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Tyrannosaur brains varied more within species than previously thought: new research – CTV News

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TORONTO —
About 10 million years before the T. rex roamed the lands of Alberta, another tyrannosaur, Daspletosaurus, called the land home, and now Canadian researchers have an idea of what its brain was like.

Scientists in Canada and Argentina used CT scans in an effort to reconstruct the brain, inner ear and surrounding bones, known as the braincase, of two well-preserved specimens of the nine-metre-long dinosaur.

The results, which were published Thursday in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, oppose the predominant belief that dinosaur brains and braincases varied little between dinosaurs and related species.

“Our study with the two Daspletosaurus specimens suggests otherwise,” Tetsuto Miyashita, palaeontologist with the Canadian Museum of Nature and senior author of the study, said in a press release.

The digital reconstructions of the two Daspletosaurus brains could show that they come from difference species of the daspletosaurs, Miyashita added.

“We know that tyrannosaurs had relatively good-sized brains for a dinosaur, and this study shows that this pattern holds for Daspletosaurus,” he said. “Furthermore, based on the shapes of the brain, ear structure, and braincase, we suggest that these two specimens represent distinct species of daspletosaurs.”

According to the press release, it’s not common to look at and model braincases of multiple dinosaur specimens due to the hundreds of hours of work and medical technology, such as a CT scanner, required to access the braincase. Most braincase studies use one specimen from a representative species of the group.

The specimens used for the study were both discovered and remain in Canada. One is displayed in the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. It was found in 1921 near Alberta’s Red Deer River. The second specimen, found in 2001, is with the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta.

Dinosaur braincase expert in Argentina and co-author of the study at the Instituto de Investigations en Biodiversidad y Medioambient, Ariana Paulina Carabajal, provided detailed models of the brain, inner ear and braincase. The researchers found that there were large bony canals that would have housed nerves to move the eyeballs, and also large air sacs that filled most of the braincase bones.

“These cavities within the bones not only make the huge skull lighter, but also are related to the middle region of the ear,” Paulina Carabajal said in the press release. “The cavities probably helped to amplify sound and assist the system that communicates to the left and right ears, allowing the brain to determine where a sound is coming from.”

The researchers say that their findings are good reason to study more braincases because even though the skeletons looked quite similar the results told a different story.

“Researchers have looked inside so few braincases in dinosaurs, typically one each for whatever species they studied, that this reinforced the assumption that these structures don’t change much within and among species,” he said. “We just haven’t looked inside enough skulls to document variation.”

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SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Crew Shares Photos of Earth from Space – Beebom

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If you are a space enthusiast like myself, I’m sure you love the mesmerizing views of the Earth from space shared by astronauts. Having said that, chances are you will love the breathtaking pictures recently shared by the astronauts in SpaceX’s Inspiration4 spacecraft, which took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on September 15. It safely returned to Earth today.

The seven-seater SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft was recently launched from the Kennedy space center. Following the launch, astronauts from the Inspiration4 spacecraft shared four orbital photos of the Earth. You can check out the tweet right below.

The photos were taken from the cupola of the spacecraft, which is a dome-shaped, transparent viewing area that allows astronauts to get a unique glimpse of our planet from space. Not just that, SpaceX Inspiration4’s astronauts also shared a short video showing the sunset. You can check it out right here:

The astronauts include the Shift4 Payments CEO and founder Jared Isaacman, who financed the space mission and is currently the acting commander of the spacecraft, Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski, physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, and geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor.

Now, it is worth mentioning that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft can carry seven people onboard. However, the Inspiration4 mission only includes four astronauts aboard the spacecraft. As per reports, following the launch, the Inspiration4 spacecraft has now completed 15 orbits around Earth and is expected to complete a full orbit of the Earth every 90 minutes. If you want to monitor the progress of the flight, you can go to SpaceX’s official tracking website.

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More space tourism to come after Inspiration4 crew returns from successful mission | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca

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The first all-amateur crew to orbit the Earth without an astronaut aboard has safely returned. SpaceX founder Elon Musk picked them as his first rocket-riding tourists. As Jennifer Johnson reports, four more flights with paying customers are coming soon.

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World's first space tourists splash down in their SpaceX capsule after three days in orbit – Yahoo Eurosport UK

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Four space tourists safely splashed down in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on Saturday, ending their trailblazing trip into orbit.

Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the ocean just before sunset, not far from where their chartered flight began three days earlier.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk took them on as the company’s first rocket-riding tourists.

The fully automated Dragon capsule reached an unusually high altitude of miles 585km after Wednesday night’s liftoff, that’s 160km above the International Space Station.

The passengers were able to take in views of Earth through a big bubble-shaped window added to the top of the capsule.

For more on this story, watch the full report in the media player above.

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