Dinosaurs had to have sex

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Although the feeding devices of the duckbills have provoked no end of wonder among paleontologists since the first duckbill was excavated in the phosphate fertilizer mines of New Jersey in the 1850s, it is the array of duckbill head ornamentation that stirs up the most puzzlement and debate. (Animatronic dinosaur for park)The common Lance Creek duckbill, Edmontosaurus, seems built to a no-nonsense, practical design. (mechanical dinosaur for sale)Its skull houses the beak, teeth, jaw muscles, and sense organs. But close relatives from Alberta and New Mexico show no such restraint in their headgear: Parasaurolophus carried a double- hollow bony tube like a trombone slide on the back of its skull; Saurolophus had a solid bony spike in the same position; Hypacrosaurus sported a thin-shelled bony crest rising high above the full length of its forehead and skull table.

 

This cranial exuberance at first glance reminds one of all the head appendages some families of birds employ to show off in premating rituals, such as the combs of roosters, the domed foreheads of some species of geese, the crests of cassowaries.(walking dinosaur costume) And perhaps here the first impression is the correct one. Dinosaurs had to have sex, although one would never guess so from the scrubbed Sunday school versions of dinosaur biology presented in the children's books. Sex and pre-mating ritual are parts of the basic evolutionary game: genes that produce adaptations which succeed in increasing their representation in the next generation are the genes that survive. (realistic dinosaur costume)The genes of the dinosaurs must have played by the same statistical rule. If a garish head crest and some accompanying behavior, such as a strutting head-bobbing walk, made the male Parasaurolophus more attractive to the female and more intimidating to his rivals, then eventually the genes responsible for this equipment and its use would be fixed in the species. For most of this century, American paleontologists avoided sexual interpretations of dinosaur structures.

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