Dinosaur bones have proven to be rather resilient to the ravages of time, but the same cannot be said of soft tissue like muscles and organs.
Remarkably, scientists from the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Western Australia have observed one of the exceedingly rare exceptions. They have identified a pebble-like object found in Sussex more than 10 years ago as a piece of dinosaur brain, making the discovery the first ever confirmed.
According to the team, it bears a resemblance to what one finds in modern day birds and crocodiles. The brain portion that managed to survive is from the exterior area of the mass and comprised of meninges, capillaries, and cortical tissue.
Researchers believe it hails from a close relative of the Iguanodon, an herbivore that roamed the land in the Early Cretaceous period. The team also suspects the dinosaur perished near a bog or swamp, as the tissue preservation was likely aided greatly by water high in acid and low in oxygen.
Said one of the scientists, “…hopefully this is the first of many such discoveries.”