Scientists have found a chicken-sized dinosaur that has certain never-before-seen features. The ancient being had long needle-like structures on its shoulders and showed itself like many birds today. This species of dinosaur can help us better understand the relationship between dinosaurs and birds.
This species was first discovered in 1995 by the paleontologist Eberhard Frey from the State Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe in Germany. The fossil was discovered in Chapada do Araripe in northeastern Brazil, and now experts from Portsmouth University have unearthed some specifics from the ancient reptile. The results of the new study were published in the journal Cretaceous Research.
The creature is called Ubirajara jubatus and is an indigenous Indian for “Maned Lord of the Spear”. The bird’s throat spines have been found to be made of keratin, the same protein that makes up our nails, hair, and skin. These needle-like spines came from their lower necks and were most likely used to attract mates and protect them from larger animals. The location of the spines would not have affected their scope for hunting, hunting, and other everyday activities. It can be said that modern peacocks learned their demonstration rituals from the Ubirajara jubatus, which lived about 110 million years ago in the Cretaceous Period.
The researchers said this creature is the “first non-avian Gondwan theropod with preserved filamentous integumentary structures.” It is also the “first non-Maniraptoran with sophisticated integumentary structures that were most likely used for representation”. In addition to the “slim monofilaments”, the little dinosaurs also had “an impressive mane and a pair of elongated, ribbon-like structures that probably protruded from the shoulder”. The paper mentions that such “sophisticated integumentary structures” were not found in any other dinosaur and that some elongated display feathers emerge from the carpal region of the male bird of paradise.
University of Portsmouth paper writer and paleontologist David Martill said that although they cannot prove that the specimen preserved is a male, “given the inequality between male and female birds, it seems likely that the specimen was a male “. Another interesting fact is that it is the fossil of a young being and is believed to be “the most complex representation skills reserved for mature adult men.”
Robert Smyth, another paper writer and paleontologist, explained why the animal had such extravagant properties that it could be easier prey. “The truth is that evolutionary success for many animals is more than just survival – you have to look good too if you want to pass your genes on to the next generation,” he added.