Some Dinosaurs May Have Shaken Feathered Tails to Attract Mates

Looking goofier and goofier

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Visiting Mongolia during the Cretaceous might have revealed a variety of birdlike dinosaurs strutting their stuff and using a spectacular fan of tail feathers to woo potential mates.

The birdlike dinosaurs are oviraptors, so named because their discoverer suspected the first specimen had been fossilized in the act of stealing eggs from a Protoceratops nest. Feathered but flightless, oviraptors had strong, flexible tails tipped with a spray of multicolored feathers, a team of paleontologists reported Jan. 4 in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.