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Monday, October 20, 2008

USING THEIR HEADS

Some duck-billed dinosaurs' peculiar, bony skull crests, whose function has long been a puzzle, may have been used to make low, bellowing calls to one another, scientists said last week at the annual meeting of the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology. Using digital reconstructions from CT scans of the interior of fossil skulls , the researchers inferred that the helmet-crested corythosaurus had large a brain center that enabled it to use vocal and visual displays. "We were surprised to see just how large the centers of the brain associated with higher cognitive functions were," said Lawrence Witmer of Ohio University, a member of the team.

Staff writer Kari Lydersen will discuss the impact of climate change on waterborne illness online today at 1 p.m. Go to www.washingtonpost.com/science.


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