), cerebellum (blue), optic lobes (red), cerebrum (green), and olfactory bulbs (orange). © AMNH/A.Balanoff

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