Hard-hitting news is extinct: CNN reports on dinosaur 'foreplay,' nearly six years after Forbes

In a piece titled “The mysterious sex lives of dinosaurs,” CNN senior producer Katie Hunt tackled the burning question of “how” dinosaurs reproduced and how it has been difficult to answer since “no fossil has revealed two dinosaurs caught in the act,” but “close analysis and insights” of living animals like birds are allowing paleontologists to “piece together the sex lives of dinosaurs.”

The report published Monday began examining the plumage of the Confuciusornis and how its “ribbonlike tail feathers” have been “interpreted as being used for sexual display.” It then delved into the behavior of modern male birds called “lekking,” which was described “competitively dance and perform other courtship rituals to attract the attention of females” and how dinosaurs “engaged in similar mating behavior, according to fossilized ‘scrapes’ left behind in 100 million-year-old rocks in the prehistoric Dakota Sandstone of western Colorado.”

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“This is physical evidence of prehistoric foreplay that is very similar to birds today,” University of Colorado Denver geology professor Martin Lockley told CNN. “Modern birds using scrape ceremony courtship usually do so near their final nesting sites. So the fossil scrape evidence offers a tantalizing clue that dinosaurs in ‘heat’ may have gathered here millions of years ago to breed and then nest nearby.”

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