Author Interview: Endocranial anatomy of the ceratopsid dinosaur Triceratops and interpretations of sensory and motor function

PeerJ talked to Rina Sakagami about the recently published article Endocranial anatomy of the ceratopsid dinosaur Triceratops and interpretations of sensory and motor function. Rina is a researcher from Fukui Prefectural University, Japan.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Rina Sakagami: I am a PhD student at Fukui Prefectural University.

When I was an undergraduate student, I studied the biosynthesis of antibiotics. However, I was interested in studying fossils, and I transferred to palaeontology and started studying the brain of Triceratops for my master’s degree.

Can you briefly explain the research you published in PeerJ?

Rina Sakagami: In the study, two braincases of Triceratops housed at Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum were analyzed with the computed tomography technique and reconstructed the morphology of their internal structures including brains, nervous systems, blood vessels, and inner ears. Analyses of brains and inner ears of Triceratops indicated that 1. their sense of smell was not very acute; 2. the head posture was adapted so that the vegetation on the ground can be cropped easily and frills exhibited to the front effectively; 3. their ability to stabilize their head and body was relatively underdeveloped, and; 4. the sense of hearing was better adapted to perceive low-frequency sound than high-frequency sound.

Do you have any anecdotes about this research?

Rina Sakagami: My supervisor and co-author, Dr. Kawabe, organized a special exhibition on the dinosaur brain at Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum last year. When Dr. Kawabe was searching backyard of Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum for materials to exhibit, he found two well-preserved Triceratops braincases. He decided to use them as the centrepiece of the exhibition and encouraged me to study the Triceratops brain.

How did you first hear about PeerJ, and what persuaded you to submit to us?

Rina Sakagami: I came across PeerJ when I was reading previous studies related to my research. I decided to submit to it because I was told by a colleague that the journal had a very fast response time.

Would you submit again, and would you recommend that your colleagues submit?

Rina Sakagami: Yes. I think PeerJ is a great publisher. During the peer review process, the editors and reviewers gave us appropriate suggestions to improve the quality of the manuscript. Also, the response to proofreading and publicity was quick and helpful. I would like to submit another paper to this journal.






You can find more PeerJ author interviews here. View related research in PeerJ’s Paleontology and Evolutionary Science section.

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