Have you ever wondered about the mating habits of T. Rex? No, no, no - not that T. Rex, this T. Rex:
Not the most romantic visage in history, but there's someone for everybody, right? And it's nearly Valentine's Day to boot.
Over at The Wild Side, Olivia Judson speculates on the potential amorous adventures of the thunder lizard. It's a more difficult problem than you might imagine, as fossils are ill equipped to show the gender of most creatures and answer even the most basic of questions that might provide a hint. For instance - did the male T. Rex have a penis (and if so, would he have still been bombarded with male enhancement emails?)? And if so, what kind? These aren't questions with obvious answers:
I could answer a question that sometimes bothers me. Did T. rex have a penis? Did he even, as lizards do, have two?Judson figures he did, although she admits it is, at best, an "educated guess." One of her conclusions that it's hard to quibble with, however:
I ask the question not out of prurience, but because it’s a matter of scientific interest. There are a couple of reasons why. First, the penis is another important indicator of the mating system. In species where females usually mate with a single male during a breeding episode, penises tend to be small and uninteresting. In those where females mate with several males (whether by choice or by force), penises are typically larger, and come with fancy decorations such as grooves, nobbles, and spikes. Second, the question of the dinosaur penis provides an exercise in evolutionary inference.
I imagine that when two T. rex got it on, the earth shook for miles around.Indeed.
Grooves? Nobbles? SPIKES?!? Damn, there's some kinky critters out there!