This illustration shows theropods engaged in scrape ceremony display activity, based on trace fossil evidence from Colorado. Photograph: Lida Xing/AP
Geologist Martin Lockley reports that there is now evidence that some dinosaurs engaged in ritual ‘scraping’ dances as foreplay to mating. “We know they had feathers and crests and good vision,” Lockley said, speaking of theropods… They were visual animals, but there’s never been any actual physical evidence that their anatomy and behavior was co-opted for fairly energetic display. This is physical evidence.”
In a paper published on Thursday in Scientific Reports, Lockley and his co-authors compared the patterns to those left by puffins and ostriches, and deduced that the marks did not represent nests or digging for water or food.
A new dinosaur found in Alberta, Canada weighed about 100 pounds and lived about 85 million years ago. Skull fragments were 2 inches thick! The new dinosaur owes part of its name to Roy Audet, on whose ranch the fossil was found.