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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: How Is a Dinosaur Like a Rooster?
12 December 2013 2:00 pm
What got female duck-billed dinosaurs in the mood to make baby dinos? Perhaps it was something never before seen in the fossil record: a sexually suggestive fleshy comb, like that of roosters, on the head and neck of males. A mummified specimen of the duckbill Edmontosaurus regalis, discovered by an international team in the west-central region of Canada’s Alberta province, proudly preserves just such a structure (shown above in artist’s reconstruction). The team, which reports the find online today in Current Biology, points out that some duckbills had bony crests on their heads, which are easily preserved in fossil form, and that researchers had suggested functions for such crests ranging from sexual display to external olfactory organs. But E. regalis, a so-called flat-headed duckbill, does not have a hard, bony crest, making this first discovery of a soft tissue version all the more important for understanding dino behavior. Because birds evolved from dinosaurs, and the combs of roosters and other birds are widely considered to be for sexual display, the team concludes that this is also the most likely explanation for its presence in some duckbills.