13 June 2016
Dilong Liked Mammals
The Science Channel had a sensationalist documentary pitting dinosaurs against mammals on air in 2007. One epsiode of that series featured small feathered theropods hunting slow and ponderous small mammals of the Cretaceous. One of those theropods was Dilong, of course, and is depicted as hunting in small packs. In the video Dilong also has a significant and respectable jumping ability, though this is not often mentioned elsewhere and may be somewhat speculative. The anatomy is well represented despite the strange leaping behavior. The inferences of a good sense of smell are regularly discussed in tyrannosaurs and have been extrapolated to Dilong, though it did possess an open antorbital fenestra, which would house the nasal soft tissues and any associated sinuses. Imaging of the brain endocast, to determine the approximate size of the olfactory bulb, has not been conducted to my knowledge. Many studies examining the sense of smell in theropods have been published that can be applied to Dilong, however.