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[dinosaur] Avian display scraping behavior by diminutive Cretaceous theropods in South Korea

Ben Creisler

A recent paper:

Kyung Soo Kim, Martin G. Lockley, Jong Deock Lim, Lisa Buckley & Lida Xing (2016)
Small scale scrapes suggest avian display behavior by diminutive Cretaceous theropods.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication).

A set of about 25 diminutive sub-parallel scrapes in the Cretaceous Haman Formation of South Korea fit the morphology of the small theropod track Minisauripus which is also known from this formation. The scrapes are interpreted as evidence of display behavior, and suggest that the trace maker was an adult engaged in avian-like courtship behavior. Although avian theropods are also known from this formation, the scrapes are inconsistent with their foot morphology. Although large theropod scrapes have been interpreted as evidence of display behavior they are only known from North America. Thus, the scrapes described here are the first reported from Asia, and the first interpreted as evidence of display behavior in such a diminutive species.