Dinosaurs Dance For Mating Purposes

Posted: Jan 8 2016, 4:53am CST | by , Updated: Jan 8 2016, 5:18am CST, in News | Latest Science News


Dinosaurs Dance for Mating: Study
This is a reconstruction of dinosaurs engaged in sexual display activity: artwork by Lida Xing and Yujiang Han. Credit: University of Colorado Denver
  • Dinosaur did Dance while engaged in Courting Rituals
  • Dinosaurs mating behavior is similar to modern birds

It has been discovered that many a dinosaur did dance while engaged in courting rituals. Their mating behavior showed similarities to the techniques employed by modern birds.

Dinosaurs took part in mating rituals that resembled those of present day birds. The proof of this is clear in 100 million year old fossils of these giant beasts.

A group of researchers discovered large scrapes in prehistoric Dakota sandstone of western Colorado. These bear a striking resemblance to the nest scrape display of today’s birds. The male birds show their power to provide for the females by building false nests via scraping action. 

A paleontologist Martin Lockley, who is a professor of geology at the University of Colorado Denver, led the search for dinosaur fossils. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports on January 7.

"These are the first sites with evidence of dinosaur mating display rituals ever discovered, and the first physical evidence of courtship behavior," Lockley said. "These huge scrape displays fill in a missing gap in our understanding of dinosaur behavior."

The courtship stances taken by the male and female dinosaurs would become clear thanks to the fossil evidence. The missing link in our understanding of dinosaur behavior would get solved.

Over 50 dinosaur scrapes were found and some of them were pretty large. They were found in the areas where the tracks of meat-eating and plant-eating dinosaurs were found. The mating behavior and sexual selection were confirmed via the fossil record. 

Since eons, males that are after female mates, have fought off rival males. This phenomenon has been called Alpha Male behavior.

And females have always chosen the Alpha Male as the leader of the pack. Mammals and birds show very similar mating rituals. Until now, dinosaur mating behavior had remained a mystery. But now the wait is over. 

According to Lockley, “The scrape evidence has significant implications.This is physical evidence of prehistoric foreplay that is very similar to birds today. Modern birds using scrape ceremony courtship usually do so near their final nesting sites. So the fossil scrape evidence offers a tantalizing clue that dinosaurs in heat may have gathered here millions of years ago to breed and then nest nearby.”  

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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