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Photo Essay
February 2003

Computed Tomographic Scan of a Dinosaur's Skull: The Optic Canal

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Copyright 2003 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2003

Arch Ophthalmol. 2003;121(2):294-295. doi:10.1001/archopht.121.2.294

SEVENTY MILLION years ago, the image of a prey was transported through this optic canal to the dinosaur's visual cortex (Figure 1). In 1983, the skull of this exceptional dinosaur was unearthed at the Allen formation levels (superior cretaceous era), at Pellegrini Lake, next to Cipolletti, in Rio Negro province in the Patagonia region of Argentina.

The finding was made by Roberto Abel, PhD, and the new species was named for him—Abelisaurus comaheunsis (Abel's lizard). The complete taxonomic ranking is: kingdom, Animalia (animals); phylum, chordata(having a hollow nerve cord ending in a brain); class, Archosauria (diapsids with socket-set teeth, etc); order, Saurischia (lizard-hipped dinosaurs); suborder, Theropoda (bipedal carnivores); family, Neoceratosauria; genus, Abelisaurus; species, comahuensis.This was fully described by Bonaparte and Novas1 in 1985.

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