Male dinosaurs used to create giant scratch marks on rocks as a way to show off to potential mates.
This finding comes from University of Colorado, Denver paleontologist, Martin Lockley, after studying the scratches left in rocks at Dinosaur Ridge in Denver and other parts of Colorado.
— Dinosaur Ridge (@DinosaurRidge) November 9, 2014
"People have known that there was some kind of scraping going on, but people didn't know what it meant," Lockley said.
The research teams says they found 50 to 60 other markings that were similar, in different sites around western Colorado.
The scratches have been linked to theropod dinosaurs that are similar to the T-rex. Lockley says they believe it's part of a mating ritual and confirmed this after finding nearby mating areas. They've labeled the scratches: pre-historic foreplay.
— Dustin Growick (@DustinGrowick) January 7, 2016
Lockley and his team say it's likely that these areas were seasonal and groups of dinosaurs visited them when they were looking to breed.
Modern day evidence of this mating ritual can be found in birds, Lockley says. He shows video of birds using the same techniques to show off who has the best nest building skills.
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