Paleontologists finally get their first good look at a dinosaur butole

Here is a digital reconstruction of a Psittacosaurus dinosaur showing how cloacal vents can be used for signaling during courtship.

Bob Nichols / 2020

Paleontologists spend their entire academic careers studying the anatomy of dinosaurs. Now a team of scientists from the University of Bristol has finally described in detail the cloacal or vent of a dinosaur, used to attract a mate for everything from defecation and urination (or, less scientific form). From, a jack-of-all-trades butthole).

In a new study published on Tuesday in the journal Current Biology, scientists revealed several theories about the cloak vent on a dog-shaped dinosaur named Citascosaurus, a relative of the triceratops from the early Cycecus era, which lived about 120 million years ago. .

Dr. of Bristol School It was years before Jacob Vinther saw the color pattern of this dinosaur at the Senckenberg Museum in Germany, using a remarkable fossil that clearly retains its skin and color patterns. The Department of Earth Sciences said in a statement on Tuesday.

Dinobutt 2

A closer look at the preserved cloacal vent in Psittacosaurus.

Dr. Jacob Vinte

“It took us a long time before it was over, because no one cared about comparing the exterior of the cloacal opening to the living animals, so it was a largely unchanged area,” said Winther. he said.

Researchers revealed that dinosaur cloaca have characteristics similar to crocodiles and cloaks on crocodiles. The outer cloaca areas of the dyno were also likely to be highly pigmented. This pigmentation may have been used to attract a friend, as many baboons use them.

“We found that the vent appears to be different in many different groups of tetrapods, but in most cases, it doesn’t tell you much about the sex of an animal.” Dr. from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Diane Kelly said. “Those distinctive features are tucked inside the cloaca, and unfortunately, they are not preserved in this fossil.”

It is not only the presence of Dino’s vent that attracts the attention of peers, but also its smell. Larger, pigmented lobes on either side of the cloacus can also include fleshy odor glands to attract a friend’s attention.

Dinobutt 3

A Psittacosaurus specimen from the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History – preserving skin and pigmentation patterns and the first, and only known, cloacal vent.

Jacob Vinther, University of Bristol and Bob Nichols / 2020

“Knowing that at least some of the dinosaurs were signaling each other gives Paleo-artists the exciting freedom to bet on the now fully lauded interactions during dinosaur courtship,” Paleo-artist and study artist Robert Nichols said in a statement.

“It’s a game-changer!”

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