On the News | UK | Dinosaurs’ sensitive snouts enabled courtship ‘face stroking’, study suggests @ The Guardian

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Dinosaurs’ sensitive snouts enabled courtship ‘face stroking’, study suggests


Scientists used X-ray and 3D imaging to look inside the fossilised skull of Neovenator salerii on the Isle of Wight. Photograph: Dinosaur Isle/PA

“Dinosaurs’ faces might have been much more sensitive than previously thought and may have helped them feed more carefully or woo potential mates, according to new research.

Experts from the University of Southampton used advanced X-ray and 3D-imaging techniques to look inside the fossilised skull of Neovenator salerii – a large carnivorous land-based dinosaur found on the Isle of Wight, and found evidence that it possessed an extremely sensitive snout of a kind previously only associated with aquatic feeders.

The study, published in the online journal Scientific Reports, shows that Neovenator may have possessed pressure receptors in the skin of its snout – similar to those that allow crocodiles to forage in murky water.

Palaeontologist Chris Barker, who carried out the research, said there was no evidence to suggest the 125 m-year-old dinosaur was an aquatic feeder and must have developed a sensitive nose for other purposes, including helping it to pick flesh from bones.

Barker said: “The 3D picture we built up of the inside of Neovenator’s skull was more detailed than any of us could have hoped for, revealing the most complete dinosaur neurovascular canal that we know of.” (…) READ MORE

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READ IT HERE: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jun/27/dinosaurs-sensitive-snouts-courtship-face-stroking-study-suggests

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Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)