An unassuming brown stone discovered by a fossil hunter over a decade ago has been determined to be the first fossilized piece of dinosaur brain tissue ever found.
Scientists who initially observed the fossil, which was unearthed in the UK back in 2004, found it to be a somewhat unusual piece of a dinosaur's cranium and, as such, studied it using a scanning electron microscope.
Their high tech examination of the item revealed that there were still remnants of brain tissue contained inside the fossilized piece of dinosaur skull.
Since such soft tissue usually does not last long enough to become fossilized, researchers theorize that the dinosaur must have died in a unique fashion in order for such a turn of events to take place.
They suggest that the creature, believed to be a large, plant-eating dinosaur that lived 133 million years ago, met its demise while situated in a body of water with its head buried in the sand.
This positioning led to the dinosaur's brain being preserved before the rest of its body had begun to fossilize.
Additionally, they noted that elements of the brain tissue bear a striking resemblance to contemporary creatures believed to be descendants of the dinosaurs, such as birds and crocodiles.
Although the ancient dinosaur brain fails to shed light on the thoughts of the thunder lizard that once possessed it, we're guessing that if researchers could read its mind, it would probably say something like, "oh no, I think my head is stuck in the sand."