Scientists have described a dinosaur's butthole in exquisite detail

the_antsy_honda

Do not hug me.
Dec 17, 2001
71,880
California

When a dog-sized Psittacosaurus was living out its days on Earth, it was probably concerned with mating, eating, and not being killed by other dinosaurs. It would never even have crossed its mind that, 120 million or so years later, scientists would be peering intensely up its clacker.

However, that's precisely what they have done, yielding the most detailed description yet of a non-avian dinosaur's cloaca: the catch-all hole used for peeing, pooping, mating, and laying eggs.
This Swiss Army knife of buttholes is common throughout the animal kingdom today - all birds, amphibians, reptiles, and even a few mammals possess a cloaca. But we know little about the cloacae of dinosaurs, including their anatomy, what they looked like, and how the animals used them.
"I noticed the cloaca several years ago after we had reconstructed the colour patterns of this dinosaur using a remarkable fossil on display at the Senckenberg Museum in Germany which clearly preserves its skin and colour patterns," explained palaeobiologist Jakob Vinther of the University of Bristol in the UK.
"It took a long while before we got around to finish it off because no one has ever cared about comparing the exterior of cloacal openings of living animals, so it was largely uncharted territory."
 

ERock

I'm not a cat
OT Supporter
Jan 9, 2002
205,339
SoCal
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