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Re: Dino sex

Randy King wrote:
> Nathan Myhrvold wrote:
> >
> >
> > -  The large stiff tails made it hard to get the cloaca of male & female
> > in close proximity.  If the male mounted from the rear, the female's
> > tail would be in the way.  The male's tail is too stiff on most
> > dinosaurs that it could be twisted vertically and put under the tail.
> >
> Another alternative used by some animals is to approach back-to-back.
> Most
> flying insects do this.  Although, off-hand I can't think of any
> vertebrates
> that do.
> -Randy

Dogs, foxes, probably most canines, mate back-to-back, a position that
is ultimately extremely painful for the male since a certain
sensitive organ has to rotate through 180 degrees. It then swells so
as the two are locked together for the duration, perhaps to prevent
other males from forcefully decoupling them before the deed is done.
I'm not sure such a position would be any less awkward than others
where dinosaurs were concerned. Any way you look at it the dinosaurian
tail would have made things more difficult than for mammals, although
perhaps kangaroos would be the closest mammalian analogy. Certainly
the position of the cloaca as it is often reconstructed seems to
point backwards in dinos, so perhaps back-to-back mating can not be
ruled out entirely.

        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia