Fancy dinosaur with peculiar shoulder absorbent decoration was Cretaceous peacock

The artist's impression of Ubirajara Jubatus.

Artist print Ubirajara jubatus.
Illustration: Bob Nichols / 2020

A reevaluation of an old fossil shows a dinosaur never seen before, with a long, fur-like mane and a rigid structure behind it, which collides with the shoulders. Scientists say that these elaborate decorations were used for display, which are very early versions of peacocks.

introduction Ubirajara jubatus, A theropod dinosaur that lived 110 million years ago in the supercontinent Gondwana. In addition to branding an impressive mane with its back, Ubirajara Two pairs of straw-like structures are depicted that presumably emerged from its shoulders. This feature has never been seen before in non-avian dinosaurs, and is reminiscent of long-lived feathers Standard bird paradise.

That Ubirajara According to the authors of the new study published today in the journal Cretaceous Research, the use of these elaborate structures for display is a distinct possibility. Chicken shaped Ubirajara Ornamentation may flare up to attract a mate, intimidate male competitors, or intimidate potential predators.

Ubirajara jubatus

Ubirajara jubatus
Illustration: © Bob Nicholls / 2020

The sex of the specimen cannot be determined, but this flamboyant performance would suggest a male, a difference seen in modern male and female birds. Modern birds and ancient theropods share a common ancestor, and this finding suggests that the entire morang is something that the two groups inherited from earlier dinosaur relatives. Or they achieved the same strategy independently – hard to know.

The partially skeletal was found decades ago in the Creto Formation of northeastern Brazil, and was preserved in two slabs of limestone that, when combined, “perfectly align with each other”, the authors Wrote The specimen eventually made its way to Germany, where it is being stored at the State Museum of Natural History in Karlsruhe. Recently, a team of paleontologists decided to take another look at the fossil with a high-resolution digital X-ray machine, revealing previously undiscovered features.

Despite the fossil imperfection, the researchers were able to spot well-preserved filamentous structures within the limestone. Long, flat and hard filaments were found to be made of keratin – the same stuff that makes up hair, feathers and nails. These four filamentous structures will usually be tucked UbirajaraAccording to the study, bodies do not inhibit their agility, and they will only be deployed.

“Ribbon-like structures are unlike anything we have seen before. They are elongated and flat, with a ridge running along their length, which probably strengthens the structures. Portsmouth paleontologist Robert Smith, the paper’s first author in an email. “same-Size filaments are known in other dinosaurs, but there is none that is so large compared to the size of the animal. “

Smit said Ubirajara Theropods known to possess such characteristics are the earliest branch on the evolutionary tree.

“till now, Wide display Wings were considered restricted to dinosaurs that were already complex, Bird-Like feathers, ”he said.

Paleontologists also document long, thick mane Of Fibers like fur. As the authors speculate, Ubirajara He controlled his mane with muscles running along his back like the raised palms of the dog.

“‘Mane’ is made up of monofilaments surrounded by thick hair, similar in thickness to thick hair, which increases in length from the back of the neck with the back,” Smyth wrote in his email. “We believe that these monofilaments originated from Rome, which would have given dinosaurs some ability to raise and lower them.”

Smit said Ubirajara Lived in a semi-arid environment bordering an ancient sea, and It is probably fed on small reptiles and amphibians.

Ubirajara It is also significant that this is the first non-avian dinosaur discovered in the Brazilian Creto Formation. As for the name, “Ubirajara” means “lord of the spear” in the indigenous Tupi language, and “jubatus” means “humanized” or “crested” in Latin.

Such titles, in which paleontologists are able to study the external structures of an animal, are fundamentally changing our concepts of dinosaurs and what they used to look like. At the same time, such research may also provide new insights into their potential behaviors. related to Ubirajara, I am imaging this little fellow all around with his four filamentous structures, held high while performing a seductive dance for dinosaur women.


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