Dinosaurs used scratch marks as mating calls

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jan 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-08 19:41:33-05

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. 

"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.

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. 

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook