Thanks to a fossil found in China , experts believe they have solved some of the mysteries surrounding the sexuality of dinosaurs . Indeed, the remainder of about 100 million years old has an anus in perfect condition.
An extremely well-preserved Psittacosaurus fossil, a ceratopsian dinosaur that lived 126 to 101 million years ago in what is now Asia, was discovered in China decades ago. Jakob Vinther, a paleontologist and senior lecturer at the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol, started studying it in 2016. At first he wanted to reconstruct the animal's hue, but while his work was on nearing completion, Vinther was surprised to see that the dinosaur's anus was in perfect condition. Better known as the cesspool, this orifice is present on almost all birds and reptiles.
It is used for urinating, defecating and mating at the same time. In short, it is a versatile hole.
A rather special cesspool
In addition to confirming that the dinosaurs also had a cesspool, this discovery should provide a better understanding of the functioning of the genitals of these reptiles that were exterminated about 66 million years ago. For example, scientists now know that the dinosaur cesspool was different from that of any animal of our time.
“Most cesspools form a sort of slit. Sometimes it's a vertical hole. Some sport the shape of a smiley face, while others make it look like a sour face , ” explained Jakob Vinther, reported by Allthatsinteresting.com . For researchers, that of the dinosaur is "very unique". "This thing has a V-shaped structure with a pair of beautiful splayed lips and there isn't a single group of living animals that have such a morphology , " the University of Bristol paleontologist added.
Other discoveries and multiple hypotheses
Besides the shape of the orifice, scientists found that the Psittacosaurus anus was flanked by pigmented lobes comparable to those found in crocodiles. It is possible that the exterior of it acted as a kind of sex decoy, much like baboons and some species of salamander today.
Moreover, while paleontologists have long believed that dinosaurs mated like birds by "cloacal kisses", that is, by pressing their cloacal openings together, Jakob Vinther and his team now argue the opposite. “From what we can see, this cesspool would not have been suitable for a cloacal kiss (…) It looks like it would have been sex with penetration. "