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The strange search for dinosaur genitals


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Molecular detective work has identified red blood cells and collagen from 76-million-year-old therapods, the group that includes the largest predators to have stalked the Earth. It has revealed tell-tale chemical signatures that indicate triceratops and stegosaurs were, unusually for dinosaurs, cold-blooded – and that one spiky, heavily armoured herbivore, nodosaur, was ginger.

Scientists have discovered that Spinosaurus – famous for the large 'sail' on its back – probably used its six-inch (15 cm) teeth and crocodile jaws to hunt in deep water, as well as evidence that iguanodons might have been surprisingly intelligent, and that pterosaurs (not technically dinosaurs, of course – they're actually winged reptiles) often walked to find their prey. 

But research into exactly how dinosaurs mated – or in fact, anything at all about how they hooked up – has drawn a total blank. To this day, scientists can't even accurately distinguish males from females, let alone tell you how they courted or what kind of genitals they had. Without this fundamental knowledge, much of their biology and behaviour remains a total mystery. Only one thing is certain: they would have been doing it.


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Can you imagine how that would shake up the restaurant business? Forget the Rocky Mountain Oysters come on down and try yourself some deep fried T-Rexticals. While supplies last.

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