Dinosaur Sex

They must have done something to reproduce, considering they roamed the earth for millions of years. Yet they died out for one reason or another. And some dinosaurs, like the stegosaurus, were covered in armor and spikes, which doesn't lead one to think of intimacy.
Figuring out how Stegosaurus even could have mated is a prickly subject. Females were just as well-armored as males, and it is unlikely that males mounted the females from the back. A different technique was necessary. Perhaps they angled so that they faced belly to belly, some have guessed, or maybe, as suggested by Timothy Isles in a recent paper, males faced away from standing females and backed up (a rather tricky maneuver!). The simplest technique yet proposed is that the female lay down on her side and the male approached standing up, thereby avoiding all those plates and spikes. However the Stegosaurus pair accomplished the feat, though, it was most likely brief—only as long as was needed for the exchange of genetic material. All that energy and effort, from growing ornaments to impressing a prospective mate, just for a few fleeting moments to continue the life of the species.

Smithsonian has the details on what we know, and how we came to know it, on the subject of dinosaur sex. Link -via Boing Boing

(Illustration by Luis Rey)

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Fascinating article. I never really thought about the subject before, and I've always been very interested in the mating rituals and reproductive methods of animals.
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I've decided to wear the same pair of leather pants for six months, to heighten awareness of the dinosaur sex slave industry in the United States.
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