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A Bird-Like Mating Dinosaur Dance May be Revealed by Grooves in the Ground

Update Date: Jan 12, 2016 11:07 AM EST
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It is possible that the dinosaurs too wooed their sweethearts by doing a bird-like dance. Paleontologists may have evidence of the moves made by dinosaurs, they said in a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports. Four separate sites in Colorado show long fossilized grooves in the Earth that they think is a sign of dinosaurs performing a dance to impress their potential mates. "These are the first sites with evidence of dinosaur mating display rituals ever discovered, and the first physical evidence of courtship behavior," study co-author Martin Lockley of the University of Colorado at Denver said in a statement. "These huge scrape displays fill in a missing gap in our understanding of dinosaur behavior."

 

The findings showed in scientific reports provided a peek into the courtship behavior of these animals that have been extinct for millions of years. There is physical evidence that may prove how these dinosaurs acted like birds, considered as their modern-day cousins. Dinosaurs perished millions of years 66 million years ago when an asteroid collided with the earth. Hence, the only way to understand their existence is through these fossils that have been preserved in time, most importantly their bones, reported LA Times.

The researchers are able piece together what the dinosaurs looked like through their skeletal remains and even provide information about their possible behavior - what they ate, how they ate, how they walked the earth etc. However, there is very little information about their mating behavior. Many researchers realized that the mating rituals of these dinosaurs are similar to that of the birds. After all, birds are thought to be the descendants of dinosaurs. But there is very little evidence to prove that hypothesis. "Despite extensive phylogenetic and morphological support, behavioral evidence is mostly ambiguous and does not usually fossilize," Martin Lockley of the University of Colorado, Denver, and his co-authors wrote. "Thus, inferences that dinosaurs, especially theropods, displayed behavior analogous to modern birds are intriguing but speculative," as reported by Washington Post

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