Dinosaurs and St Valentine’s Day

Today, February 14th is St Valentine’s Day in the UK (and elsewhere in the world too).  It is the feast day of St Valentine, a day associated with romance.  Romance and the Dinosauria might be an unusual mix, but we are reminded of an article we published nearly five years ago that reported upon some remarkable research into dinosaur trace fossils that possibly shed light on the mating behaviour of “terrible lizards”.

Writing in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, a team of scientists from Poland, China, South Korea and the USA concluded that a series of trace fossils consisting of pits, scrapes and gouges associated with Upper Cretaceous strata located in western Colorado, preserve evidence of dinosaurs engaging in courtship and mating behaviours similar to modern birds.

Dinosaurs Go a Wooing

Courtship of dinosaurs.

An artist imagines the Cretaceous courtship scene.  Gouges and scrapes preserved in sandstone strata that is estimated to be around 100 million years old, preserve evidence of dinosaurs engaging in courtship and mating behaviours similar to extant birds.

Picture Credit: Lida Xing and Yujiang Han / University of Colorado, Denver

The connection between dinosaurs and Aves (birds) is well established.  However, to what extent can we view the behaviour of modern-day birds and infer behaviours in their long extinct relatives?  Thanks to some research published in 2016 in the academic journal “Scientific Reports”, palaeontologists may have gained an insight into the courtship and mating behaviours of theropod dinosaurs.

To view the original Everything Dinosaur article from 2016:Dance of the Dinosaurs.

The scientific paper: “Theropod courtship: large scale physical evidence of display arenas and avian-like scrape ceremony behaviour by Cretaceous dinosaurs” by Martin G. Lockley, Richard T. McCrea, Lisa G. Buckley, Jong Deock Lim, Neffra A. Matthews, Brent H. Breithaupt, Karen J. Houck, Gerard D. Gierliński, Dawid Surmik, Kyung Soo Kim, Lida Xing, Dal Yong Kong, Ken Cart, Jason Martin and Glade Hadden published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Share This!Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0