Microscope

Theropods are a dinosaur group that includes the bloodthirsty Tyrannosaurus rex. But over millions of years, these fearsome beasts evolved into today's birds, replacing their terrifying teeth with beaks.

  • Published 30.10.17
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How dinos lost their teeth

Theropods are a dinosaur group that includes the bloodthirsty Tyrannosaurus rex. But over millions of years, these fearsome beasts evolved into today's birds, replacing their terrifying teeth with beaks.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the loss of teeth and emergence of beaks are connected. A protein called BMP4 in the embryo may simultaneously stop teeth from growing and stimulate the development of a beak.

Slow learner

We like to boast about our big brains but Neanderthals had even larger ones. Recent analysis of a 49,000-year-old skeleton of a Neanderthal child, however, suggests that Neanderthal brains grew to maturity much more slowly than those of us Homo sapiens.

Pay attention

Your pet dog doesn't shower his love on you only because you bring him a cookie. Researchers in Britain monitored dogs' facial expressions while a person was either paying attention to them or turned away, sometimes holding food and sometimes not. The dogs were much more expressive when the person was paying attention, but food didn't seem to make a difference. The study published in the journal Scientific Reports said the dogs also barked more when they got attention.

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