New discoveries await hard-working paleontologists. For proof, look no further than Jacob Vinther, a scientist at the University of Bristol in England, who recently unveiled what may be the region’s first example of a non-avian dinosaur butt.
The research, which was published in the journal Current biologyProvides a glimpse behind a Psittacosaurus, A dog-shaped dino whose fossilized anatomy has managed to retain some glimpses – enough for Winther to digitally reconstruct its uh, buthol.
Check the remains of Psittacosaurus At the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, Vinther realized that he and colleagues could develop a model for the animal’s cloaca, a multipurpose cavity that facilitated urination, excretion, and copulation. (Modern birds, crocodiles, and turtles are among those who sport cloaca. The term is Latin for “sewer.” Winther worked with co-authors such as the Pealoartist. Robert nichols And on the reconstruction of University of Massachusetts Amherst biologist Diane A. Kelly. For reference, Kelly looked at her collection of animal butts as well as the active backside of live chickens. After 120 million years, the back end of the dinosaur was once again visible.
Does the secret lurk within? For one, a different color appears in the cloaca, which may attract potential peers. It also has aromatic glands, presumably for the same purpose, and a pair of lips around the dorsal lobe in the shape of a bean, an arrangement that may resemble a drawn curtain. Naturally, Vinther also found a bit of fossil armor.
Also, Vinther could not say. If this cloaca is like a crocodile, it may obscure a penis or clitoris, but no trace of any genitalia was present. Patricia Brennan, an animal genitalist at Mount Holokay College in Massachusetts, told new York Times It is possible that the lobe excretes sperm on a large scale in the same manner as some bird species.
The sex of a dinosaur remains elusive. Limited conclusions can be drawn from only one specimen, but the cloaca is still another step in understanding the intriguing anatomy of dinosaur butts.
[h/t Popular Science]