Scientists have discovered that a chicken-sized dinosaur has some characteristics never seen before. The ancient being had long needle-like structures on its shoulders and was committed to showing off as many modern-day birds do. This dinosaur species can help us better understand the relationship between dinosaurs and birds.
This species was first discovered by paleontologist Eberhard Frey of the Karlsruhe State Museum of Natural History in Germany in 1995. The fossil was unearthed from Chapada do Araripe in northeastern Brazil and now experts from the University of Portsmouth they discovered some special features of the age-old reptile. The results of the new study were published in the journal Cretaceous Research.
The creature is called Ubirajara jubatus, which is Indian indigenous to “Maned Lord of the Spear”. The spines in the bird’s neck were found to be made of keratin, the same protein that nails, hair, and skin are made of. These needle-like spines emerged from the lower part of the neck and were most likely used to attract mates and protect them from larger animals. The location of the spines would not have affected their range of hunting, hunting, and other daily activities. Modern peacocks can be said to have learned their exhibition rituals from the Ubirajara jubatus who lived around 110 million years ago in the Cretaceous period.
The researchers said this creature is “Gondwano’s first non-avian theropod with preserved filamentous integumentary structures.” He is also the “first non-maniraptorano to possess elaborate integumentary structures that were most likely used for the exhibition”. Along with the “thin monofilaments”, the little dinosaurs also had “an impressive mane, as well as a couple of elongated ribbon-like structures that probably emerged from the shoulder”. The article mentions that such “elaborate integumentary structures” are quite unknown to have been present in any other dinosaur and that some elongated feathers are known to emerge from the carpal region of the male bird of paradise.
The article’s author and paleontologist, David Martill of the University of Portsmouth, said that although they cannot prove that the specimen they received was a male, but “given the disparity between male and female birds, it seems likely that the ‘specimen were a male “. Another interesting fact is that it is the fossil of a young being and it is believed that “the most complex performance skills are reserved for mature adult males”.
Other article author and paleontologist Robert Smyth explained why the animal had such whimsical features that could make it easier prey. “The truth is that for many animals, evolutionary success isn’t just about survival – you also need to look good if you want to pass your genes on to the next generation,” he added.