Dinosaurs are an extinct group of animals that thrived for 165 million years starting 230 million years ago in the Late Triassic period of the Mesozoic Era. Despite being extinct for the past 65 million years and not being able to study them in their true form, scientists have been able to estimate many different behaviors of dinosaurs. This paper will show that the close study and examination of different types of body and trace fossils, along with animal models, can be provided as evidence to estimate different types of behaviors in dinosaurs. The different types of behaviors examined below will fall into the categories of: mating; reproduction and nesting; social lives; locomotion; feeding; and fighting. To begin, a great deal of information gathered from fossils and compared to living animal models have been used to estimate mating behaviors.
Display, communication, and the act of mating are estimated behaviors involved in the mating process of dinosaurs. The sexual behaviors of modern vertebrae are often used as a starting point to estimate that of dinosaurs. For instance, most modern vertebrae go through a sexual selection process as they choose their mate based on preferred traits. This is demonstrated with the modern day peacock. The visual stimulus the male provides with its tail feathers aids in the opposite gender’s sexual selection process. According to Martin, in this respect, the ceratopsians have the most obvious sexual displays in the form of ornate and broad head shields with horns, knobs, and bosses. Though these body parts could definitely prove useful to fend off potential predators, it is more likely that they were used for: visual recognition within their species; pote...
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Varricchio, David J., Frankie Jackson, and Clive N. Trueman. “A Nesting Trace with Eggs for the Cretaceous Theropod Dinosaur Troodon formosus.” Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology Vol. 19 No. 1 (1999): 91-100. Web. 5 Apr. 2014.
Williams, Vincent S. et al. “Quantitative Analysis of Dental Microwear in Hadrosaurid Dinosaurs, and the Implications for Hypotheses of Jaw Mechanics and Feeding.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Vol. 106 No. 27 (2009): 11194-11199. Web. 5 Apr. 2014.
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