man-creates-dinosaurs: Halstead’s horny dinosa…

man-creates-dinosaurs:

Halstead’s horny dinosaurs true moment in the spotlight came in February 1988 when Omni magazine ran a feature length article on the subject of sex and dinosaurs titled “Tyrannosaurus Sex: A Love Tail” by Sandy Fritz with lavish illustrations by artist Ron Embleton.

Of Embleton’s five paintings, three are of sauropod couples which Halstead spends most of Fritz’s article speculating about. As seen with the two Brachiosaurus up top most paleontologists who have spent anytime pondering the issue of sauropod sexy time have assumed that like modern large four legged mammals, dinosaurs like Brachiosaurus would have done it with the male mounting the female from behind.

The problem with this scenario? While the average adult male elephant weighs around 13,000 pounds, the average male Brontosaurus would have weighted around 80-tons. And while we are accustom to seeing sauropods rear up on their hind legs like circus elephants – think of the iconic shot of the Brachiosaurus in Jurassic Park or the mother Barosaurus skeleton at the American Museum of Natural History – some paleontologists believe that if an animal as big as a sauropod tried this move it would snap its hips… Or crush its partner if in the act of making love.

To compensate for their tremendous weight, Halstead suggests that sauropods may have made love in the tub using water to help redistribute their bulk as seen in Embleton’s Brontosaurus and Diplodocus pairs above.

Other experts however think that such a strategy was unnecessary. As paleontologist R. McNeill Alexander, who specializes in dino biomechanics, tells Brian Switek in My Beloved Brontosaurus, Halstead’s ideas on this topic seem to be a holdover from the days when it was widely thought that sauropods were so weighty that they couldn’t move around on land at all and so spent their lives mired in swamps. Today paleontologists agree that sauropods were land animals and had no problem standing on their own four feet, and as Alexander notes if you can support your own weight then you can copulate.