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New study redefines how dinosaurs mated; Feathers may have attracted mates

January 04, 2013

New study redefines how dinosaurs mated; Feathers may have attracted mates

A University of Alberta researcher’s examination of fossilized dinosaur tail bones has led to a breakthrough finding.

A study from the University of Alberta has revealed that some dinosaurs with feathers may have attracted mates based on their tail plumage. The research, which was led by University of Alberta paleontology researcher Scott Persons, specifically looked at fossils of dinosaur tail bones to reach a conclusion. The study specifcally focused on four species of dinosaurs that spanned 45 million years of evolution.

In a paper published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica on FridayPersons and his research team fused dinosaur vertebrae from the head to the tail in order to understand the differences in the vertebrae across the species. According to Persons, the last few vertebrae of the oviraptors, a group of dinosaurs, were fused to create a unique blade-like structure with ridges called a pygostyle.

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