Two hadrosaur bone deposits demonstrate how even young dinosaurs preferred to spend time with their peers rather than adults
The period of adolescence , in which all boys and girls begin to detach themselves from their parents and seek their own way in the world, is a typical phenomenon of many animals and not exclusively of humans . A recent discovery of two deposits of dinosaur bones that lived in the Cretaceous proves that even some young dinosaurs gathered in groups of teenagers who explored the world together.
The study, pending publication, was presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology . The study of the behavior of the dinosaurs is very complex because there are no direct testimonies and it is possible to formulate only hypotheses based on the deductions obtained from the fossils.
Tristan Joubarne of the University of Calgary, author of the study, analyzed two deposits of bones belonging to dinosaurs that all died at the same time belonging to the species Hypacrosaurus stebingeri , a hadrosaur (i.e. a duck-billed dinosaur) that lived in North America during the Cretaceous. These deposits are important because they speak of an entire group of specimens eliminated by a catastrophic event and not of a single individual. The two sites studied are located in Montana and Alberta. While in the first there were bones of juvenile and adult specimens, in the second there are only bones of adolescent specimens.
According to Joubarne this indicates that their behavior may be similar to that of social mammals in which groups composed of adults and cubs formed , but then, once the latter have reached a certain age , physical size and sexual maturity , they break away from the herd to form a new one with their peers. The study reports this hypothesis which, however, is impossible to verify. More excavations and more bone beds will be needed to confirm it or not.
- Even teenage dinosaurs had “company” (focus.it)