Stunning Dinosaur Likely Used Armor to Flirt as Well as Fight
Some armor plates on the dinosaur Borealopelta are exaggerated in shape—suggesting they acted as billboards for social rivals or mates.
Some dinosaurs’ elaborate armor unquestionably helped them in a fight. But for at least one Cretaceous animal, a body covered in bony plates may have been vital for finding love, too.
Careful study of the armored dinosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli confirms that spines along its neck and shoulder are highly exaggerated, perhaps to catch the eyes of mates and social rivals. The effect would’ve been heightened by soft-tissue sheaths covering the bony spikes, which we can see today thanks to the dinosaur’s eye-popping preservation.
About 110 million years ago, this plant-eating dinosaur died and wound up at the bottom of an ancient ocean. In 2011, miners in Canada accidentally dug up its remains, stumbling onto a 3-D fossil so well-preserved it