Washington: A new research has found that dinosaurs also engaged in mating behavior similar to modern birds.
Professor Martin Lockley led an international research team that discovered large 'scrapes' in the prehistoric Dakota sandstone of western Colorado.
These ancient scrapes are similar to a behavior known as 'nest scrape display' or 'scrape ceremonies' among modern birds, where males show off their ability by excavating pseudo nests for potential mates.
Lockley, a world-renowned expert on dinosaur footprints, found evidence of more than 50 dinosaur scrapes, some as large as bathtubs, in an area where tracks of carnivorous and herbivorous dinosaurs have also been confirmed.
Similar sexual selection behaviors are common in mammals and birds. But until now, the scientists could only speculate about dinosaur mating behavior, assuming it might be similar to that of their modern relatives, the birds.
Lockley and his team were unable to remove the scrape marks from the gigantic slabs of rock without damaging them. Instead, they created 3-D images of the scrapes using a technique of layering photographs called photogrammetry.
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.