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Here is something I posted on sci.bio.paleontology, but never got any
responses to. I thought that it might be of more interest to this mailing
If sex is a touchy subject for you, please do NOT read the following.
>>Stanley Friesen writes:
>>And what about sauropods? They got a lot bigger than Ultrasauros. I
>>it hard to believe that the females would be smaller, since larger males
>>would probably crush the females during mating. ...
>This depends a little on how they did it.
>There is certainly some suggestion of a few particularly large
>individuals in each sauropod herd. Whether these were large
>females or males is hard to say.
How do you think sauropods "did it"? Sex is not top on my list of things
to ponder over, but if it has to do with dinosaurs, it is easier to think
about. Usually in the animal kingdom mating happens one way (primates
find tons of ways, though): the male mounts the female from the back
(doggie-style, as the kids at school call it). I simply cannot see
150-ton sauropods attempting to mate the human way -- unnatural. Dinosaur
mating was probably aided by a penile organ used for passing sperm into
the female -- this organ was probably, for most of the time, hidden inside
the male until the occasion arose, since I doubt dinosaur urinated. Birdy
theropods, like ostriches, probably still retained a penis, but
nevertheless it was probably quite small.
Female dinosaurs may have had a single vent, a combination of anus and egg
canal. Males probably had two -- an anus and a slit that contained the
Dinosaur mating seems like an awkward thing, but dinosaurs probably found
ways. Mating was probably easier for dinosaurs with a tail flexible at
the base, such as Deinonychus -- the female could just simply sweep her
tail out to the side. Maybe that's what all female dinosaur did. The
female may have crouched down, sticking her rear in the air and her tail
out to the side, and the male mount her, lining up his tail so that the
orifices are close to each other, holding on with his front limbs. With
theropods, the males (possibly smaller than the females) may have gotten
completely off of the ground and held on with all four limbs, or placed
one leg across her back and one on the ground.
I still find it hard to see how ankylosaurs and stegosaurs did it.<<
Raptor RKC (Rachel Clark)