dinosaur museum

March 2017 Newsletter

FROM THE EDUCATION DESK
March! Does that mean that summer is almost here? I guess I am getting ahead of myself…actually we have had some very nice weather for this time of year and are so lucky to live where we do. We hope that your “almost” springtime is going well and that you will spend some time with us for our March events.
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FYI:
Dinosaurs mating behavior is similar to modern birds according to new research by Martin Lockley, professor of geology at the University of Colorado Denver. Lockley, a paleontologist, led an international 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’ among modern birds, where males show off their ability to provide by excavating pseudo nests for potential mates. “These are the first sites with evidence of dinosaur mating display rituals ever discovered and the first physical evidence of courtship behavior.” Lockley goes on to say “These huge scrape displays fill in a missing gap in our understanding of dinosaur behavior.” This study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Lockley, a world renowned expert on dinosaur footprints, found evidence of more than 50 dinosaur scrapes, some as large as bathtubs. Similar behaviors are common in mammals and birds. The team were unable to remove the scrape marks without damaging them so they created 3-D images using a technique of layering photographs called photogrammetry. They also made rubber molds and fiberglass copies of the scrapes that are being stored at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Geri Lebold
Education Director

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