Dinos Evolved Wings to Lure Opposite Sex

Feathered displays may have been about finding mates, not climbing trees
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2009 1:06 PM CDT
Dinos Evolved Wings to Lure Opposite Sex
A visitor looks at a "Quetzalcoatlus northropi" at an exhibition at The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Saturday, June 28, 2008.   (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Among paleontologists, one of the big battles has long been over why dinosaurs originally evolved wings: Did they start gliding down from trees, or need extra propulsion when running? According to a new study, the first wings were all about impressing the ladies—it was sexual selection that let bigger-winged dinos have more hatchlings, the Telegraph reports.

"If an animal started running with its limbs held out to the side, then there would be cost that would have left them competitively at a disadvantage. There must have been another factor involved to allow this trait to continue through the generations," says a biologist. They could just have wanted to "show off how pretty their feathers were." (More dinosaurs stories.)

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