The scientists at University of Alberta recently said that a dinosaur couple called ‘Romeo and Juliet‘ now, has been found buried beneath the Mongolia-based Gobi Desert for over 75 million years. According to the Alberta University palaeontologists, this is the mated pair and was preserved for the aforementioned duration alongside each other. These two raptors died and buried side by side, have found to be dead because of a huge sand dune collapsing on them.
Are these dinosaurs Shakespeare’s doomed lovers; Romeo and Juliet?
The scientists have sought interests of an assortment of subject experts after raising doubts that these birdlike dinosaurs, a.k.a oviraptors, were called so because they look like the remains of the most popular doomed lovers of Shakespeare- Romeo and Juliet. However, the scientists do not know the sex of these oviraptors yet because according to Scott Persons, the research’s lead author, it is highly intricate to determine the gender of a dinosaur. This is so because soft anatomy does not fossilises easily. This is the reason that the fossil of a dinosaur does not easily provide any direct reference to the gender of it.
Sex determination of Romeo and Juliet
In 2011, Scott Persons, along with this team of researchers had published their findings regarding the oviraptors’ tails. Despite being strictly land-bound, these dinosaurs had long features that rested on the tails. This raised a valid question that what was the objective of these features of the tail when oviraptors were land-bound?
Persons, in this context, explain that the theory stated that the purpose of these feature fans was same like the modern ground-based birds, such as prairie chickens, peacocks and turkeys. These feature fans were used for enhancing the display of courtship.
After carefully observing the specimen of these recently discovered oviraptor specimens, the new study established about the sexual dimorphism.
Persons says that, even though, both these specimens are of the same age, have same size and are more or less similar in all regards of anatomy, but ‘Romeo’ encompasses specially-shaped and larger tail bones. According to him, these two may be the mated pair, thereby making for the romantic story because they were preserved alongside for over 75 million years.