Tyrannosaurus rex Was No Birdbrain | The Institute for Creation Research

 

Tyrannosaurus rex Was No Birdbrain

Evolutionists insist that dinosaurs evolved into birds, despite the strong evidence against it.1 One of the portrayed misconceptions concerns the brains of large predatory dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex that have been depicted as similar to the brains of their bird “descendants.” However, CT scans of T. rex skulls give scientists additional details of its brain cavity, demonstrating its large olfactory lobe (for smell) and an overall shape that is much more similar to modern alligators than birds.

Bird brains have a completely different shape from those of dinosaurs and reptiles, with a larger section for processing data. Birds have to do more than sense a food source; they have to be able to discern one food source from another. Alligators merely smell something and snap at it without thinking. Not only is a bird’s brain shaped differently, but pound for pound relative to body weight, the typical bird brain is much larger than a typical reptile brain by nearly an order of magnitude (or ten times).

To examine this issue more closely, I obtained a full-scale model of a T. rex brain cast, called an endocast (Figure 1). The brain cast was eight inches in length. The encephalic volume (brain size) of the adult T. rex was estimated by submerging the cast in water. I determined the volume of water displaced, and therefore the brain volume, to be 158 cc. By comparing this to the expected value for a typical reptile scaled up to the size of a T. rex, I found this volume fell very close to the expected value for a typical reptile, showing again that the T. rex was not bird-like in brain size (Figure 2). For comparison, the average human adult male brain has a volume of around 1,273 cc, giving T. rex a brain nearly an order of magnitude smaller than the human brain, even with its immense difference in body size.

Unfortunately, movies often depict dinosaurs inaccurately. They were not birds or even bird-like. Their brains were shaped and sized more like today’s reptiles (Figure 3). All data on brain size and shape indicate their intelligence, thought processing, and senses were probably very similar to alligators. Some dinosaurs may have been able to smell really well, but they could not perform a complex task like opening doors.

Brain endocasts may not be able to give us a true measure of intelligence, but we do see that many dinosaurs had different brain sizes relative to body size. Stegosaurs and sauropods had the smallest brain-to-body ratios, whereas theropods like T. rex had much larger brain-to-body ratios. Apparently, the stegosaurs and sauropods were designed with smaller brains because that is all they needed to locate their food, function, and reproduce. Theropods had to see, smell, and hunt their food sources, so they were designed with more extensive sensory powers that required a larger brain.

God created dinosaurs on Day Six of the creation week (Genesis 1:25). God designed dinosaur brains that were perfectly suited for their lifestyles. Their brains were in proportion to their reptilian bodies and only as large as they had to be to function. There is no support for dinosaur-to-bird evolution.

References

  1. Sherwin, F. 2014. Did Dinosaurs Have Feathers? Acts & Facts. 43 (8): 21; Thomas, B. Fixed Bird Thigh Nixes Dino-to-Bird Development. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org June 22, 2009, accessed June 18, 2015.
  2. Northcutt, R.G. 2011. Evolving Large and Complex Brains. Science. 332(6032): 926-927.
  3. Graph modified from Alonso, P. D. et al. 2004. The avian nature of the brain and inner ear of Archaeopteryx. Nature. 430 (7000): 666-669.

* Dr. Clarey is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in geology from Western Michigan University.

Cite this article: Tim Clarey, Ph.D. 2015. Tyrannosaurus rex Was No Birdbrain. Acts & Facts. 44 (8).

The Latest
NEWS
Scaly Skin on a Feathered Dinosaur?
Fossil experts from University College Cork in Ireland took stunning images of Psittacosaurus skin. The dinosaurs’ belly shows patches of skin...

NEWS
Florida Fossil Shows Porcupines Have Always Been Porcupines
The porcupine is an animal (rodent) that one does not soon forget. It is armed with formidable quills that deter even the hungriest predators. What...

NEWS
Webb Telescope Discovers Another Record-Breaking Galaxy
Astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have recently confirmed that two galaxies are extremely distant, with one becoming the new record holder...

CREATION PODCAST
The Power of Film & Video: Reaching All Ages with Truth | The...
Is there a place for the use of film and video within Christianity? If so, how can we leverage this powerful tool to reach viewers of all ages...

NEWS
New Titanosaur Species Discovered in Uruguay and Argentina
The pre-Flood world had some truly massive dinosaurs, and the largest of them were in the group Sauropodomorpha.1 Within this group were...

NEWS
T. rex Not as Smart as Thought
Have movies and most conventional paleontologists got it all wrong? T. rex and other theropod dinosaurs (the meat-eaters) are often portrayed as intelligent...

NEWS
June 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV) ICR June...

NEWS
A “Just-so” Story About Ancient Genes
An evolutionary website recently published “a groundbreaking study” that supposedly identifies a basic, uncomplicated, “simple”...

CREATION PODCAST
Dinosaurs with Bird Brains??? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Evolutionists claim that birds are descended from dinosaurs. A feature that is often cited as linking these two types of creatures is the brain....

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
From Ruins to Revelation: Truths Revealed Through Biblical Archaeology...
The Bible is full of people and places that are seemingly lost to time, but through the field of archaeology, new finds are shedding light on the incredible...