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Rawr! Amorous T-Rex dinos had their own form of foreplay

Members of the Tyrannosaurus Rex family may be known for their fighting skills, but that doesn't mean they weren't sensitive lovers, a new study suggests.

The T-Rex is best known for its fighting skills, both in science and mainstream movies, but apparently the prehistoric predator has a more sensitive side.
James Thomas

Dinosaurs aren't usually called out on their lovemaking skills, but thanks to a new study published online Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, we might be looking at the T-Rex family in a new, romantic light.

The study by a team of international researchers explains how the sensitive skin on the dinosaur's snout may have proved very important to its mating ritual.

"In courtship, tyrannosaurids might have rubbed their sensitive faces together as a vital part of pre-copulatory play," the study says.

Much of the study attributes the findings to the newly discovered Daspletosaurus horneri, "Horner's Frightful Lizard," a member of the tyrannosaur family whose fossils were found in the US state of Montana.

While this particular species of dinosaur existed before the T-Rex we know and love, and measured much smaller at 29.5 feet (9 meters), D horneri fossils provided far greater information about tyrannosaur anatomy.

Dinosaurs in the T-Rex family have large scales and armor-like skin on their faces, but the nose itself contains many small nerve openings called foramina, making it extremely sensitive to touch.

Hypersensitive snouts aren't just prevalent in the T-Rex family of dinosaurs. Crocodiles and alligators also use their integumentary sensory organs (thousands of small receptive bumps) around their jaws, which they tend to rub with a potential mate as foreplay.

This new study may give T-Rex fans extra insight on the dinosaur's sex skills, but don't expect the kind of romance found in popular dinosaur erotica books like "Taken by T-Rex."

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