Dinosaurs may have evolved wings to attract mates: Study | tech reviews | Hindustan Times
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Dinosaurs may have evolved wings to attract mates: Study

Palaeontologists have claimed that dinosaurs may have evolved wings to woo the opposite sex, a theory which puts an end to the decades-long debate on the evolution of flight by the ancestors of modern avians.

tech reviews Updated: Apr 05, 2009 12:21 IST

Palaeontologists have claimed that dinosaurs may have evolved wings to woo the opposite sex, a theory which puts an end to the decades-long debate on the evolution of flight by the ancestors of modern avians.

While some researches suggested that dinosaurs learned to fly by jumping out of trees and gliding to ground, others hinted these “proto-birds” flapped their forelimbs like wings to give them more thrust to help them climb while attempting to escape from predators.

Now, a new study has revealed that a procesdins, known as sexual selection, where traits deemed as attractive by the opposite sex become more common and more pronounced through generations as they’re favoured by mating animals, is actually responsible for the evolution of flight by dinosaurs.

Lead palaeontologist Dr Robert Nudds of the University of Manchester said: “The problem we see is why an animal would start holding its forelimbs out to the side in a symmetrical manner in the first place.

“Two-legged animals use their forelimbs in asymmetrical movements to help counteract the force from the legs and to stop their body from rotating as they run. If an animal started running with its limbs held out to the side, then there would be cost that would’ve left them competitively at a disadvantage.

“There must have been another factor involved to allow this trait to continue through the generations. One theory is that these feathered dinosaurs used their forelimbs in some sort of sexual display, so may be they ran around with their arms outstretched to show off how pretty their feathers were.”