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Dinosaurs Danced To Woo Mates, Study

Update Date: Jan 09, 2016 01:33 PM EST

Did you know that those huge, clumsy-looking dinosaurs were dancers?

They probably danced to woo their mates, just like we do. A new study released by a team of scientists from the University of Colorado Denver shows that "fossilized foot scrapes" left by them indicate that they danced to impress the opposite sex, and behaved rather like modern birds.

"Most or perhaps all of the behaviors present in birds today originated in nonbird dinosaurs," Darren Naish, who participated in the research, said in a press release. "If these scrape marks are really what the authors say they are, this study is pretty compelling support for that contention."

Hence, the scrape marks were found at four sites in Colorado, with sediments that stemmed from the Dakota Sandstone. This was a geological formation built in the Cretaceous period. The biggest of the sites in western Colorado had about 60 scrapes measuring 50 meters long and 15 meters wide.

"Birds seem to get in a frenzy of prenuptial, premating activity," said Martin Lockley, who led the team of researchers and believes that "bird literature actually speaks about peaks of emotional activity. It seems that [carnivorous] dinosaurs did the same."

The footprints were left by the carnivorous dinosaur Acrocanthosaurus that roamed the earth 110 million years ago. One of the biggest carnivores at the time, it weighed about six metric tons.

Other explanations for the foot scrapes have been rejected. The dinosaurs did not seem to "foraging for food and water", but dancing.

The findings were published in the Jan. 7,2016 issue of Scientific Reports.

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