Part of the The World's Largest Dinosaurs exhibition.

A computer image representing the outline of a sauropod skull and the location of its small brain.
©AMNH/D. Finnin

There's no getting around it: sauropods did have small brains in their small heads. And those big bodies make the brains seem even smaller. Surprisingly, though, the brains of most living reptiles are just as small when compared to their body size. And whatever their brain size, sauropods were smart enough to be the dominant plant-eaters on the planet for 140 million years.

Anatomy of a Brain

A drawing titled "Anatomy of a Brain" with lines pointing to four specific areas, corresponding explanation paragraphs titled "Vision," "Growth," "Light-sensing," and "Facial nerve."

Today, scientists are learning about sauropod behavior and biology through examination of their brain structure.

Brain Power

A group of wild crocodiles in muddy water.

With a brain volume typical for a reptile of its size, a crocodile manages complex behaviors that include territorial defense, parental care, elaborate courtship rituals and cooperative hunting. In the photo above, a group of crocodiles funnel prey fish into a narrow channel.