Male dinosaurs used 'whips' in mating game

October 8, 1999

Far from being merely a tool of war, dinosaurs' horns were used to attract female mates, according to research from a Leeds University zoologist. Neil Alexander, an expert in prehistoric reptiles, has put forward the theory that male dinosaurs used their splendid bodies in the mating game in a similar fashion to today's peacocks. "It was a beauty contest and the females were doing the judging," Professor Alexander said. In previous studies, Professor Alexander has discovered that some dinosaurs used their tails as whips to attract mates. His research also leads him to believe that the Brontosaurus used its long slender neck in whip-cracking contests to attract mates and that male dinosaurs roared to indicate to females that they were likely to win a fight. Thick-skinned they may have been, but also, it now appears, gooey in the middle.

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