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How dinosaurs lived

Dinosaur herding and courtship

A herd of Mamenchisaurus on the moveA herd of Mamenchisaurus on the move From the evidence of “mass graves”, fossilized remains of hundreds of individuals found close together, we know that a number of plant-eating dinosaur species must have lived together in herds. Many modern herbivores live like this, too. So palaeontologists’ insight into why some dinosaurs herded together can be helped by studying the behaviour of modern herding animals.

Protection

A Mamenchisaurus keeps a look-out for predators.A Mamenchisaurus keeps a look-out for predators.Modern herding animals—for example, those from the African savanna grasslands—live together for protection from predators, and as the safest way in which to bring up their young. The approach of a predator would more likely be spotted. It would probably be deterred from attacking a group of stampeding adult dinosaurs, preferring instead to seek out a sick, elderly, injured or juvenile individual.
 

Injuries seen on skulls belonging to Pachycephalo-saurus suggest that males engaged in dangerous head-butting contests.

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