I'm not so great when it comes to love and stuff, but I'm still hoping I can honor the spirit of Valentine's day in my own right. So I've created a collage of various Mesozoic-era animals during the mating season in the spirit of Valentine's Day. I don't have premium membership, but feel free to critique if you'd like.
Upper Left-Hand: A male Therizinosaurus in the middle of constructing a bower, which attracts the attention of a female. Some modern birds, most notably the bowerbirds, create decorative nests to attract females with a stable home suitable for raising offspring. I figured that therizinosaurs could do the same, using their long claws and powerful arms to bend tree branches towards each other and tangle them into an arch as a base for a bower, then decorating it with colorful objects like fruits and flowers, even any bones they may come across. Claw markings in the bark of nearby trees would also mark its presence, as modern bears do.
Middle: A male Majungasaurus using its clamp-like jaws to hold onto a female during copulation. Abelisaurids have very short arms like tyrannosaurids, but to a more vestigial degree. Tyrannosaurid arms are at least capable of limited grasping, which is currently believed to aid in gripping when a male mounts a receptive female. This had me thinking how abelisaurids pulled it off when their arms were virtually functionless. Then I remembered that Majungasaurus jaws and teeth were built for gripping and subduing prey, so why can’t a male do the same to subdue a female to copulate with her? As well as to keep from slipping and falling away in the middle of the process? Perhaps the male may have also bitten the female to show interest, explaining a possible function for thick, bumpy skin in abelisaurids (as seen in skin impressions from Carnotaurus). Such behaviors are known in modern sharks. On a side note, with the evidence of cannibalism in Majungasaurus, I’ve speculated that the female may have eaten the male after copulation to provide nutrients for herself and her developing eggs, as other resources may have been at times scarce on such a small island ecosystem as Late Cretaceous Madagascar. Such behavior is known in modern spiders and mantises.
Upper Right-Hand: A pair of Nyctosaurus locked together in courtship flight, as well as copulation. Having lost all its fingers except for the wing finger, ground movement would have been especially impaired for this species, which had me questioning its copulation method. So I came up with this idea: each partner flies in an upward circle or arch, reaching out with their legs and grasping each other at the lower body when in reach, bringing their cloacas in proximity to permit copulation that only requires a short time before needing to break away. This idea is inspired by the courtship rituals in modern bald eagles.
Right-Hand: A pair of Elasmosaurus locked together in aquatic copulation. Modern dolphins use their pectoral flippers to hold themselves in position. In plesiosauroids, I suppose their pelvic flippers served this role, leaving the pectoral flippers free for any necessary movement or balance. With the Elasmosaurus, I took the liberty of depicting a corkscrew-like ritual during copulation, mostly for artistic effect, although it’s not implausible behavior. Perhaps this maneuvering would aid in maintaining position.
Lower-Left: A male Saichania attracting a female by performing a courtship dance. A study showed that the plates and spikes in ankylosaurids and polacanthids are less sturdy compared to small, minor osteoderms, and instead may have been more functional in thermoregulation and display. With some similarities in armor between ankylosaurs and crocodilians, I figured that male ankylosaurs could send infrasound through their bodies, causing them to vibrate and thus making their armor shake in a display attractive to females, and perhaps vice versa. Another study showed that tail clubs continued to grow in adult ankylosaurs, indicating that they also had a social role in addition to a defense role, so I depicted the Saichania showing off his tail as part of his display. I’ve also noticed that Ankylosaurus, the last of the ankylosaurids, had very prominent head spikes compared to earlier ankylosaurids, so I speculate that head spikes also had a display function in mating (though I’m probably not the first). Scientists have also speculated that the complex nasal passageways in ankylosaurs may have been capable of resonating sound, like in the crests of Parasaurolophus and other lambeosaurines. So I’ve tried to depict this hypothesis in the male Saichania, although looking back, I guess trying to hoot/honk while simultaneously vibrating the body with infrasaound might not actually be possible. Oops.
Bottom: A male Masiakasaurus offering a fish to a female. This idea is inspired by courtship behavior in certain modern birds such as kingfishers, in which a male attempts to feed a small fish headfirst to a female to initiate mating, which I presumably is meant to convey that he is a fit, resourceful mate that will ensure the success and protection of their offspring.
I'm some minutes late :/ But I had it done, so I had to.
"We are daughters of our Heavenly father, who loves us and we love Him. We will stand as witnesses of God, at all times and in all things and in all places. As we strive top live the Young Women values, which are: Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue. We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenents, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation."
It's because of these standards and the Word of Wisdom (which advises us to take care of our body by not partaking in any drug substances or alcohol) that I am able to remain above the influence
Check out DA's wonderfully written article here to get an idea of what today is all about [link]
"The world's fastest land animal, the cheetah, can reach speeds of 70 mph. The most specialized member of the cat family, the cheetah also is the most endangered cat in Africa.
If you'd like to know ways you can help, check out the Cheetah Conservation Fund's website [link]
Today is a day about awareness for Cheetahs, but big cats of all kinds are facing the same demise. To learn more visit animal planet's website and "Cause an uproar" to save big cats! [link]
"Cheetahs have been captured and kept as pets worldwide since antiquity and were used in sport hunting the way dogs are used today. India captured all of its cheetahs for this purpose, and they are now extinct there and the rest of Asia. In the 1900's farmers in Africa began blaming cheetahs for the deaths of livestock and killed them whenever possible. The cheetah population dropped from 100,000 in 1900 to just 2,500 in 1990. Due to the efforts of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre and other conservation groups, the wild cheetah population has risen to almost 10,000 in the last 20 years. Cheetahs are still at risk for extinction due to low genetic diversity, decreasing habitats and food sources, and continued hunting by humans."
Beautiful photo used for reference: [link] And Canvas bg: [link]
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