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Palaeontology

Did Triceratops use its horns to attract a mate ?

March 21, 2018 | Comment icon 5 comments



Exactly what were these horns used for ? Image Credit: PD - Daderot
Scientists believe that dinosaurs like Triceratops may have used their horns to impress potential partners.
With their huge head-mounted horns and decorative frills, ceratopsians such as Triceratops and Styracosaurus are among some of the most recognizable species of dinosaur.

While scientists have long believed that these impressive appendages would have served as effective defensive weapons against large carnivores, more recent research has suggested that they may have instead served primarily as a way of attracting members of the opposite sex.
"Individuals are advertising their quality or genetic make-up," said lead study author Andrew Knapp. "We see that in peacocks too, with their tail feathers."

Intriguingly however, both male and female ceratopsian dinosaurs had the same frills and horns.

"It is exciting that dinosaur fossils are being examined more and more exhaustively in order to further understand their palaeobiology," said Dr Darla Zelenitsky, from the University of Calgary, Canada.

Source: BBC News | Comments (5)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Eldorado 4 years ago
They should rename them "horny dinosaurs".
Comment icon #2 Posted by Stiff 4 years ago
Regardless of this 'socio-sexual selection' theory, I think the horns and armour would have primarily been a†defence†mechanism.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sameerr 4 years ago
Lol... Those horns are definitely for defence.
Comment icon #4 Posted by LV-426 4 years ago
Attract a mate you say? One horn and "no frills" has always been my motto... I apoloigise ... I really need to stop ambushing threads with my strange British sense of humour
Comment icon #5 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
It's interesting but sometimes i think that funding research on dinosaur social behaviors is a bit far fetched. Taxonomy, metabolism to comprehend their biological functionality and why they are all dead can be useful somewhat. But to know if they like to dance in circle or putting make up...well it's a little overboard to me and full of supposition that will never be proved .


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